Education: Ethnic differences in achievement

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Ethnic differences in achievement:

  • Everyone belongs to an ethnic group as well as class.
  • Ethnic group = people who share history, identity, language and religion.
  • Seen as a distinct unit, different culture, a learned and valued social group.
  • Problem in studying ethnicty and education = who's in the ethnic group, e.g. should all asians be classified together.

EVIDENCE OF DIFFERENCES:

  • White and Asians do better than blacks. 
  • But Indians do better than Pakistanis and Bengalis.
  • In ethnic groups Middle class do better than W.Class.
  • Many W.Class whites peform lower than other ethnic group W.Class.
  • Dfes 2010 study = 23% of white boys on free school meals = 5 GCSEs A*-C.
  • White pupils make less progress between 11-16.
  • explanations for differences are external and internal factors in education.
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External factors: Cultural Deprivation:

1) CULTURAL DEPRIVATION:

  • Some ethnic groups underachieving are because of socialisation at home too.
  • This explanation has 3 main aspects:
    • Intellectual and linguistic skills.
    • Attitudes and values.
    • Family structure and parental support.

INTELLECTUAL AND LINGUSTIC SKILLS:

  • Major cause of underachievement.
  • Say many children from low income black families lack intellectual activity.
  • Leaves them poorly equipped for school due to not developing problem solving skills.
  • Black families also have a language problem, often ungrammatical and disjoint.
  • There = concern whether children who don't speak english at home are held back.
  • But this is not true, e.g. pupil with english as not first language were 3.2% behind those who had english as first language in getting 5 GCSEs in 2010.
  • Indians are good example of language not being a problem.
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External factors: Cultural Deprivation:

ATTITUDES AND VALUES:

  • Lack of motivation is common in low income black families.
  • Most children have a mainstream culture where competitiveness and sacrifice for long term goals are made.
  • But black are socialised into a culture of fatalistic subculture, live for today attitude.
  • This doesn't help them succeed.

FAMILY STRUCTURE AND PARENTAL INCOME:

  • Unable to socialise children properly may be result of family structure.
  • E.g. Black families usually lack a father which created a deprived caring upbringing as she is too busy with finance as the breadwinner too.
  • Lacking a father means no role model too.
  • Some New Right say high rate of lone parenthood lead to underachievement.
  • Also say failure in achievement for minorites means failure to embrace british culture.
  • Pryce (1979) says family structure Black are less resistant to racism than asian families which makes them have low self-esteem and underachievement.
  • Pryce says this difference = due to coloniasm, blacks lost freedom and religion under slavery but Asians didnt.
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External factors: Cultural Deprivation:

SEWELL: FATHERS, GANGS AND CULTURE:

  • Blacks lack the father nurturing role and tough love which makes it hard for them to react when going through emotional difficulties.
  • When theres no father to nurture them, they refer to street gangs of other fatherless boys who show loyalty and love.
  • This gives them a media inspired role model of anti-school black mascuilinity, the ultra tough ghetto superstar portrayed by MTV raps.
  • Many boys are then vulnerable to these anti-school peer group pressure.
  • Sewell interviewed successful black boys who said the barrier to success was pressure from other boys.
  • If they spoke in standard english or did well at school they were seen as sell outs to the white establishment.
  • Blacks are nurtured by MTV whilst Asians are busy in education. 
  • Critics argue that it's institutional racism that leads to black failure in education.
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External factors: Cultural Deprivation:

ASIAN FAMILIES:

  • Indian and chinese benefit from supportive families with an 'Asian work ethic'.
  • They place high value on education. 
  • Adult authority in asian families is similar to the model in schools,
  • Respect was expected by children which was similar in schools.
  • They then supported school behaviour policies.

WHITE WORKING CLASS FAMILIES:

  • W.Class families underachieve and have lower expectation due to lack of parental support.
  • E.g. survey of 16,000 pupils showed ethnic minorities were more likely to want to go Uni than whites.
  • White pupils also show disrespectful behaviour due to the parent's attitude to education.
  • Ethnic minorites saw education as a way up society.
  • Street culture of how not to be intimidated and intimidate may be played out like a game in school for whites.
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External factors: Cultural Deprivation:

COMPENSATORY EDUCATION:

  • Main policy to tackle cultural deprivation os Compensatory education.
  • E.g. Operation Head Start aimed to helped in the US to compensate those in a cultural deficit who suffer from deprived bacgrounds.

