A-Level Sociology - Education

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  • Cultural Deprivation
    • External Factors
      • Material Deprivation
        • Lack of language skills, and foreign qualifications aren't recognised by UK employers
        • Asylum seekers may not be able to work
        • Class doesn't override ethnicity - Materially deprived Indian and Chinese pupils do better e.g. 2011 - 86%Chinese on free school meals got 5+GCSEs compared to 65% of white girls not on free schools meals - study showed lower  income only effected white pupils
        • 1/2 of all ethnic minorities live in low income houses, ethnic minorities are 2x more likely to be unemployed, 3x more likely to be homeless
      • Ethnic Differences
        • Whites/Asians do better than blacks, in ethnic groups M/C do better than W/C, white W/C perform worse than ethnic W/C, white pupils make less progress between 11-16, ethnic minorities more likely to go to uni (survey of 16,000
        • Education
    • Pryce (1979) Blacks are less resistant to racism than Asian - low self-esteem and underachievement - says its due to colonialism - blacks lost freedom, Asians didn't
    • Black families may lack a father figure - creates a deprived early upbringing - mother too busy (triple shift) - lack of role model. New Right - Lone parenthood leads to underachievement - failure in achievement is failure to embrace British culture
    • Children in low income black families lack intellectual activities - less equipped for school
    • Asian Families - high value on education, adult authority similar to the model in schools - respect is expected
    • Attitudes and Values - Lack of motivation is common in black families - fatalistic subculture
  • Sewell: Fathers, Gangs, and Culture - Black families  usually lack the father nurturing and tough love role - makes it difficult in emotional difficulties. Leads them to have media based role models (leads to anti-school subculture)
    • Critics argue that institutional racism causes failure
    • Study showed that the main barrier to success was peer pressure
    • Cultural Deprivation
      • External Factors
        • Material Deprivation
          • Lack of language skills, and foreign qualifications aren't recognised by UK employers
          • Asylum seekers may not be able to work
          • Class doesn't override ethnicity - Materially deprived Indian and Chinese pupils do better e.g. 2011 - 86%Chinese on free school meals got 5+GCSEs compared to 65% of white girls not on free schools meals - study showed lower  income only effected white pupils
          • 1/2 of all ethnic minorities live in low income houses, ethnic minorities are 2x more likely to be unemployed, 3x more likely to be homeless
        • Ethnic Differences
          • Whites/Asians do better than blacks, in ethnic groups M/C do better than W/C, white W/C perform worse than ethnic W/C, white pupils make less progress between 11-16, ethnic minorities more likely to go to uni (survey of 16,000
          • Education
      • Pryce (1979) Blacks are less resistant to racism than Asian - low self-esteem and underachievement - says its due to colonialism - blacks lost freedom, Asians didn't
      • Black families may lack a father figure - creates a deprived early upbringing - mother too busy (triple shift) - lack of role model. New Right - Lone parenthood leads to underachievement - failure in achievement is failure to embrace British culture
      • Children in low income black families lack intellectual activities - less equipped for school
      • Asian Families - high value on education, adult authority similar to the model in schools - respect is expected
      • Attitudes and Values - Lack of motivation is common in black families - fatalistic subculture
  • Pupil Identity - Archer - teachers dominant ideology defined how ethnic pupils identify themselves
    • Ideal pupil identity - white, M/C, normal sexuality, achieves naturally - victims of Halo Effect
    • Pathologised Pupil identity - Asian, oppressive sexuality, over-achiever through hard work
    • Demonised pupil identity - Black or whit, W/C unintelligent, peer led, culturally deprived, underachiever
    • Internal Factors
      • Marketisation - Gillborn - gives schools more scope for pupils, allows negative stereotypes to influence decisions on school admissions
      • Rejecting labels - Fuller - Black girls yr11  achieved higher than other blacks in lower streams, teacher seen as racist relies on themselves to succeed. Mac an Ghail - Blacks and Asians in sixth form didn't accept label school e.g. Girls at an all girl school had better academic commitment  to overcome labels
      • Pupil responses and subcultures - becoming withdrawn or disruptive - or reject labels - doesn't always become SFP
      • Black pupils and streaming - Negative stereotypes - blacks are in lower streams - were in than those of the same ability - SFP
      • Black Pupils and Discipline - Gillborn - teachers disciplined blacks more quickly than others  for the same behaviour - racialised expectations - pupils responded badly - felt teachers underestimated their abilities
      • Racism in society - poverty may be a result of racism: Racial discrimination - social exclusion e.g. substandard housing compared to whites of the same class - explains why minorities are likely to face unemployment and low pay
      • Critical race theory - racism is ingrained in society (individual and institutional). Locked-in equality - Gillborn - unavoidable feature of education
      • Teacher racism - Asians and Blacks aren't seen as ideal pupils - negative labels lead to teachers treating them differently resulting in failures
      • Ethnocentric Curriculum - gives priority to one culture over another - example of institutional racism e.g. in literature/language/music less wanting to teach Asian languages compared to Euro languages - ignores non-euro cultures - leads to underachievement as if Brits are taught about the people they colonised blacks may suffer from low self-esteem
