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Social class and educational achievement.
External explanation of class differences.
This argument is that the basic values,skills and attitudes that we need for educational success are
acquired via primary socialisation. These are language, self discipline and reasoning. Many working
class families fail to socialise there kids to theses skill and therefore they grow up culturally deprived
and fail at education. There are three aspects of cultural deprivation intellectual development.
Language, attitudes and values.
this includes the development of thinking and reasoning skills. They argue that working class homes
lack books and activities to stimulate child education development. Douglas found that due to
working class families not supporting intellectual development working class pupils score lower on
ability test. Bernstein and young argue that due to middle class mothers more likely to choose toys
that help children think this more prepares them for school.
Bereiter and engelmann found that working class homes use different language styles they
communicate more with gestures etc that children therefore do not develop language skills need for
school. As they cant properly express, describe or compare
Bernstein developed two codes of which middle and working class language works.
1)restricted code used by working classed. Limited sentences. Predictabile using
single word or gestures.
2)elaborated code used by middle classed and schools. Wide vocabulary, long
Bernstein argues the elaborated code is used at school, by teachers and in exams which put working
class pupils at the disadvantaged. Where as middle class students excel. He blames the school for not
teaching elaborated code and not the individual people.
Attitude and values
Douglas argue working class families bass less value on education, less ambition for their
children,less encouragement and interest. They take less interest to progress and visiting schools
results in lower motivation levels for working class children. Feinstein argues this lack of interest is
the main reason working class children under achieve. Some argue this lack of interest is more a
subculture working class value and does not represent all working class families.
Sugarman argues there are four main element of working class subcultures:
· fatalism what will be cant be change
· collectivism wanting to be part of a group
· immediate gratification seek pleasure right now instead of scarificing for
· Present time orientation present is more important than future.
The socialisation into this subculture leads to failure at school.
To over come this they created compensatory education targeting certain social groups and creating
policies to help them.
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Kiddie argues deprivation is a myth and it Is blaming the victim.
Some blame the schools attitudes
this refers to poverty and lacking material necesseties. Working class families are more likely to have
lower income and inadequate housing leading to educational failure.
Housing overcrowdedness means no room for homework. It stops development as it doesn't allow
exploration. There is also a greater risk of illness or accidents.…read more
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AC economy where schools focus
all there resources on students who can achieve ac as it will boost their league table position. It
ignores other pupils.…read more