CRITICISMS OF CULTURAL DEPRIVATION:

  • Ignores positive effects of ethnicity in achievement.
  • E.g. Afro-Carribean families give girls the role model of an independent women.
  • Some say underachievment for blacks isn't because of low self esteem or weak culture but racism.
  • Cultural deprivation is victim blaming, ethnic minorites are different, not deprived.
  • Schools are ethnocentric to white culture against minorites.
  • Compensatory education should be opposed as it's an attempt to impose a dominant culture.
  • 2 alternatives to compensatory education are...
    • Multi-Cultural education - Policy that knows and values culutres and includes it into the curriculum.
    • Anti-Racist education - Policy that challenges prejudice and discrimination in schools.
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External factors: Material Deprivation:

2) MATERIAL DEPRIVATION:

  • Lacking physical necessities for a normal life.
  • W.Class are likely to be in poverty and materially deprived.
  • They suffer from low income and substandard housing.
  • Ethnic minorites may suffer from this too:
    • 1/2 of all ethnic minorites live in low income houses unlike 1/4 of whites.
    • Ethnic minorities are twice as likely to be unemployed than whites.
    • Ethnic minoriies are 3x likely to be homeless.
  • There = many reasons why ethnic minorites are more likely to suffer from material deprivation via overcrowding, unemployment or low pay.
    • Many live in economically depressed areas, low employment and wages.
    • Culture, e.g. Purdah = muslim women not working outside house .
    • Lack language skills and foreign qualifications aren't recognised my UK employers.
    • Asylum seekers may not be able to work.
    • Racial discimination in work.
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External factors: Material Deprivation:

  • Material deprivation explain class differences in ethnic minorites, e.g Pakistanis are more eligible for frree school meals, but indians do better than them in education.
  • Indians are the ethnic group most likely to go to a private school.

DOES CLASS OVERRIDE ETHNICITY?

  • Indian and chinnese pupils materially deprived still to better as in 2011, 86% of chinnes on free school meals got 5+ GCSEs against 65% of white girls not on school meals.
  • E.g. study showed that low income only really effected white pupils, not other ethnic minorities. Class doesn't override ethnicity.

3) RACISM IN SOCIETY:

  • Poverty may be a result of racism.
  • Racial discriminaton = social exclusion, e.g. in housing, minorities are discriminated into substandard housing than whites of the same class.
  • This helps explain why minorities are likely to face unemployment and low pay.
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Internal factors (1): Labelling:

  • Gillborn and Miza study in a local area shows how Black children were high achievers in primary but  when it came to GCSEs they then underachieved.
  • Steve Strand's study showed how quickly blacks fell behind after starting school.
  • Found Blacks not on free school meals did worse than whites.
  • This questions cultural deprivation, instead it may be about internal factors.

1) LABELLING AND TEACHER RACISM:

  • Labelling is giving a meaning to someone, e.g. labelling a pupil a troublemaker or bright.
  • Ethnic differences in education maybe due labels given to different groups.
  • Study shows Asians and Blacks aren't seen as an ideal pupil.
  • Negative labels lead to teachers treating them differently, resulting in failure.
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Internal factors (1): Labelling:

BLACK PUPILS AND DISCIPLINE:

  • Gillborn study = teachers disciplined blacks more quickly than other groups for same behaviour = due to racialised expectations.
  • Teacher found blacks to give off discipline problems and misinterpreted actions.
  • Due to this, pupils responded badly, blacks felt teachers underestimated ability and pick on them.
  • It's also due to racial stereotypes between white teachers and black pupils that are held.
  • This explains why black boys are mainly excluded from school.
  • They were given a bad label, and were excluded. 
  • But internal exclusion wasn't recorded 

BLACK PUPILS AND STREAMING:

  • A-C economy and Educational triage = teachers focus on those that can get a C grade.
  • Due to negative stereotypes, blacks are in lower streams.
  • Study found that Blacks were in lower streams than other pupils with same ability.
  • Negative stereotyping leads to a bad self-fulfilling prophecy.
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Internal factors (1): Identity:

ASIAN PUPILS:

  • Asians can be victims of labelling too.
  • Teacher's = ethnocentric, british culture and english = superior.
  • Affected asians as teachers left them out of group discussions and spoke to them like a child.
  • Unlike blacks they were not seen as a threat.