      • Criticism - Sewell argues against Gillborns point that institutional racism is the main cause of underachievement and questions whether institutiional racism is strong enough to stop individual success
  • Mirza - Racist teachers discouraged blacks from being ambitious via career advice
    • 3 types of teacher racism: Colour Blind - all pupils are equal  but allow racism to go unchallenged. Liberal Chauvinists - blacks are culturally deprived, have low expectations. Overt racists - blacks are inferior and discriminate them. In a study black girls would avoid racist teacher by choosing who to ask for help
      • Internal Factors
        • Marketisation - Gillborn - gives schools more scope for pupils, allows negative stereotypes to influence decisions on school admissions
        • Rejecting labels - Fuller - Black girls yr11  achieved higher than other blacks in lower streams, teacher seen as racist relies on themselves to succeed. Mac an Ghail - Blacks and Asians in sixth form didn't accept label school e.g. Girls at an all girl school had better academic commitment  to overcome labels
        • Pupil responses and subcultures - becoming withdrawn or disruptive - or reject labels - doesn't always become SFP
        • Black pupils and streaming - Negative stereotypes - blacks are in lower streams - were in than those of the same ability - SFP
        • Black Pupils and Discipline - Gillborn - teachers disciplined blacks more quickly than others  for the same behaviour - racialised expectations - pupils responded badly - felt teachers underestimated their abilities
        • Racism in society - poverty may be a result of racism: Racial discrimination - social exclusion e.g. substandard housing compared to whites of the same class - explains why minorities are likely to face unemployment and low pay
        • Critical race theory - racism is ingrained in society (individual and institutional). Locked-in equality - Gillborn - unavoidable feature of education
        • Teacher racism - Asians and Blacks aren't seen as ideal pupils - negative labels lead to teachers treating them differently resulting in failures
        • Ethnocentric Curriculum - gives priority to one culture over another - example of institutional racism e.g. in literature/language/music less wanting to teach Asian languages compared to Euro languages - ignores non-euro cultures - leads to underachievement as if Brits are taught about the people they colonised blacks may suffer from low self-esteem
        • Criticism - Sewell argues against Gillborns point that institutional racism is the main cause of underachievement and questions whether institutiional racism is strong enough to stop individual success
  • Gifted and talented programme - created to meet needs of more able pupils in inner city schools - benefits these pupils against minorities - official stats show that whites are more likely to be seen as G&T than blacks
    • Exam Tiers - Tikly et al - 30 schools in the aiming high initiative to raise black Caribbean achievement but entering them in lower tier exams - only allowing them to get a C
  • Model Minorities - Chinese and Indians do well - this suggests that institutional racism cant exist. Gillborn says this is because they are seen as models and perform ideological functions and hides racism, makes the system seem fair,
    • Criticism - ignores that model  minorities still suffer racism in school e.g. Chinese being harassed like blacks
  • Gender Differences
    • Internal Factors
      • Experience of schooling/gender identity - schools reinforce traditional/hegemonic gender roles and femininity - gender identity varies by class and ethnicity
      • Verbal abuse - boys who study hard get called 'gay'
      • Traditional male identities - boys don't see school as a boy thing - W/C boys see it as 'queer', M/C work hard but hide it (Mac An Ghail)
      • Hyper feminine identity - hair and makeup clash with  school (Jackson)
      • Criticisms
        • Skelton et al - feminisation of teaching doesn't have a negative impact on boys achievement, 65% of children rejected the idea that the gender of their teacher mattered, no major difference, both similar in discipline, fairness and encouragement
        • Exaggerates the extent of male underachievement - boys are catching up with girls and are improving
      • Out of school factors need to play a role - boys learn to be typical boys at home and their peers reinforce this (primary socialisation)
      • Subject counsellors - advise boys to choose 'boy' subjects
      • Feminisation of teaching - increase in female teachers
      • Teacher Labelling - Abraham - boys= disruptive, low expectations. Girls= studious, high expectations. *link to interactionism - SFP*
      • Boys domination of equipment puts girls off practical subjects e.g. PE
      • Subcultures - Willis - boys more likely to form an anti-school subculture
    • External Factors
      • Changes in the family - dual earner households, more female working role models., lone parent families (90% headed by females), smaller families, staying single - more opportunity and need to be economically independent *link to family*
      • Parental attitudes - Traditional W/C dads my expect their sons to not try hard at school
      • Changes in employment -  decline in manufacturing sector - crisis of masculinity, 1970 equal pay act, 1975 sex discrimination act - women had an incentive to work and get qualifications
      • Differential Socialisation doesn't explain why girls over took boys in 80s - gender socialisation has only become gender neutral in recent years
      • Criticisms
        • Willis (1997) - Lads formed an anti-school subculture and rejected education even when they had jobs to go to - suggests other causes of male underachievement besides crisis of masc.
