Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2009

Full Length Research Paper

The place of education in social development and its sociological foundations

Öztürk Eray
  • Öztürk Eray
  • Ministry of National Education, Turkey.
  • Google Scholar
Kardas Mesut
  • Kardas Mesut
  • Ministry of National Education, Turkey.
  • Google Scholar
Sapmaz Ali
  • Sapmaz Ali
  • Ministry of National Education, Turkey.
  • Google Scholar
Dönmez Ugur
  • Dönmez Ugur
  • Ministry of National Education, Turkey.
  • Google Scholar
Sahin Ìlhan
  • Sahin Ìlhan
  • Ministry of National Education, Turkey.
  • Google Scholar
Çölkesen Arif
  • Çölkesen Arif
  • Ministry of National Education, Turkey.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 06 June 2022
  •  Accepted: 22 July 2022
  •  Published: 31 August 2022


Equipping people with desired behaviors, that is, educating them, has been the most important goal throughout the ages. Today, this phenomenon is becoming more and more complex and its effect is felt more intensely. However, unless a person's behavior develops in a valid and reliable way, it is not possible to reach a longed for life style. A person can be intertwined with all kinds of processes, from the most concrete and simple relationships to the most abstract and complex ones. He is the person who will plan, build, operate the future, distribute products, consume, process nature, take products from it, build houses, schools, roads, dams or all, create or solve problems in objects and phenomena. As such, people must equip with consistent behaviors, that is, with problem-solving knowledge and skills. In this study, a descriptive analysis of the subject has been made and the relationship between education and economic development has been examined.


Key words: Social development, sociological foundations, education.


Education is the process of creating a consciously desired change in the behavior of the individual through his own life (Ertürk, 1972). This can be achieved through education (Sonmez, 2001). On the other hand, if an example is given from Turkey, some educational institutions support students professionally and economically as well as receiving education for the welfare of individuals and social development. Departments and programs in high school are determined. In other words, not every multi-program high school has the same departments and programs. For this reason, students who will make a choice should research the relevant high school in advance and have knowledge about it. In addition, internship opportunities are also offered for students studying in the vocational and technical department of the multi-program high school. In this way, students have the chance to apply the theoretical knowledge they have learned in schools in practice with various internship programs. In addition, they receive a certain fee for this and they are insured.


When Turkey's efforts to become a modern society are examined, it is seen that education forms the basis of the development movement. Educational institutions and teachers have had a special place in the westernization movements that have been going on for about a century and a half, and education has been accepted as a dynamic social force that changes the structure of the society and provides a better living standard for the youth and society. It is not possible to think of the education system independently of the society system and social needs. All countries have to renew their school and teaching activities in a way that will respond to changing modern production forms and methods. In this age, rapid changes in economic, social and technological fields affect social institutions and education systems are faced with the need for restructuring (Alkan, 1982). As a result of the production of science and technology, the circulation of scientific knowledge and the training of individuals with high creative potential, countries have undergone significant economic and political changes.  The tendency of continuous innovation and development among countries, especially in the field of education, has also accelerated the unlimited competition for more information and newer technology.


In parallel with the rapidly passing time, new formations and technological breakthroughs have also affected the education systems. The aim of education is to raise a healthy society with both an individual and a universal culture, with a high level of knowledge. All innovation and development initiatives in education are in the interest of all segments of the society. Since education is responsible for changes in society, it has to adapt to change before other systems. Welfare and happiness of a country depends on the people of that country to receive a qualified and continuous education and to contribute to economic growth with the knowledge and skills they will gain. For this reason, the most important driving force of socio-economic development and the most important element of productivity increase is the education level of the society.


Economic growth can be defined as the permanent increase in the national income of a country. The basic condition for this increase is to increase the total amount of production factors used in production (Hesapçioglu, 1984). For example, in the protocol signed between the Ministry of Agriculture And The Ministry of Education in Turkey, the relationship between education and economic development is emphasized. As in every sector, it is vital to continue on the road with cooperation in education in the agricultural sector as well. The cooperation of the agriculture and education world is needed by many factors such as the use of increasingly depleted natural resources during agricultural activities on the basis of effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, the integration of technology and traditional agriculture, the introduction of food safety and reliability.


It is known that a significant portion of national resources are allocated to education in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. The average expenditure per student in OECD countries excluding the USA is 9,130 dollars, which is more than 6 times the expenditure per student in Turkey (TÜBITAK, 2006). Increasing the level of education in a society increases the production capacity by increasing the quality of the workforce. An increase in the quality of the workforce can be achieved by investing in human capital. In this case, there is a relationship between the increase in the education level of the workforce and economic growth (Erdogan, 2006).


