Ethnic differences in achievement (Internal factors)

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  • Created on: 17-03-15 16:29
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  • Ethnic differences in achievement (Internal factors)
    • Labelling and teacher racism
      • Black Pupils
        • Gillborn and Youdell (2000) found teachers had 'racialised expectations (labels) about black pupils.
        • Teachers expected more discipline problems and saw their behaviour as threatening.
        • Black pupils felt they were more likely to be punished for the same behaviour.
        • Pupils felt that their teachers underestimated their ability and picked on them.
        • Gillborn and Youdell conclude that conflict between white teachers and black pupils stems from racist stereotypes teachers had, rather than pupils behaviour.
        • This can cause under-achievement because it leads to: higher levels of exclusions of black boys. lack pupils being placed in lower sets.
      • Asian Pupils
        • Wright (1992) found that Asian primary school children were stereotyped and treated differently.
        • Teachers assumed the children would have poor grasp of English so used simplistic language when speaking to them.
        • Teachers mispronounced childrens names.
        • Teachers saw them as a problem they could ignore.
        • As a result of these things, Asian pupils, especially girls were marginalised and prevented from participating fully, affecting their self-esteem.
        • Primary school teachers saw Asian pupils as 'passive' and conformist. Both teachers and pupils found Asian boys more feminine, vulnerable and less able to protect themselves.
    • Pupil responses and subcultures
      • Black pupils react in a variety of different ways to racist labelling in school. Sewell (1998).
        • Conformists-largest group. Keen to succeed, accepted schools goals and had friends from different ethnic groups.
        • Innovators-second largest group. Pro-education but anti-school. Valued success but not teachers approval.
        • Retreatists-tiny minority of isolated pupils disconnected from the school and black subcultures.
        • Rebels- small but visible minority of black pupils. Rejected schools goals/rules and conformed to 'black macho lad' stereotype. Aim was to be 'street hood'.
      • Rejecting negative labels
        • Fuller (1984) studied a group of high achieving year 11 black girls. They maintained a positive self-image by rejecting teachers stereotypes.
          • Recognised value of education and were determined to achieve. Didn't seek teachers approval and maintained friendships of black girls in lower sets.
        • However Mirza (1992) found black girls strategies for dealing with teachers racism e.g ignoring help-restricted opportunities.
    • The ethnocentric curriculum
      • 'Ethnocentric' refers to an attitude that prioritises the culture of one particular ethnic group while disregarding others.
      • Troyna and Williams claims the curriculum is ethnocentric as it gives priority to white culture and the English language.
      • Miriam David says the curriculum is 'specifically british' that teaches the culture of the host community. ignoring non-European language, literature and music.
      • Stephen Ball criticises the national curriculum for ignoring cultural and ethnic diversity. History ignores black and Asian people.
      • As a result ethnic groups feel their culture/identity is not valued in education and decreases their self-esteem-negative effect on achievement.
      • Functionalist would say that education is a value consensus and we need british values.
      • Criticisms- it is not clear what impact the curriculum has. May ignore different cultures but Indian and Chinese achievement is above national average.
    • Institutionalised racism
      • Troyna and Williams make a distinction between:
        • Individual racism- that results from prejudiced views of individuals.
        • Institutional racism-discrimination that is built into the way institutions such as schools/colleges operate.
      • Ethnocentric curriculum is a prime example of institutional racism.
    • Selection and segregation
      • The comimission for racial equality.
        • 1993 found racism in secondary schools, admissions procedures.
        • For example primary school reports stereotyped minority pupils; there was a lack of information in other languages and bias in entrance interviews.
      • Marketisation increases the amount of selection in the education system and creating more opportunities for negative stereotypes to affect school admissions.
        • This makes it difficult for some minori ty students  to get into high achieving schools.
        • As a result, the education system becomes racially segregated, with minority pupils more likely to be concentrated in unpopular, unsuccessful schools.
      • Self-segregation
        • Gewirtz found that asian parents made active choices to avoid 'rough' schools with a reputation for racism, opting instead for ones they perceived as 'safe' and with firm discipline.


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