Class differences in achievement- external factors

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  • Class differences in achievement- External factors
    • Cultural Deprivation
      • Language
        • Hubbs-Tait et al(2002) found that parents who use language to challenge their children improved cognitive performance.
          • Feinstein found that educated parents are more likely to do this.
        • Berieter and Engelmann claim that language used in lower-class homes is deficient- communicate by gestures, single words or disjointed phrases.
        • Speech code- Bernstein: Restricted code- used by working-class, limited vocab, based on use of short, unfinished, grammatically simple sentences. Elaborated code- used by middle-class, wider vocab, longer and more complex sentences.
          • Give middle-class children an advantage at school- elaborated code used by teachers, textbooks and exams.
      • Parents' education
        • Study by Douglas (1964) found that working-class parents placed less value on education- therefore less ambitious for their children, took less interest.
        • Feinstein- parents' own education is the most important factor affecting children's achievement.
          • Parenting style- Educated parents style emphasis consistent discipline and high expectations of their children. Less educated parents style is marked by harsh or inconsistent discipline.
          • Parents' educational behaviour- educated parents are more aware of what is needed to assist their children's educational progress, e.g. reading to them, taking them on educational trips.
          • Use of income- Educated parents have higher income, buy books, toys, nutritional food to help their children,
      • Working-class subculture
        • Sugarman (1970)- working-class subculture has 4 key features that act as a barrier to educational achievement.
          • Fatalism- belief in fate, 'there is nothing you can do to change your status'.
          • Collectivism- valuing being part of a group more than succeeding as an individual.
          • Immediate gratification- seeking pleasure now rather than making sacrifices in order to get rewards in the future.
          • Present-time orientation-not having long term goals.
        • Compensatory education: aim to tackle the problem of cultural deprivation by providing extra resources to schools and communities in deprived areas.
    • Material deprivation
      • Housing
        • Poor housing can affect pupils' achievement- overcrowding can have a direct affect, making it harder to study.
          • For younger children, development can be impaired through lack of space for safe play and exploration.
        • Poor housing can have indirect affects- children in crowded homes at more risk of accidents- result in absence from school.
      • Diet and health
        • Howard (2001)- young people from poorer homes have lower intake of energy, vitamins and minerals- weakens immune system resulting in absence from school.
          • Children from poorer homes are also more likely to have emotional or behavioural problems.
            • Wilkinson (1996)- among ten year olds, lower the social class, the higher the rate of hyperactivity, anxiety and conduct disorders.
            • Blanden and Machin (2017)- Children from low income families were more likely to engage in fighting, temper tantrums- disrupting schooling.
      • Financial support and the costs of education
        • Lack of financial support means that children from poor families have to do without equipment and miss out on educational opportunities,
          • Poor children have to make do with hand me downs and cheaper, unfashionable equipment- result in isolation, bullying.
        • Smith and Noble (1995)- poverty acts as a barrier to learning in other ways- inability to afford private schooling or tuition.
        • Lack of funds also results in poorer children needing to find work- babysitting, paper rounds. Has negative affect on school work.
      • Fear of debt
        • Attitudes towards debt may deter working-class students from going to uni.
        • Data from nationwide questionnaire- Callender and Jackson found that working-class students are more debt averse.
    • Cultural capital
      • Bourdieu
        • Cultural capital
          • Refer to the knowledge, attitudes, values, language, tastes and abilities of the middle-class.
            • Middle-class children acquire the ability to grasp, analyse and express abstract ideas- more likely to develop intellectual interests and an understanding of what the educational system requires for success.
            • Working-class children find that school devalues their culture as 'rough' and inferior- lack of cultural capital leads to exam failure,
        • educational and economic capital
          • Middle-class children with cultural capital are better equipped to meet the demands of the school curriculum and gain qualifications.
          • Middle-class parents can convert their economic capital into educational capital- send their children to private schools.
        • Test of Bourdieu's ideas
          • Sullivan (2001)- questionnaire to conduct a survey on 465 pupils in four schools- found that those who read complex fiction and watched serious TV documentaries developed wider vocab and greater cultural knowledge, indicating greater cultural capital.

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