External Factors to class under achievement

  • Created by: Mpow01
  • Created on: 04-02-19 21:08

Cultural Deprivation

Many working-class families fail to socialise their children adequately. These children grow up culturally deprived so they lack the norms and values to success in education

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Language (Feinstein)

Found that more educated parents spoke to their parents in a more cognitive manner encouraging children to think for themselves. He also found that they were praised more.

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Speech codes (Bernstein)

Two codes:

  • Restricted code - Used by working class and has a limited vocabulary and is descriptive, not analytic 
  • Elaborated code - Used by middle class and SCHOOLS so they, therefore, achieve higher results at school. It has a wide range of vocabulary and has more grammatically complex sentences

Elaborated code is used in textbooks and by teachers

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Parenting Style

Educated parents have high expectations and discipline their children and support achievement and encourage them to learn

Less educated parents have a harsh discipline to their children, doing what they are told, which leads to less independence and self-control so less motivation at school

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Parents educational behaviours

Educated parents know how to make children's education progress e.g. by reading to them whereas non-educated lack this knowledge.

Educated parents also are able to get better advice on childrearing and establish better relationships with teachers as they are more likely to attend parents evening. They also take children to libraries 

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Use of income

Educated Parents spend their money in a way that helps promote their child's educational success. 

Bernstein and Young - middle-class mothers are more likely to buy educational toys that stimulate educational development.

Educated parents also have a better understanding of nutrition and the importance of child development 

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Working class subculture

Lack of parental interest in their children's education reflects the subcultural values of the middle class. They have different goals, beliefs and attitudes to the rest of society.

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Working class barriers to educational achievement

Fatalism - Belief in whatever will be will be. There is nothing you can do to change your status and you have to accept it.

Collectivism - Valuing being part of a group rather than succeeding individually 

Immediate Gratification - Seeking pleasure for now rather than sacrificing it and seeking better rewards in the future

Present time orientation - Seeing the present as more important than long term goals

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Sugarman continued

Working class children internalise these beliefs through socialisation resulting in them underachieving at school

Sugarman argues these working-class values exist because the job prospects they have are less secure jobs that require little long term goal planning 

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Compensatory education

Tackles cultural deprivation by providing extra resources to deprived areas.

E.G. Operation Headstart, Sesame street transmitted attitudes and skills needed for educational success

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The myth of Cultural Deprivation

Keddie - Victim blaming explanation, the theory fails to blame the school for underachievement, no child is deprived of its own culture. She recognises that rather than seeing working-class values as deficient for the education system, the schools should recognise and build on it's strengths. 

Troyna and Williams - Teachers have speech hierarchy where they label middle-class speech as the highest

Blackstone and Mortimore - Working class attend fewer parents evenings and work longer hours than middle class and therefore less in touch with their child's educational career

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Material Deprivation

Lack of material necessities such as adequate housing and income.

Department of education - Third of pupils who get FSM achieve five or more GCSE's

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Lack of housing space or overcrowding means less room for educational activities and disturbed sleep, therefore, lower achievement. 

Can cause psychological distress and accidents which can also affect educational achievements 

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Diet and Health

Howard - Working class homes have a lower intake of vitamins and minerals which weakens the immune system which causes absenteeism.

Wilkinson - the lower the social class the higher the hyperactivity and anxiety which can affect achievement. 

SureStart- New Labour government set up 3,500 centres which gave disadvantaged children access to care, family support and health services as well as education services.

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Financial Support and the costs of education

Lack of financial support means children from poor backgrounds have to do without equipment and miss out on school trips. Bull - this is the costs of free schooling 

Poor children have cheaper fashionwear which may make them subject to bullying by peers

Smith and Noble - Poverty acts as a barrier to better quality learning such as private schools.

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Fear of debt

Going into university involves getting into debt, therefore, working class stay away from it as they cannot afford it

Callender and Jackson - working class have an attitude to debt 

Reay - working-class students go to local universities as it is cheaper to stay at home and you are promoting collectivism as well

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Cultural Capital (Bordieu)

Cultural and material factors are interrelated

There are three types of capital that middle class possess that working class don't: Economic, educational and cultural capital.

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Cultural capital

Knowledge, values, attitude and tastes of the middle class.

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Educational and economic capital

All three capitals can be converted into each other for example

Middle-class children with cultural capital are more likely to be equipped for school and therefore gain qualifications which are education capital 

Parents can convert their economic capital into education capital by sending children to private school

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Testing Bordieus Ideas

Sullivan used 465 pupils with questionnaires to assess tv viewing habits and whether they visited art galleries or museums

The pupils with greatest cultural capital were those of parent graduates 

But pupils with same cultural capital but different social class middle class pupils still did better.

Sullivan concluded that greater resources and aspirations of middle-class families means greater success. 

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