Education revision notes

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Sociology revision Education
School factors [Cultural:]
Labelling theory / selffulfilling prophecy
Streaming / Banding / Setting
Class, gender, ethnic background
Formal Curriculum (middle class knowledge)
Hidden curriculum
Antischool subcultures (Male: Willis / Female: Lees)
Language and textbooks (antifemale / black bias)
Gender relationships (teacher pupil / pupilpupil)
Gendered curriculum (patriarchal)
Teacher expectations, attitudes and behaviour (Nash)
Single / Dual sex schooling
Examination and skill changes (GCSE, Alevel, Coursework)
Changing attitudes to / expectations of work (males and females)
Functionalist approach to education
Meritocracy System where people are rewarded on the basis of ability and
1. Socialisation education helps to maintain society by socializing
young people into the norms and values. Durkheim argued that
education was promoting individualism and that it could lead to
social solidarity ( a state with of lack of shared norms)
2. Parsons suggested that educations form a bridge between the family
and the wider society by socializing children to adapt a meritocratic
3. Davis and Moore ­ role allocation, Education allocates people to the
most appropriate job for their talents
4. Skills provision education teaches the skills requires by the modern
industrial society.
5. Durkheim says that education passes on norms and values in order to
integrate individuals into society and helps to create social order.
Marxist approach to education
1. Education is seen as an important part of the superstructure of
2. It reproduces the inequalities and social relations of production in
capitalist society
3. It serves to legitimate these inequalities through the myth of

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Althusser(1971) says that the main role of education is to transmit
ISA values( Ruling class or capitalist) disguised as common values
5. Ramsay (1983) claimed that knowledge is being used as a form of
social control and there is a hidden curriculum to keep w/c and ethnic
minorities in place.
6. Bourdieu (1977) Symbolic violence where the w/c are effectively
duped in to accepting their failure and limited social mobility.…read more

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Material deprivation
Cultural deprivation
Intellectual development
Many w/c homes lack the books, educational toys and activities that
would stimulate a child's intellectual development
Douglas (1964) found that w/c pupils scored lower on tests of ability
than w/c pupils. He argued that this is because w/c parents are less
likely to support their children's intellectual development through
reading with them or other educational activities at home.
Bernstein and Young (1967) reached similar conclusions.…read more

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Cultural capital
Bourdieu and Passeron (1977) suggested that m/c cultural capital is
as valuable as material wealth. The forms of knowledge, values, ways
of interacting that m/c pupils possess are developed further and
rewarded by the education system.
Bourdieu (1984) argues both cultural and material factors contribute
to educational achievement and are interrelated.
Ball et al 3 types of parents privileged/skilled choosers m/c who use
their economic and cultural capital to select the best schools.…read more

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Overcrowding can make it harder for the child to study. It means less
room for educational activities, nowhere to do homework, disturbed
sleep from sharing beds/bedrooms
Poor, damp housing can affect the child's health making them ill
leading to a low attendance and the child falling behind
Diet and health
Howard (2001) notes that young people from poorer homes have
lower intake of energy, vitamins and minerals. Poor nutrition affects
health e.g.…read more

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Rist studied at an American kindergarten found that early on in the
children's start in the school they were put into settings. They found
at that the teachers set them according to appearance and family
Cicourel and Kibuse studied decisions of counsellors in a American
high school. Found that counsellor's classifications were influenced by
non academic factors such as posture, manner of speech, slang, walk
and clothes.…read more

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The antischool subculture
Lacey found those place in lower streams who tended to be w/c
suffer a loss of self esteem.
This label of failure pushes them to search for alternative ways of
gaining statues. This usually involves inverting the school's values of
hard work, obedience and punctuality.
Such pupils form an anti school subculture as a means of gaining
status among peers.
Joining an anti school subculture is likely to become a self fulfilling
prophecy of educational failure.…read more

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Silt shifting off loading pupils wit learning difficulties that are
expensive to teach and get poor results.
Ethnicity and educational achievement
Intellectual and linguistic skills
Language is a problem, many AC speak a different dialect of English
this may cause problems in schoolwork and communicating with
teachers leading to a disadvantage at school
Bowker (1968) identifies their lack of standard English as a major
barrier to progress in education and integration into wider society.…read more

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Material deprivation and class
Ethnic minorities are more likely to come from a w/c backgrounds this
mean they do not share the m/c class values of the school institution.
African Caribbean on average experience greater poverty (FSM), are more
likely to live in rented accommodation, attend schools that are more
In school factors for ethnic minority
Gillborn (1990) found that AC pupils were more likely to be given
detentions.…read more

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Feminism, Weiner (1995) has argued that teachers have more
forcefully challenged stereotypes and many sexist images have been
removed from learning material. However Best and Abraham found
that women continue to be presented as passive or in a narrow range
of domestic jobs. Work feminist sociologist in the 1970's and 80's has
led to greater emphasis on equal opportunities.
Behaviour Girls work harder than boys. On average girls put more
effort into work, take care with presentation.…read more


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