Ethnic Differences in Education

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Ethnic Differences

ETHNIC GROUP - a group of people who see themselves as a distinct group based on religion, geography or language etc.
ETHNIC MINORITY GROUP - may be of a different skin colour to the majority of the population.

LAWSON & GARROD - define ethnic groups as 'people who share common history, customs and identity as well as language and religion, and who see themselves as a distinct unit'

Explaining differences in achievment:
INTERNAL - within schools and the education system.
EXTERNAL - outside the education system.

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External Factors - Cultural Deprivation

Intellectual and language skills
- Claims children from low income black families lack intellectual stimulation and enriching experiences, this means they fail to develop reasoning/problem-solving skills.
BEREITER & ENGELMANN - language of poorer, black American families is ungrammatical and disjointed so children are unable to express abstract ides which is a major barrier to educational success.
GILLBORN & MIRZA - Indian pupils do very well, despite English not being their first language.

Attitudes and Values 
- Differences in  attitudes and values towards education may be results of differences in socialisation.
- Most children are socialised into the mainstream culture, which intils competitiveness and the desire to achieve - equipping them for success in education.
FATALISM & IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION - the subculture into which some black pupils are socialised is fatalistic and focuses on immediate gratification - lack of motivation to succeed.
LACK OF MALE ROLE MODEL-may encourage them to form a
 anti-school macho gang culture.
MURRAY - high rate of lone parenthood and a lack of a positive male role model - underachievement. 

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External Factors - Cultural Deprivation

CULTURE OF POVERTY - MOYNIHAN = absense of a male role model of achievement in black, matrifocal lone parent families produces inadequatly socialised children who fail at school, become inadequate parents themselves and perpeptuate a culture of poverty.
IMPACT OF SLAVERY - PRYCE = black Carribean culture is less resistant to racism due to the experience of slavery - many black pupils have low self-esteem and underachieve.
ASIAN FAMILIES - KHAN = the Asian family is an obstacle to success, especially for girls as it takes a controlling attitude towards them so they do less well than boys. 

White working-class pupils
- They also underachieve. Maybe they have lower aspirations than many other ethnic groups, the result is white-working class culture and lack of parental support.
LUPTON = studied 4 mainly working class schools with different ethnic compositions. Teachers reported poorer levels of behaviour/disapline in the white working class schools, which they linked to lower levels of parental support and the negative attitudes of white working class parents to education.
EVANS = street culture in white working-class areas can be brutal and is often brought into schools - the result is a strong pressure to reject education. 

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Criticisms of Cultural Deprivation

DRIVER - it ignores the positive affects of ethinicity on education. He shows the black Carribean family far from being dysfunctional, provides girls with positive role models of strong independent women. This is why black girls tend to be more successful in education than black boys.

KEDDIE - sees it as a victim-blaming explanation. She argues ethinic minority children are culturally different, not deprived. They underachieve as schools are ethnocentric: biased in favour of while culture and against minorities.

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External Factors - Material Deprivation

MATERIAL DEPRIVATION - lack of physical/economic resources essential for normal life in society.

  • Indian-heritage pupils' success in education may partly stem from the fact that Indian parents are often found in while-collar, manegerial and professional occupations - may enjoy some of the advantages of middle class priveledge.
  • African Carribean, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are more likely than the white population to be a part of the working class and therefore economically disadvantaged.
    • More likely to live in poor housing, earn low incomes, be unemployed or unsecure jobs.
  • African Carribean single-parent families are also more likely to experience low income, and they may suffer more stress, especially if they combine paid work with childcare - less time and money to spend on their child's education.

DREW & BAKER - African Carribean achievement cannot be wholly explained by material deprivation. Evidence suggests that African Carribean educational performance lags behind other ethnic groups even when controlled for social class.
STRAND - girls are less affected by living in a single-parent family as a strong, independent mother is a positive motivating experience. 

