The value of Sociology in High School

Suppose someone said, by studying sociology in high school, students will earn skills that will not only help them succeed in high school, but in their future endeavors as well. Sounds great, right. The mad rush awaits…wait? What exactly is sociology? 

According to Tischler (2007), sociology is the scientific study of human society and social interactions. Sociologist try to understand social situations and look for repeating patterns. Imagine flying in an airplane, looking at the world from 1,000 ft in the air; that is what sociologists do on a daily basis. Why is sociology important to high school students? Sociology per say could be considered a very interesting subject matter. However, the skills that sociology can give a student are considered priceless in the land beyond high school. 

According to Breen and Whitaker, in today’s society, employers are increasingly realizing that a liberal arts education, such as sociology,  prepares students for challenges that a vocational school cannot; transferrable skills, are most desired. The ability to solve complex problems, oral and written communication skills, team building skills, are all trademarks of a liberal arts education. However, does sociology really have a place in high school curriculums or should they wait until college?  After all, these skills, as previously mentioned, can be derived from any liberal arts studies, not just sociology.

By show of hands, how many people remember seeing sociology on their high school request forms? Anybody? According to Lashbrook (2001), sociology has been taught in our high schools since the 1960s. However, prospective teachers are not majoring in sociology. As a result, there are few educators qualified to teach the subject at hand. Of course, this means that sociology is disappearing from the schools.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Foteini Kougioumoutzaki, sociology’s topic is mainly social problems. As a result, the objective of a sociology course should be not only to inform students about various social problems and motivate them into becoming a part of the solution, but also to enhance their social awareness, and promote the ideals the society in which they live. As a result, sociology can be used in the promotion of citizenship education, by teaching the “dos and don’ts” of society. However, they are many history and civics classes built into the school curriculum, which serve the same purpose. 

High school sociology is still misinterpreted as a low status class. However, sociology is still deemed important; it is simply built into english, history and science classes, instead of having a class of it’s own.