Development was previously defined only as economic growth and development. However, in the recent past and today, it is argued that development is not only about the material needs of people, but also about the improvement of their social conditions and the realization of their hopes. Economic development of a country is closely related to the personal and social development of the people of that country; it is emphasized that new value judgments developed through education and suitable for the purpose of development through social behavior are extremely important in terms of accelerating economic development (Kaya, 1984).


The role of education in the development of a country is the attempt of the political power to change the structure of the society by following certain economic policies in order to increase the welfare of individuals (Adam, 2005). In this respect, development is both an economic and a social process. The fact that many young people are raised in accordance with the goal of a developing economy and constitution shows that education has economic effects as well as social, cultural and psychological effects. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the role of education in development attracted attention and efforts in this area were considered as national investments. Experiences during and after the Second World War helped to better understand the relations between education and development. In this framework, a period of strong advanced technology and economic growth has begun in these countries (Yilmaz, 2003).


Development is possible with the development of technology that will increase production, and the best and rational use of natural resources and capital. What provides this is the trained human power. For example, many countries with petroleum, which is a very valuable natural resource, cannot benefit from these resources sufficiently because they do not have qualified manpower. Germany and Japan, which have very limited natural resources, have made great economic progress by making the best use of their scarce resources thanks to their trained manpower (Fidan and Erden, 1991; Kasliwal, 1995).


Investments in education will undoubtedly have an impact on economic survival (Sami, 2003). While emphasizing the education-development relationship, he states that the three basic production factors in the development of a country and reaching the level of contemporary civilization are respectively land, capital and labor, but it is argued that the most important of these is human labor. The backwardness of some countries that could not develop despite having sufficient capital and resources exemplifies this situation. He supported this view by explaining the main reason these countries could not develop because the education level of the population is very low. The biggest reason some rich countries are not considered developed is due to the lack of educated and trained manpower.


For example, he explained that a country with sufficient capital can establish a factory and have a dam built, but that there is a human element that will operate the factory, operate it and market the product obtained (Adam, 1981). In many studies on this subject, it has been revealed that there are interesting relationships between economic growth, which is defined as an increase in per capita income and other economic indicators, and social change, which is defined as the transition from a traditional-agricultural society to an industrialized contemporary society, and economic growth.


It is thought that there is a direct proportional relationship between per capita income or economic growth and education level. Therefore, it is possible to estimate the per capita income of a country when the literacy rate of a country is known, and the literacy rate when the per capita income is known. Education is an area where countries should invest. The resource allocated to education is not an expenditure, but a very necessary and even the most profitable investment for countries (Ünal, 1985). Developed country managers always keep education, which is a tool in the development of human resources, at the top of their agenda. The best economic policy we have is education. Regional development strategies will play an important role in providing new jobs and the skills needed for the economy of tomorrow. Another dimension of education in the development of the country is to make the learned information usable and marketable (Sedef, 2005). It is known that agriculture has gained great importance all over the world, especially with the epidemic, "In recent years, there has been a food crisis with the pandemic, the wars and food prices have increased. With this  cooperation  protocol,  the  future  of agriculture is extremely important. Therefore, for example, agricultural education in Turkey has been brought to the high school level. The children of those who are engaged in agriculture and those who are interested in agriculture prefer these vocational high schools are supported by government policies.


The increase in education expenditures for the development of human resources and economic development of developed countries is another example of this issue. Similar to other studies for developed countries, Kim's (1997) research revealed that more than 50% of economic development is due to technological developments that increase productivity and lead to new products and production methods (Turkmen, 1999). It has been determined that the return rate of education at the higher education level, both to the individual and to the society, is quite high (Türkmen, 2002).


Undoubtedly, every level of education is very important, but higher education institutions are of great importance in raising constructive and creative manpower that will ensure that the professions necessary for the development of a country are carried out in the best way.


Findings obtained from scientific research activities carried out in higher education institutions play an active role in raising, developing and changing the awareness of all institutions in the society (Fidan and Erden, 1991). In short, for the development of a country, a sufficient number of well-trained workforce is needed, as well as capital and technology transfer. For this reason, economists drew attention to the necessity of allocating more resources to education and supported initiatives in this regard. There is no doubt that many knowledge and skills that education will provide will affect the development of the society and reduce some of the negativities caused by the low education level of the individual.


As a result, the importance of education in economy and development was not emphasized in this study. Societies, with the increase in the level of education, contribute to the society in which the individual lives in the measure of productivity and the education he receives. The quality level of educational activities expresses the economic, social, political and cultural development of the society in which the individual lives. Scientific research has revealed that there are linear relationships between education level, economic growth, political and social development. Human resources, especially social development and, accordingly, its contribution to economic development is enormous. According to educational economists, education is the cornerstone of economic development. The purpose of education is to meet all kinds of wishes and needs of people. In order to contribute to sustainable development, cooperation protocols should be made with relevant sector representatives, ministries, universities and non-governmental organizations, and education stakeholders should be informed and motivated on this issue.


The authors have not declared any conflict of interests.


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