Complete Education Revision Booklet SCLY2

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Class Difference in Achievement - External Factors
Cultural Deprivation
Parents pass on their basic values, attitudes and skills through primary socialisation which
are needed for educational success.
Many W/C families have failed to socialise their children adequately, leading to cultural
deprivation and school underachievement.
Three main aspects of cultural deprivation:
Intellectual Development
W/C homes lack the books, educational toys and activities that would stimulate a child's
intellectual development.
Douglas - W/C parents are less likely to support their children's intellectual development
through reading to them leading them to do worse than M/C children.
Language: Bernstein (1975)
Restricted Code (W/C): limited vocabulary + grammatically simple sentences.
Elaborated Code (M/C): wider vocabulary + longer, more grammatically complex sentences.
Speech is more varied and communicates abstract ideas.
These give M/C an advantage at school because the elaborated code is used by textbooks,
teachers and exams.
Criticism of Bernstein- Bernstein finds the W/C speech to be inadequate, but recognises
that the school influences children's achievement, arguing that W/C pupils fail because
schools fail to teach them how to use the elaborated code.
Attitudes and Values
Theorists argue that parents' attitudes and values affect education achievement.
Douglas found that W/C parents took less interest in education, giving their children less
achievement motivation (reflecting the sub cultural values of the W/C).
Hyman - the W/C believe that they have less opportunity for individual advancement and
place little value on achieving high status jobs, so they see no point of education (leave for
manual work).
Parents pass on the values of their class to their children through primary socialisation.
M/C values equip children for success, whereas W/C values fail to do this.
Compensatory education: a policy designed to tackle the problem of cultural capital by providing
extra resources to schools in deprived areas. E.g. Operation Head Start in the US which was a
multi billionaire dollar scheme of pre-school education in poorer areas introduced in the 1960s.
Criticisms of Cultural Deprivation:
Keddie: cultural deprivation is a 'myth' and W/C children are simply culturally different not
deprived. They fail because they are put a disadvantage by the education system which is
dominated by M/C values.
Blackstone and Mortimore reject the view that W/C parents are not interested in their
children's education. They argue that they attend fewer parents' evenings because they work
longer hours, not because they are disinterested.
Compensatory education acts as a smokescreen concealing the real cause of underachievement,
social inequality and poverty.
Material Deprivation: poverty and a lack of material necessities such as adequate housing and
In 2006, only 33% of children receiving free school meals (used to measure poverty) gained
give or more GCSEs at A*-C, against 61% not receiving free school meals.

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Nearly 90% of 'failing' schools are located in deprived areas.
W/C families are much more likely to have low incomes and inadequate housing which shows
the link between poverty and social class.
Poor housing can affect achievement directly and indirectly. E.g. Overcrowding can affect it
directly as the child has less room for educational activities, nowhere to do homework,
disturbed sleep from sharing beds and so on.…read more

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These pupils were more likely to be successful at
Gewirtz: Marketisation and Parental Choice:how cultural and economic capital can lead to
differences in educational achievement.
She examined class differences in parental choice of secondary school using interviews in her
study of 14 London schools, concluding that there were three main types of parents:
privileged-skilled choosers, disconnected-local choosers and semi-skilled choosers.
1.…read more

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IQ test. The researchers tested all the pupils and then
picked 20% of them randomly, and told the school that they were 'spurters'. When they
returned a year later, they found that almost half (47%) of those 'spurters' had made
significant progress, especially the younger children.
- They suggested that the teachers had been influenced by the test and the teachers' beliefs
were conveyed to the pupils e.g. body language thus showing how the SFP works .
- The SFP can also produce under-achievement.…read more

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Rebellion- outright rejection of everything the school stands for.
Furlong also observes that pupils don't stick to one response but tend to move between
different responses.
The limitations of labelling theory
The labelling theory is accused of determinism as it assumes that pupils who are labelled have
no choice but to fulfil the prophecy and will fail but Fuller's study shows that this is not always
true: the girls channelled their anger into the pursuit of educational success.…read more

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Walford's research on city technology colleges found that although they were intended to
provide vocational education in partnership with employers to recruit pupils from all social
backgrounds, in practice they have come to be just another route to elite education.
There is evidence that marketisation and selection have created a polarised education system;
popular, successful, well resourced schools with more able, M/C intake at one extreme and
unpopular, failing, under-resourced schools with mainly low-achieving W/C pupils at the other.…read more

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Keddie : culturally different not culturally deprived argument, and they underachieve because
schools are ethnocentric: biased to favour the white culture.
Material Deprivation & Class
Flaherty argues that ethnic minorities are more likely to face these problems: For example:
Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are over three times more likely than whites to be in the poorest
fifth of the population.
Unemployment is three times higher for African and Bangladeshi/Pakistani people than
whites.…read more

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The conformist- largest group. Keen to succeed and not a part of the subculture.
The retreatist- tiny minority of isolated individuals. Disconnected from both the school and
the black subculture.
The innovators- only valued success but only conformed to schoolwork, not the teachers.
Labelling theory shows how teachers' stereotypes can cause a failure
There is a danger as ethnic labelling can be seen as a teacher's prejudice and not racism in
wider society. Also outside factors can play a part e.g. influence of role models.…read more

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Vocational courses: a larger proportion of girls receive distinction in every subject than
External factors and gender differences in achievement
The impact of feminism
MOP equal rights view by Angela McRobbie who compared women's magazines from the 1970s
and 1990s. In the 1970s the magazines were emphasising the importance of marriage and the
1990s one had images of independent women.
Changes in the family
There have been major changes in the family since 1970s.…read more

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Mitsos and Browne suggest that girls are more successful at coursework because they are
better at meeting deadlines, more organised, spend more time on their work and more
Teacher attention
Swann and Graddol found that boys attract the teacher's attention so they get more
opportunities to speak. However, they found that teachers interacted with girls more positively
because the discussion focused on school work.…read more


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