Differential achievement : Social class

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  • Differential Achievement: Social class
    • Outside school
      • Deprivation
        • Material deprivation (The lack of money leading to disadvantages in society)
          • SMITH & NOBLE: list the "barriers to learning" which can result from a poor income E.g not being able to afford the right uniform leads to bullying.
            • Reduces the chance of having the right equipment and environment to study in
              • Older children are likely to have a part time job in order to help out at home.
                • BURSARY'S have been put in place in order to help students from low income backgrounds to buy resources and reduce PT work
        • Cultural deprivation (A lack of certain norms, values, attitudes and skills needed in society)
          • DOUGLAS: conducted a longlitudinal survey (5000 questionnaires) which related educational achievement to parental interest. Middle class parents were more interested than working class.  E.g. visited the school more often.
            • Douglas argued that educational achievement could be traced back to primary socialisation during pre-school years.
            • BALL ET AL: working class parents were interested in their children's education but lacked the cultural and material capital needed to use the system to their advantage.
      • Speech patterns
        • Restricted code
          • Uses short hand speech where the users of the code have so much in common that there is no need to make meanings explicit in speech.
            • Meanings can be conveyed by gesture and tone of voice. This is used amongst the working class
        • Elaborated code
          • This code is used by the middle class.  It fills in the detail and provides explanations omitted by the restricted code.
            • Anyone can understand the elaborate code.
      • Critique
        • BALL ET AL : middle class can used their cultural capital to play the system E.g. league tables.
        • BORDIEU: the lack of cultural capital disadvantages the working class.
    • Inside School
      • The organisation of schooling
        • GILBOURN & YOUDELL : league tables create an "A*-C economy" where schools channel most of their efforts into those likely to get 5 A*-C grades. This creates a system of "EDUCATIONAL TRIAGE" where working class are seen to be of low ability
        • BALL: students in lower sets begin to rebel & misbehave where as higher streamed students work hard and study.
      • Labelling
        • BECKER studies the way teachers classify and evaluate pupils on the basis of their ideal student.
          • Teachers had difficulty in dealing with pupils from a working class background due to the way they perceived them
          • Children from non-manual background were seen as the ideal.
          • Teacher labels becomes the "master status" which usually sticks with students.
      • Pupil subcultures
        • The distinctive norms and values developed by young people at school. Some are anti and some are pro.
        • WILLIS: working class students dont accept the hidden curriculum
        • MAC & GHAILL: The way the students are organised into sets, the type of curriculum they follow and teh teacher-student relationships they have all effect their achievements
          • "macho lads" were in the bottom sets
          • Academic achievers were in top sets
          • New enterprises followed vocational subjects
          • Real Englishmen were middle class students  who rejected what teachers had to offer as they felt superior
      • The Formal Curriculum
        • Marxists believe that the educational system is in favour of the middle class as they have more cultural capital.
          • The working class haven't been socialised into the dominant culture.
        • The curriculum has tended to be ETHNOCENTRIC and PATRIARCHAL
      • Policies
        • Private schools are normally offered to the upper class, giving them a better education.
        • League tables and OFSTED reports favour the middle class as they can process the information and move into the catchment areas
    • Working class
      • Reasons why they didnt visit the school as much
        • Transport is too expensive
        • Work longer hours
        • Have childcare responsibilities
      • SUGARMAN described the working class culture as:
        • PRESENT-TIME ORIENTATED: living for the moment instead of planning for the future
        • FATALISTIC: accepting the situation instead of trying to improve it
        • IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION: taking pleasures now rather than making sacrifices for the future whereas the middle class have deferred gratification


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