ethnicity and educational achievement

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  • ethnicity and educational achievement
    • cultural differences
      • this may affect students' achievement because schools are seen to be institutions where white 'mainstream' norms and values dominate
      • language spoken at home may also be an important factor affecting achievement
      • cultural norms and values of some ethnic groups may be different form mainstream cultural norms and values
    • labelling and teacher expectation
      • may also reflect social class background and gender differences
      • some teachers have stereotyped views and expectations of students due to their ethnic origin
      • african-carribean boys are often seen as more disruptive. Teachers expect less, so these students do not recieve as much encouragement. However African- Caribbean girls have a strong desire and motivation to succeed and reject the label. Teachers label may lead to a slef fulfilling prophecy
    • home and social class background
      • minority ethnic pupils are more likely to experience deprivation than white British pupils
      • class position may be influenced by the types of work offered to groups coming to Britain
    • racism
      • Asian children may be excluded from discussion work due to teacher's assumptions about their language abilities
      • may be more likely to receive negative attention from teachers
      • students may feel rejected by the school
      • may be excluded from sport teams due to observing prayers etc
      • may be entered for lower level exams or placed in lower sets
    • parental expectations
      • it has been argued that parents from some ethnic backgrounds are less interested in their children's education
      • educational success and failure can be explained by the level of encouragement received from parents of guardians
      • many studies have disproved this, such as the Inner London Education Authority Study in 1987 of Indian families
    • type of school attended
      • influences in school affect achievement regardless of ethnicity
      • ethnic minority students who went to good schools would do as well as white students in these schools
    • trends
      • 80% male Chinese students got 5+ A* to C vs 55% white males
      • girls consistently do better than boys in every ethnic group
      • statistically white students do better than those from a mixed background and a black background. 55% white males achieved 5+ A*-C compared with 52% Asian males and 46% black males
    • hidden curriculum
      • it is argued that subjects are biased towards a white European culture. This may lead to some students feeling a sense of not being valued which may lead to underachievement
    • lack of black teachers
      • may lead to lack of cultural understanding
      • may lead to a lack of role models
      • teachers from ethnic minority backgrounds are significantly underepresented


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