Educational sociology is a branch of discipline of sociology which studies the problems of relationship between society and education. It evolved as a discipline designed to prepare educators for their future tasks. It uses the results of sociological researches in planning educational activities and in developing effective methods of realizing these plans.
The main aim of educational sociology was to study social interaction. Francis Brown considered that, “All education proceeds by the participation of the individual in the social consciousness of the race.” He defined educational sociology as that discipline which applied the general principles and findings of sociology to the process of education.
Educational sociology is by definition a discipline which studies education sociologically, with the premise that it recognizes education as a social fact, a process and an institution, having a social function and being determined socially.
It is the application of sociological principles and methods to the solution of problems in an educational system.
Educational Sociology threw light on the importance of the interactions of different elements of the society with an individual. It emphasized the progress of the society through the medium of education. The problems of schooling and instructions were looked upon as problems of the society. The educational sociology tried to answer the questions – as to what type of education should be given? What should be the curriculum? Why children become delinquent?
It threw light on those institutions and organizations and on those social interactions that were important in educational process. It used educational interactions that helped in the development of the personality of the individual so that he becomes a better social being.
It was realized that though educational sociology made everyone realize the social nature of education, formulated ideals by which educational planning was guided, used the theoretical knowledge gathered by researches conducted by either sociologists or educational sociologists, there appeared to be confusion as to what the proper dimensions of educational sociology should be. There were differences of opinion regarding what types of researches are to be classified under the head of educational sociology.
This led to the thinking that there should be a separate branch of knowledge which can be designated as sociology of education. Soon educational sociology became a historical phenomenon. In 1963, the Journal of Educational Sociology became the Journal of Sociology of Education.
Sociology of Education may be defined as the scientific analysis of the social processes and social patterns involved in the educational system.