GCSE and A Level Sociology: Key concepts in education 1: Introduction to education

Here is the first in a new series of blogs looking at education in GCSE and A Level Sociology.

Key concepts in education 1: Introduction to education

Education is covered in both the GCSE and A level syllabus for Sociology. This blog will introduce what we mean by education – there will be separate blogs covering the topics required for GCSE and A level.

What do we mean by Education?

This may sound obvious, but within Sociology we have to ensure that we understand the different types of education.

  • Education is where people learn new skills and improve their knowledge.
  • Education can take place formally and informally.

Formal education occurs in educational establishments, such as: –

  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Universities

Students will be able to learn about a wide range of subjects and improve their skills and knowledge in those subjects.

Informal education is where people learn new skills and knowledge by observing what is happening around them in the world in their everyday lives. For example, someone may learn how to use a drill by observing someone else do it; they may learn how to add up by going shopping with a parent who encourages them to keep a running total of how much they are spending, and so on…

In the next blog we will look at some key concepts in the sociological study of education.

Tracey Jones


For more information about distance learning visit the Oxford Open Learning website or contact a Student Adviser.

If you’re a parent interested in home education visit Oxford Open Learning’s sister company Oxford Home Schooling.

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