2) PUPIL IDENTITIES:

  • Archer = teacher's dominant discourse (way of seeing something) defined how ethnic pupils indentified themselves.
    • Ideal pupil identity - White, middle class, normal sexuality, achieves naturally.
    • Pathologised pupil identity - Asian, oppressive sexuality,  seen as over achiever through hard work, not naturally.
    • Demonised pupil identity - Black or white W.Class, unintelligent, peer-led, culturally deprived under achiever.
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Internal factors (1): Responses:

CHINESE PUPILS:

  • Still seen as pathologised and abnormal if succeed.
  • Achieve success the wrong way via hardwork.
  • Means they are not seen as deal pupil as they're not natural.
  • If a ethnic minority achieves, it's over achieving as proper achievement in in the ideal, natural, middle class pupils.

3) PUPIL RESONSES AND SUBCULTURES:

  • Students' respond to this racism by teachers in different ways.
  • E.g. becoming withdrawwn or disruptive.
  • Or may not accept their negative label by harwork to prove them wrong.
  • Negative labels don't always turn into Self-fulfilling prophecies.
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Internal factors (1): Responses:

FULLER AND MAC AN GHAILL: REJECTING NEGATIVE LABELS:

  • Fuller - Study of black girls in year 11 = were untypical black girls.
  • Achieved higher than other blacks in lower streams.
  • This = due to taking anger out on educational success.
  • Didn't want teacher's help, seen as racist.
  • Didn't conform in lesson but relied on themselves.
  • Relied on own efforts rather than teacher's negative stereotype.
  • Shows that even if you don't conform or have a negative label you can succeed.
  • No Self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Mac an Ghaill's study - Blacks and Asians in a Sixth form didn't accept label due to ethnic group, gender or nature of previous school.
  • E.g. Girls from an all girls schoolhad a better academic commitment to overcome negative labels.
  • Labelling doesn't always lead to a self fulfilling prophecy.
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Internal factors (1): Responses:

MIRZA: FAILING SCHEME TO AVOID RACISM:

  • Racist teacher's discouraged blacks from being ambitious via advice on careers.
  • E.g. Teacher stopped them from proffessional careers.
  • Mirza = 3 main types of teacher racism:
    • Colour Blind - Belief that all pupils are equal but allow racism to go unchallenged.
    • Liberal Chauvinists - Belief that blacks are culturally deprived and have low expectations.
    • Overt Racists - Belief that blacks are inferior and discriminate them.
  • Study = black girls would avoid these effects, e.g. chose which staff to ask for help and choosing options that avoided racist teachers.

SEWELL: HOW BLACK BOYS RESPOND:

  • The Rebels - Small but visible, conformed to stereotype, anti school, anti authority and seen as black macho lad.
  • The Conformists - Largest group, want success, accepted school rules, variety of friends.
  • The Retreatists - Minority isolated, disconnected from school and black subculture.
  • The Innovators - 2nd largest groups, pro-education, anti-school, want success not teacher's approval.
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Internal factors (2): Institutional racism:

  • There isn't just teacher racism but institutional racism. 
    • Individual racism - Results from prejudiced views of individual teachers.
    • Institutional racism - Discrimination that's built into the way institutions like schools work.