        • Decline of manufacturing and crisis of masc. only effects W/C boys - explains their achievement relative to girls , doesn't explain why M/C girls also outperform M/C boys - who are less likely to associate masculinity with factory work
        • McDowell - research on aspirations of white W/C youth - sample of males with low educational achievement living in Sheffield and Cambridge, followed from school to work - criticises crisis of masc. - boys had a laddish culture but weren't aggressive or put off by 'feminine work'
      • Impact of feminism - equal opportunity policies, more rights
      • Changes in girls ambitions - from marriage and family to career and money - Sharpe 1994
      • Differential Socialisation - girls socialised to be more passive
      • Policy Changes - introduction of coursework (1988), scaling back of coursework (2015) - Girls were seen to be better at coursework as they were better organised and could concentrate longer
      • Difficult to measure the impact of feminism - changes in employment may be due to other technological/cultural changes
    • 1980s - boys outperform girls, now - girls do better than boys by around 8%, 30% more girls in uni than there are boys
  • Durkheim (1903) 2 basic functions: Promotes social solidarity - reinforces norms and values, teaches children to follow universalistic rules which are essential for co-operation in society. Preparing young people for work - supplies specialist skills for modern society
    • Functionalism
      • Parsons (1961) Secondary socialisation - school is a miniature society and schools acts as a bridge to wider society. Meritocracy - based on individual achievement and equal opportunity. Particularistic standards (apply to that child) universalistic standards (apply to all)
      • Davis and Moore (1945) - Role allocation - most talented pupils get most important jobs. Meritocratic system allows equal competition - sifts and sorts people - role allocation - as a result society functions better
        • Human Capital Theory - skills of the workforce  are a modern industrial society's main economic asset - or 'capital'
      • Evaluations
        • Hargreaves (1982) - schools place more value on competition (e.g. league tables) and developing individuals rather than developing a sense of social solidarity
        • A persons characteristics (class, gender, ethnicity)are more important in determining future income than achievement in schools
        • Education is not meritocratic, schools discriminate against some groups - doesn't give equal opportunities
        • Marxists - values transmitted by education arent society's shared value, but those of the ruling class - Hidden Curriculum (Bowles and Ginits)
        • Interactionists -   socialisation is deterministic, not all pupils passively accept values
  • Marxists - values transmitted by education arent society's shared value, but those of the ruling class - Hidden Curriculum (Bowles and Ginits)
  • Evaluations
    • Marxism
      • Willis -Boys in anti-school subculture shared similar outlook to workers in factories they were likely to end up in. W/C pupils can resist attempts to indoctrinate through acts of deviance. Also notes similarity between anti-school subcultures and shop floor culture of male manual workers.
