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Class differences in achievement ­ EXTERNAL FACTORS:
Even when compared to Middle Class children with the same IQ, working-class children are:
Less likely to be found in nursery schools
More likely to be poor readers when they start school
More likely to be in low sets and streams in…

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BEREITER AND ENGELMANN: claim that the language used in lower-class homes is
deficient: communicate by gestures, single words and disjointed phrases
As a result, children fail to develop the necessary language skills, growing up to
be incapable of abstract thinking or use language to compare, describe and
explain. And so…

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Operation Head Start: Multibillion dollar scheme of pre-school education in poor areas
introduces in the 1960s in the US. Its aim was `planned enrichment' of the deprived child's
environment to develop learning skills and instil achievement motivation. It included
improving parenting skills, setting up nursery classes, home visits by health…

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young children especially affected ­ development can be impaired through lack of
space for safe play and exploration (direct)
families living in temporary accommodation may move more frequently, and
therefore children will change schools more often, disrupting their education (direct)
it may affect the child's health and welfare ­ crowded…

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Gives m/c children advantages in school ­ these abilities are valued and rewarded with
qualifications (education system favours and transmits m/c values ­ w/c children find
school devalues their culture as inferior so their lack of cultural capital leads to failure.
Many w/c pupils `get the message' that education is…

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Class differences in achievement ­ INTERNAL FACTORS:
To label someone meant to attach a meaning or definition to them, often based on
stereotyped assumptions about them
BECKER: carried out an interactionist study of labelling based on interviews in 60 Chicago
high school teachers - found that they judged pupils…

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Fast learners were labelled as `tigers', often middle-class and of neat appearance ­
seated at the table nearest to her and encouraged them more
The other two groups were labelled as `cardinals' and `the clowns'. Seated further
away and were more likely to be w/c ­ these children were also…

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Differentiation ­ the process of teachers categorising pupils according to how they
perceive their ability, behaviour and/or attitude. Those who are deemed `more able' by
the school are given high status by being placed in a high stream, whereas those who are
deemed `less able' and placed in a low…

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Exam league tables lead to `A-C economy' ­ because of this, teachers focus time, effort
and resources on those pupils they perceive as having potential to gain A-C ­
educational triage

Educational triage:


Educational Triage

Those who will pass anyway Borderline C/D pupils ­ Hopeless

targeted for extra…

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Explaining it:
Some sociologists look towards factors within a school whilst others look outside of the school
But be aware...
Explaining the ethnic differences in attainment is difficult
This is because of changes over time
Changes at different levels of the education system ­ e.g. ­ many African boys




great job with the notes! Thank you so much! :D

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