Educational Achievement and social class

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  • Created by: Lilly
  • Created on: 22-04-13 17:38

External explanations for class gap in ahcivement

1) Cultural deprevation- these include class differences in norms and values aquired through socialisation, attitudes to education, speech patterns

2)Material deprevation- These are physcial necessities of life, such as adequate housing, diet and income, lack of physical reosurces such as money, room and equipment

3) Cultural capital- the values and attitudes needed to be succesful at school

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Cultural Deprevation Theories

  • Studies have shown that the values, attitudes and aspirations of parents have an important effect on their parent's education- argued thar W/C parents tend to value education less than MC parents and this has a negative effect on WC students= poorer performance
  • Leon Feintein- aruges that main reason for WC children underachieving was their parents lack of interest in their children's education. WC parents less likely to get their childreneducational toys and activities that stimulate their thinking & reasoning skills- affects intullectual development, so they begin school disadvantaged compared to MC kids---- Could this be more to do with material deprevation?
  • Basil Bertstein- elaborated speech code and restricted speech code- resstricted more descriptive and less analytic, particularstic view (assumes the listener shares particular meanings that speaker holds, doesn't ABC it out) used by WC,  wherearas Elbaorated, more analytic, used in ed system- gives MC advantage
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Evaluation of Cultural dep theories

Nell Keddie- describes cultural dep as a myth and sees it as victim-blaming explanation. She argues that WC are culturally different not culturallt depreived, they are disadvantaged by ed system that is dominated by MC views

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Material Deprevation factors

  • Smith and Noble- importance in material factors in influencing class differences in ed achievement, having money allows parents to provide greater educational toys, book, healthy diet, more space in the home to do work and greater opportunities to have private tutoris- MC more wealth, do better
  • Warwick University- research shows that students face selection or admission by mortgage- wealthier MC arents can move into catchment are of good schools, leaving less successful schools for WC students
  • Gerwitz- differences in economic and cultural capital lead to class differences in how far parents can exercise choice of secondary school- professional MC parents tend to be privledged skill choosers who udnerstand how the school adminssions procedures work and can use this 'hot knowledge' to acess the best schools
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Cultural Capital

  • Pierre Bourdieu, uses concept of cultural capital to explain why MC students are more succesful.
  • Uses term to refer to the knowledge, attitudes, values, language, tastes and abilities of MC
  • Sees MC culture as capital as it can be translated into wealth and power, and gives advantage to those who have it- this is because the culture, knowledge and language of the school fits more closely to MC culture, MC have inbuilt advantage
  • WC experience cultural deficit, soon realise teachers attach little importance to experiences and values- they may lack cultural capital for educational success
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Internal Explanations for class gap

1) Labelling

2) Banding, streaming and setting

3) Marketisation and selection policies

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  • Interactionist approach
  • Rist- studied American kidergarden, where a pupil sat not based on ability, but the degre to which the children conformed to teachers own MC standards- teacher was evaluating and labeling pupils on social class not ability
  • Gillborn and Youdell- more likely to see MC entered into higher level exams, based on teachers perceptions of what counts as ability rather than student's actual ability- result is discrimination against WC students, denied access and attempts to gain higher grades

-- Teachers tend to expect more of MC and act in terms of it, convey expectations to them- results in self fulfilling prophecy, teachers expectations of students future behavour and attainment will tend to come true, good for MC and bad for WC

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Evaluation of Labelling theory

  • deterministic in suggesting the inevitability og failure for those with negative labels attatched to them- Margret Fuller found that the black grls in her study resisted the attempt to be labelled as failures and devoted themselves to work to be successful
  • Marxists- theory ignores the wider structures of power within which labelling takes place, labels not merely result of teahcer's individual prejudices but stem from fact that teachers work in a system that reproduces social class divisions
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Banding, setting and streaming

  • Ball, Hargreaves and Lacey- studies looked at the effects of ability grouping in secondary schools- tendancy for MC to be placed in higher groups and for WC to be in lower groups- teachers have lower expectations of WC students, denied access to higher level knowledge and tend to enter them to lower exam tiers
  • Campbell- subject setting advantages MC in top sets, attainment will improve whereas in lower sets, where WC are their attainment does not improve
  • Stephen Ball- social barbarism- allows MC to seperate their children from 'others' whom they condider socially and intellectually inferior. He points to overwhelming research evidence that shows that grouping by ability leads to greater social class inequalities between children
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Marketisation and Selection Policies

  • Competitive climate in schools- MC students are more desirable as they achieve better exam results, whereas WC are seen as 'liablity' students which are barriers to efforts by schools to climb th league tables
  • Bartlett- Marketisation leads to popular schools to 'cream skim' higher ability students and 'silt shift' lower ability studnts from disadvantaged backgrounds to unpopular schools who are oblieged to take them for funding reasons
  • Gilborn and Youdel- publication of league tables creates an 'A*-C economy' where schools channel their efforts into students likely to get A*-C grades= educational triage in which WC are seen as 'hopeless cases'- self fulfilling propehcy and failure
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