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Internal Factors - Labelling and Teacher Racism

- Black pupils are seen as disruptive and Asian pupils as passive. 
- Negative labels means teachers treat ethinic minority pupils differently - disadvantages them and may result in their failure.
WRIGHT - teachers stereotyped Asian females as passive and docile, which led to them being overlooked/under-estimated in the classroom.
CONNOLLY - teachers may channel African Carribeans away from academic interests by labelling them as more interested in sport, dance and music. He also found that Asian boys were less likely than African Carribean boys to be labelled deviant. Teachers generally had high expectations about the academic potential of Asian boys and consequently they were often praised and encouraged.
- teachers had 'racialised expectations' about black pupils and expect disapline problems. Black pupils are more likely to be punished - teachers underestimated their ability and picked on them.
- Conflict between white teachers and black pupils stems from stereotypes rather than the pupils actual behavior - can cause underachievment as it leads to: higher levels of exclusions of black boys and black pupils placed in lower sets/streams. 

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Internal Factors - Pupil Subcultures

SEWELL - black boys adopted a range of responses to teachers racist labels of them being rebellious and anti-school:
- CONFORMISTS - keen to succeed, accepted the schools goals and had friends from different ethnic groups.
- INNOVATORS - pro-education but anti-school. They valued educational success not teachers approval.
- RETREATISTS - minority/isolated pupils disconnected from the school and black subcultures outside it.
- REBELS - small, but highly visable minority of black pupils. They rejected the schools goals and rules and conformed to the stereotype of a 'black macho lad' - their aim was to achieve the status or 'street hood'.
- Teachers tend to see all black pupils as rebels - results in underachievment of a lot of boys as a result of discrimination. 

O'DONNELL & SHARPE -  found a macho 'warrior' response similar to the 'rebels' among some Asian boys who despisede conformist Asian youths as 'weaklings'.

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Internal Factors - Rejecting Negative Labels

FULLER - studied a group of high-achieving black girls in year 11. The girls rejected teachers stereotypes. They recognised the value of education and were determined to achieve, they only conformed in terms of doing their schoolwork, working hard without giving the appearance of doing so. They maintained friendships with girls in lower streams.
MAC AN GHAIL - studied black/Asian pupils at a sixth form college and found they didnt accept the teachers negative labels
MIRZA - found black girls strategies for dealing with teachers racism sometimes resticted their opportunities e.g. not asking certain staff for help etc - this put them at a disadvantage.

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Institutional Racism

- Institutional racism is built into the way institutions operate on a routine/unconscious basis, rather than the conscious intentions of individual teachers.

The Ethnocentric Curriculum

ETHNOCENTRIC - attitude/policy that prioritises the culture of one particular ethnic group whilst disregarding others.
TROYNA&WILLIAMS - curriculum in British schools is ethnocentric as it gives priority to while culture and English language.
DAVID - the National Curriculum is a 'specifically british' curriculum that teaches the culture of the 'host community'
BALL - historical curriculum in British schools is recreating a 'mythical age of empire and past glories' and ignores the history of black/Asian pupils.
- Black/Asian pupils may feel their culture/identity aren't valued and this decreases their self-esteem which has a negative effect on their educational achievement 

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Selection and Segregation

THE COMMISSON FOR RACIAL EQUALITY -  found racism in secondary schools admission procedures, there was a lack of information or application forms in minority languages and their was bias in entry interviews.
MARKETISATION - may make this worse by increasing the amount of selection in the edcation system and creating more oppertunities for negative stereotypes to affect school admissons - more difficult for some minority pupils to get into high-achieving schools.
- The result is the education system becomes racially segregated, with minority pupils more likely to be concentrated in unpopular, unsuccessful schools.
SELF-SEGREGATION - GERWIRTZ = Asian parents made active choices to avoid 'rough' schools with a repution for racism, opting for ones they percieved as 'safe' with firm disapline. 

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