CRITICAL RACE THEORY:

  • Some say racism is an ingrained feature of society.
  • This involves both types of racism
  • LOCKED IN INEQUALITY:
  • Ethnic inequality according to Gillborn = deep rooted and large it's an unavoided feature in education
  • Education system is institutionally racist.
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Internal factors (2): Institutional racism:

MARKETISATION AND SEGREGATION:

  • Gillborn - Marketisation gives school more scope for pupils.
  • Allows negative stereotypes to influence decisions on schools admissions.
  • Moore and Davenport - Selection procedures lead to ethnic segregation.
  • Minorities fail to get into better secondary school due to discrimination.
  • Application process was hard to understand for ethnic minority parents.
  • favoured white pupils.
  • Conclude that selection leads to ethnically stratified education system.
  • Commission for racial equality = racism in school admission procedures mean ethnic minority children will end up in less popular schools.
  • This = because...
    • Reports from primary school stereotype minority pupils.
    • Racist bias in interviews for school places.
    • Lack of info and application forms in minority languages.
    • Ethnic parents are unsure about how waiting list system works.
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Internal factors (2): Institutional racism:

MARKETISATION AND SEGREGATION:

  • Gillborn - Marketisation gives school more scope for pupils.
  • Allows negative stereotypes to influence decisions on schools admissions.
  • Moore and Davenport - Selection procedures lead to ethnic segregation.
  • Minorities fail to get into better secondary school due to discrimination.
  • Application process was hard to understand for ethnic minority parents.
  • favoured white pupils.
  • Conclude that selection leads to ethnically stratified education system.
  • Commission for racial equality = racism in school admission procedures mean ethnic minority children will end up in less popular schools.
  • This = because...
    • Reports from primary school stereotype minority pupils.
    • Racist bias in interviews for school places.
    • Lack of info and application forms in minority languages.
    • Ethnic parents are unsure about how waiting list system works.
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Internal factors (2): Institutional racism:

ETHNOCENTRIC CURRICULUM:

  • This = policy that gives priority to a culture of an ethnic group.
  • Ethnocentric curriculum is something that reflects one ethnic group.
  • This = example of institutional racism = build racial bias into working of school.
  • Examples of ethnocentric curriculum = 
    • Language, literature and music - Less wanting to teach asian languages compared to European languages. This = a British curriculum that ignores non-european culture.
    • History - Ignores ethnic diversity, promotes little Englandism, e.g. recreates a mythical age of empire and past glories of whites ignoring asian and black history.
  • Lead to underachievement as if british are taught about the people they colonised, blacks may suffer from low esteem.

ASSESSMENT:

  • Assessment game is rigged to show dominance of a certain culture.
  • E.g. if blacks succeed as a group, rules will be changed.
  • This was seen when Baseline assessment was replaced with FSO in 2003.
  • This showed blacks were now doing a lot worse than whites.
  • This reversal happened due to FSP is based on teacher judgements 
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Internal factors (2): Institutional racism:

ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Gifted and talented programme - created to meet needs of more able pupils in inner city schools. This benefits bright pupils against minorities. Official stats show whites are likely to be seen as gifted and talented compared to Blacks
  • Exam Tiers - Tikly et al study = 30 schools in the aiming high initiative to raise black carribean achievement. But were seen to be entered for lower tier exams because they were in lower set. This only allowed them to get a C.

THE NEW IQism:

  • Gillborn says teachers and policy makers make false assumptions about nature of pupils potential.
  • They see potential as easy to measure to put into the right set or gifted and talent programme.
  • Secordary schools use old style intelligence, IQ to put pupils into streams.
  • But potential can't be measured, tests are only what you know 'now'.
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Internal factors (2): Institutional racism:

CRITICISMS OF GILLBORN:

  • BLACK BOYS' UNDERACHIEVEMENT:
    • Gillborn = institutional racism is the main cause of under achievement.
    • Sewell rejects this vieew as he argues it's not powerful enough to stop individual success.
  • MODEL MINORITIES: INDIAN AND CHINESE ACHIEVEMENT:
    • There is underachievent for blacks but there's overachievement of chinese and indians.
    • If these groups do well, there can't be institutional racism.
    • Gillborn says this is because they are seen as 'model minorities', hardworking and peforms ideological functions.
    • It's a way of hidding insitutional racism.
  • It makes the system = meritocratic and fair as Indians and Chinese work hard.
  • Justifies failure of other minorities like blacks as they can't be asked with their home culture.
  • Ignores that model minorities still suffer racism in school, e.g. chinese are harrassed similarly to black carribeans.
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