Using material from Item A and elsewhere
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the view that factors and processes within the school are the main cause of differences in the educational achievement of different social groups. A person’s social class, ethnicity and gender have a major contribution to how a student achieves in education. In this essay I aim to assess the internal factors into why they make such a difference in education rather than the individual’s intellectual capacity. The first social group I will assess the internal factors of is social class. One factor affecting the educational achievement of different social groups is labelling.
Gillbourn and Youdell found that teachers see children of a middle class background are more likely to enter higher level exams. This is of disadvantage of lower class students are teachers are making general assumptions on the intelligence of a pupil through their social class. This supports the theory that students of a higher class are more likely to achieve in education. Research shows that the majority of jobs of the higher brackets of earnings and social class such as solicitors, doctors etc. are taken up by citizens of a middle or upper class status.
Using material from Item A and elsewhere Essay Example
Coincidently, it is the vast majority of middle or upper class children who attend fee-paying private schools. Banding, setting and streaming also can affect the educational achievement of students. This is where students are split into different ability groups. Becker had found that lower class students were seen as less ‘ideal’ than middle class children and then found themselves in a lower set because of this. This then can create a self-fulfilling prophecy for these students due a lowering in expectations of them. These are some internal factors affecting the achievement of students in a different social class.
In evaluation, the Marxist perspective have the opinion that it is not the teachers individual decisions of class division but that they are working in a system that reproduces class divisions. However, external factors are can also have a major effect on a student of a working class. For example, material deprivation theory states that the lack of resources such as equipment, adequate housing and a healthy lifestyle can also have a knock-on effect to the student’s educational achievement. Howard supports this as he states that an insufficient diet can affect the immune system possibly causing absence from school.
The ethnicity of a student can also play a large part in the educational achievement of a student. Becker claims that students are classified and racially stereotyped by teachers as not being ideal pupils. Gillbourn also argues that labelling is likely to result into a self-fulfilling prophecy causing disruption from black students. Research shows that black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi students are mainly below the national average indicating that the factor of ethnicity does in fact play a large part in the achievement of a student. This could also be related to the ethnocentric curriculum.
This is when the curriculum of an education system is culturally biased prioritising white cultures. Troyna and Williams are of the opinion that certain lessons such as English language and History are ethnocentric therefore putting other students at an advantage. In contrast, some are of the opinion that students of different ethnicities are of a disadvantage due to external factors such as language and linguistic skills not the curriculum. However, Gillbourn and Mirza point out that having English as a second language is not a barrier to success.
Another external factor effecting the educational achievement of different ethnicity students is material deprivation. Flaherty highlights that Pakistani’s and Bangladeshi’s are 3x more likely to be in the poorest 5th of the population than white people. The final social group I will assess the factors of is gender. Nowadays, statistics show that girls are more likely to succeed in education than boys. This could be because of many internal factors. Firstly, Sewell claims that the education has become feminised in that feminine traits are emphasised. This could be of a disadvantage to boys.
Another factor affecting the achievement of students of different genders is laddish subcultures. This is that to work hard in school is uncool according to Jackson. One final factor is teacher interaction. Barber identified that feedback from teachers to girls are more related to their work rather than their behaviour. A lack of interaction or quality interaction with a teacher can have an adverse effect on a student becoming demotivated and undermining their confidence. External factors in some peoples view are also a major part in a student’s achievement as regards to their gender.
An example of this is the general poorer level of literacy skills that boys possess. Mitsos and Browne place the blame on the lack of reading that boys partake in resulting in lower literary skills. Girls however are known for their ‘bedroom culture’ where they stay in, read and talk with friends. Another external factor to refer to is the unrealistic expectations of boys. Many boys want to become professional sportsmen etc. that require fewer qualifications. This means that when they fail exams they tend to refer to it as bad luck rather than a lack of effort or lack of knowledge.