Policies on gender and ethnicity

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  • Policies on gender and ethnicity inequality
    • Policies relating to ethnicity have gone through 3 stages: In the 1960s-70s, the aim of educational policy was to encourage assimilation as a way of increasing achievement.E.g. through 2nd language programmes (1980's and 1990's).
      • Criticism:  African Caribbean pupils = at risk of underachieving, yet English = 1st language. Real cause of underachievement = poverty or racism. Cretics oppose because they see it as an attempt to impose dominant white culture on a coherent cult. Propose Multicultural edu = better alternative.
      • In 1980's - 1990's the aim switched to valuing all cultures through multi-cultural education policies.  Promote the achievements of ethnic groups, thereby raising minority pupils' self-esteem and achievements. e.g. black studies in mainstream curriculum. More recently focus = social inclusion e.g. legal duty on schools to promote racial equality.
        • Criticism:  Stone- black pupils do not fail due to lack of self-esteem. Critical Race Theorists - MCE = tokenism. Picks out stereotypical features of minority cults , but fails to tack institutional racism.
        • Social inclusion: of ethnic minority = focus 1990s. Include: Amending Racial Relations Act  to place legal duty on schools to promote racial equality and detailed monitoring of exam results by ethnicity.
          • Criticism:  Gillborn - institutionally racist policies in relation to ethocentric curriculum, assessment and streaming continue to disadvantage minority ethnic groups. Ex: FSP (2003) assessments, teachers stereotype black pupils into lower streams, National curriculam = 'specifically british' (David).
      • Example: Compensary education policies = Operation Head Start (USA) compensates for cultural deficit due to said deprived backgrounds.
    • Gender inequality
      • 19th century females = excluded from HE. Tripartite system, girls had to achieve higher mark in 11+. 1970's - polices like GIST and WISE attempt to reduce inequality in subject choice. Female scientists visit schools acting as role models
        • National Curriculum 1988 removed one source of gender inequality by making girls and boys study mostly the same subjects
        • Boaler: equal opportunity policies = key reason for achievement of girls. Barriers removed allowing schools to become more meritocratic.
        • Criticism: radical feminists = women still undrepresnted in many areas of curriculum - History (Weiner) womens contribution to history = largely ignored. Still stereotypedinto certain career paths by services, sexual harassmentcontinues.


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