      • Althusser - 2 elements that keep Bourgeoisie in power: Repressive State Apparatus (RSA) - keep rules through force e.g. army. Ideological State Apparatus (ISA) - keeps rules by controlling ideas e.g. religion, education
      • Education serves 2 functions: Reproduce class inequality through use of ISA  - school uses FCC to encourage pupils to accept future work roles (passive, exploitative) Legitimize class inequality by producing ideologies that disguise its true cause - e.g. persuading workers that inequality is inevitable - False Class Consciousness
      • Bowles and Ginits - Found schools reward pupils who are submissive and compliant. Suggest Correspondence Theory - parallel between school and work (mirror each other), prepares pupils for work
    • B&G - Crown - modern businesses need shared team work and creativity but exam system encourages competition and judgement
    • Functions - in schools today there are many policies aimed at different children to try and give equal opportunities - less inequality
    • W - Group interviews , conformity, influence over each other
    • W - Triangualted methods - ppt observation and interviews - in-depth data
    • B&G - Reynolds - curriculum doesnt seem designed to teach the skills needed by employers or uncritical passive behaviour that makes workers easy to exploit  e.g. survival of social studies and less emphasis of sciences suggests lack of correspondence
    • W - Small sample, not generalisable, also gender bias as only boys were studied
    • B&G - Fails to recognise lack of correspondence between schools and the needs of the economy
  • Evaluations
    • New Right
      • 2 Roles for the State: Impose framework on which schools have to compete (e.g. Ofsted reports, league tables), gives parents info to make informed choices about schools. Ensure transmission of a shared culture - national curriculum ensures schools socialise pupils into a single cultural heritage
      • Chubb and Moe (1990) - US state schools are failing as they don't meet the needs of disadvantaged groups, fails to produce skilled pupils for the economy, those who attend private school get higher quality education. Marketisation would allow consumers to shape schools to meet their needs and improve quality.
      • Role of educations
        • Functionalism
          • Parsons (1961) Secondary socialisation - school is a miniature society and schools acts as a bridge to wider society. Meritocracy - based on individual achievement and equal opportunity. Particularistic standards (apply to that child) universalistic standards (apply to all)
          • Davis and Moore (1945) - Role allocation - most talented pupils get most important jobs. Meritocratic system allows equal competition - sifts and sorts people - role allocation - as a result society functions better
            • Human Capital Theory - skills of the workforce  are a modern industrial society's main economic asset - or 'capital'
          • Evaluations
            • Hargreaves (1982) - schools place more value on competition (e.g. league tables) and developing individuals rather than developing a sense of social solidarity
            • A persons characteristics (class, gender, ethnicity)are more important in determining future income than achievement in schools
            • Education is not meritocratic, schools discriminate against some groups - doesn't give equal opportunities
            • Interactionists -   socialisation is deterministic, not all pupils passively accept values
        • Marxism
          • Willis -Boys in anti-school subculture shared similar outlook to workers in factories they were likely to end up in. W/C pupils can resist attempts to indoctrinate through acts of deviance. Also notes similarity between anti-school subcultures and shop floor culture of male manual workers.
          • Althusser - 2 elements that keep Bourgeoisie in power: Repressive State Apparatus (RSA) - keep rules through force e.g. army. Ideological State Apparatus (ISA) - keeps rules by controlling ideas e.g. religion, education
          • Education serves 2 functions: Reproduce class inequality through use of ISA  - school uses FCC to encourage pupils to accept future work roles (passive, exploitative) Legitimize class inequality by producing ideologies that disguise its true cause - e.g. persuading workers that inequality is inevitable - False Class Consciousness
          • Bowles and Ginits - Found schools reward pupils who are submissive and compliant. Suggest Correspondence Theory - parallel between school and work (mirror each other), prepares pupils for work
    • Real cause of low educational standards is social inequality and inadequate funding in state schools
    • Education system is failing as its run by the state. Marketisation would raise standards, create diversity and choice, and be more efficient
    • Propose a voucher system to be spent on education- would force school to be more responsive to parents wishes
  • 1944 The Butler Act (conservative government) - free education for all, introduction of Tripartite System - result in 11+ exam leads to grammar schools (20%), Secondary Schools (75-80%), or technological schools - vocational/practical training.
    • Criticism - 11+ seen as culturally biased - favours M/C who gain access to grammar schools
    • Policies
    • Coalition/Conservative policies since 2010 - Education and Skills act makes education/training compulsory until the age of 18 (2015), Neo-liberalism and privatisation of education - academies owned by private, often overseas, companies, Uni fees increased - max £9000 (2012)
      • Criticism - Privatisation and competition doesn't improve the education system but turn it into a source of private profit (Ball 2011)
      • Policies

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