MANIFEST FUNCTIONS OF EDUCATION
The two most important manifest functions of education are to prepare people to make a living and to help people reach their potential for personal fulfillment and social contribution. The two functions are related but not identical. It is difficult to be a well-rounded person unless one can earn a living, and, conversely, an employee may be more valuable with an education which includes more than vocational skills. Yet a good general education does not always produce marketable skills, and narrowly focused vocational education may leave one ignorant of the cultural understanding needed for successful living. Thus, one of the perennial issues in education is .the relative concern devoted to general or cultural-as opposed to strictly vocational instruction. , Most occupations require basic literacy, while many also demand specialized training. The cybernetics revolution with computer-controlled machines and robots is cutting the demand for unskilled labor and also eliminating some of the traditional craft positions.
The.market for professionals, semiprofessionals, and technicians is expanding. The other manifest functions of education are numerous: preserving ‘the culture passing it on, from one generation to the next encouraging. democratic particiption by .teaching’ verbal skills and developing the person’s ability to think rationally and independently enriching life by enabling students. to expand their intellectual and aesthetic horizons; improving personal adjustment through personal’ counseling and such courses as plied psychology, sex education, family .living, drngabuse: improving the health-of-the nation’s youth through physical exercise and courses in hygiene; producing patriotic citizens through lessons illustrating the country’s glory; promoting racial integration; providing public entertainment (athletic events, school band, drama): and finally, “building character.” Some of these manifest functions may . not be fulfilled, but -they are nonetheless intended functions of the educational system. In fact, the manifest functions of the school have multiplied so much that we often assume that education can solve all the problems of society.