Functionalism theory is regarded as a social paradigm that sees the society as a system of subsystems that are interdependent. The existence of common symbols in a society is another aspect of this theory. This theory originated from the works of Emile Durkheim who was mainly interested in stability of the society. Though this theory has its advantages, it has been rejected by some philosophers that it is an insufficient account of the mind (Anderson and Taylor, 2009). Conflict theory This theory was derived by Karl Max, and they are sub-theories in the study of sociology. Marx divides the society into several groups that compete for the scarce resources available, and as such the theory shows the need of power dominance in society and political, social, and economic classes. Then dominance and power is of those with more resources in society. This desire to be powerful is what brings about sociological changes and growth hence opposing forces. For a theory to be conflicting it has to be associated with four different assumptions which include: competition among individuals of different social classes, structural inequality, wars to settle the conflict, and change which is revolutionary due to the satisfaction of having personal interests fulfilled (Giddens, 1991). Interactionism theory This theory was derived and developed by Joe Parker. It shows the behavior and actions of individuals with each other. The Interactionism theory is used to show the communication of animals one to another and their reactions and adaptations to society and its changes. The interaction sociologists seek to identify people's relationship light of different cultures, beliefs, and attitudes (Anderson and Taylor, 2009). This theory is elsewhere called the symbolic theory of sociology because if focuses on the symbols to life’s situations and their meaning. From this perception, the interactionists think that the society is made up of people’s thoughts and interpretation of what they see. This theory however, is criticized by the fact that if focuses on the small things rather than the real things that affect the society. Application in education and how they are similar and different In its application to education, theory of functionalism argues that as a social institution, education tends to serve many functions in the society. One of its applications in education is that it socializes children (students) who are prepared for life in the society eventually, and this is done by giving them formal knowledge which is book knowledge and informal knowledge which is life skills knowledge. Another application of this theory in education is that most if not all occupational training in industrialized societies are provided in schools. Most of the jobs today for example in the United States need at least a high school education qualification while most of the professional jobs require college or university education qualification. The final application of functionalism theory in education is that it helps in the regulation of deviant behavior through education. This is so because when young people get to school, they stay away from the streets and this also enables them to stay out of trouble. Conflict theory brings about education in society as a tool used to enhance social inequality, which is done by increasing the power of
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