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- an ethnicity or ethnic group is a social group of people who identify with eachother based on common historical, social or national experience

- ethnciity has shared cultural traits and a shared group history. Some ethnic groups also share a common language/religion. There may be particular rituals, cuisine and dress associated with an ethnic group

- therefore when we talk about how ethnicity affects education, we are considering cultural differences of ethnic groups, not biological differences

- ethnicity affects a students educational achivement, the ethnic group you belong tois likely to have a bearing on how successful you are

- there seems to be clear 'winners' and 'losers' in education successes - indins, Chinese and whites tend to do well, whereas Afro-Carribeans, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis less so

- ethnic groups seem to influnece whether a person continues into further and higher education adn their chances of being permanently excluded. 

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- Chinese pupils had the highest proportion of A*-C grades in 2004 (79% girls and 70% boys)

- Followed by Indian pupils (72% girls and 62% boys)

- The lowest levels of attainment were among black African-Carribean pupils, particulary boys (44% girls and 27% boys)

- In 2004, the proportion of students with degrees was; Chinese 31%, Inddians 25%, White british 17% and Black African Carribean 13%)

- by 2001-2 all minority ethnic groups has higher particpation rates in higher education than white British people in England

- however, minority ethnic groups are less likely to attend prestigious universities

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Prejudice - a preconcieved opinion or bias

Racism - the action - the belief that one race is superior than another, treating ethnic groups differently

- Britain (1976) - argued that the 'ideal' pupil is seen as white and middle class e.g. the Afro-Carribean stereotype is laid back and interpretted as lazy. This relates to the interactionalism (labelling) self fuffling prophecy

- Gilborn & Mizra (2000) - reviewed evidence on achivement for particular ethnic minorities. Research focused on whites, black Carribean, black African, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi. Each of these ethnic minority groups was the best performing in at least 1 LEA. 

- In 35 LEA's 43% of pakistani pupils were better than white pupils. In 21 LEA's 21& Bangladeshi pupils outperfromedd white pupils. Therefore Gilbourn & Mirza argued that these resukts show that no ethnic minority groups are less capable of achiademic success

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- cultural factors

- cultural deprivation

- inside school factors

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- children whose first language us not English are at a disadvantage

- Swan Report (1985) - Bangladeshi children were lowest achiveing group due to language difficluties

- Modood et al (1997) showed show high achievement of Indian pupils means that language is not always a barrier but onpy a temporary disadvantage

- English as an Aditional Language (EAL)

- 10% of children in English schools have EAL, using a different language in the home

- 90% of Bangladesh children have EAL

- 31% of all children using EAL come from a disadvantaged family

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- family life can affect educational achivement 

- Ken Pryce (1979) - Afro-Carribean family life is often turbulent

- Swan Report (1985) tight knit Asian families helpincrease pupils achivement

- Chua - described Chinese parents as 'Tiger parents' and will not accept failure

- if parents do less well children may live in poverty, lack a male role model, have a lack of discipline

- New Right would sassociate children of never married parents as 'deviant' and underachiveing. Single mothers have to work so children get inadequate parental stimulation and supervision unless there is a support network, specifically relevant to Afro-Carribean households

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- Bhatti (1999) - all Asian parents want children to do well achademically despite not having high qualifications themselves

- Swan Report (1985) - family circumstances may be a reason why pupils of Afro-Carribean background underachieve

- Sewell (1996) - single parent matriachal families have high levels of male desertation, few positive role models so can be drawn into an 'aggressive version of masculinity'

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- Sewell (1996) Afro-Carribean boys are vunerable to peer pressure and easily get drawn into gang culture.

- The majority grow up in matriarchial single parent families so lack male role models. Gangs have an exaherated sense of masculinityand reject authority.

- Black verisoun of masculinity is reinforced by the media with 'gangster rap' 

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- there is a proven link betwen poverty and poor educational achivemen. Some ethnic minority women have higher than normal rates of unemployment

- Berthoud (2000) - lowest paid groups are Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Afro-Carribean

- Bhatti (1999) - financial constraints mean some Asian pupils have to leave education earlier than their parents want them to. Despite bursaries and university loads, low family income significantly influences some ethnic minorities entering post-16 education

- Flaherty (2004) - ethnic minorities are more likely to face material deprivation and live in poverty

- Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups are 3 times more likely than whites to be in poverty. Unemployment is 3x higher in African and Bangladeshi/Pakistani people than for white. Pakistanis are twice as likely to be in unskilled/semi-skilled jobs to whites

- Material deprvation links back to social class inequalities. Chinese and Indian pupils (who outperform other ethnic groups) are more likely to be middle class than Afro-Carribean, Bangladeshi and Pakistani pupils

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-compared the progress of Indian, African-Carribean and White British pupils in the 1st & 2nd years of secondary school. Indian children made much more progress than white British children but African-Carribean pupils fell further behind

- the success of Indian pupils was due to cultural and material factors such as:

  • high aspirations and dedication to homework
  • how levels of truancy and exclusion
  • good resources at home e.g. computers or provate tutors

- African-Carribean pupils were held back mainly by material factors such as: 

  • high levels of poverty
  • living in poor accomodation
  • attending schools in deprived areas

Found little difference between working class white and African-Carribean pupils, so it was difficult to explain why African-Carribean pupils were doing less well

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- Institutional racism is a pattern of social institutions such as government organisations, schools, banks, and courts of law - giving negative treatment to a group of people based on their race

- "the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin" - MacPherson (1999)

- racism directed at pupils from some ethnic minorities is given as one reason for educational underachievement. Afro-Caribbean boys are 3x more likely to be excluded from school then the school population as a whole. Pupils of Asian & Chinese ethnic groups have the lowest rates of exclusion

- Coard (1971) - argued that racism was embedded in the British education system, he argued this was shown by teachers having low expectations of black pupils, subjects ignored black history and culture and casual racism went unchallenged in the playground

- Cecile Wright (1992) - within primary schools racism was clearly evident. Asian girls got less attentio from teachers than other pupils and their customs/traditions were sometimes met with hostility

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- Gilborn, Mirza and Youdell (2000) found that some local authorities were quite poor at education ethnic minorities. they found evidence of what they called 'educational triage', extra help was given to pupils who were boderline for gaining 5 A*-C GCSEs but most black children were seen as having little chance of achiveing this and weren't given the help. Black pupils were placed in lower sets and entered for lower tier exams, the behviour of black pupils was often misinterpretted as threatening when in reality it reflected desire to take an active part in lessons and to succeed

The Ethnocentric Curriculum: people may have difficulty understanding why others don't behave as they do

- Tikley et al (2006) - studies 30 secondary schools and found Afro-Carribean culture was invisible in the curriculum. Focus always on white European, if black history was mentioned it was always in context of slavery

- some sociologists do think that unintentional racism does pay some part in the underachivement of Afro-Carribean pupils, however, class and ander inequalities are also contrubutory factors and interlink

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- Functionalism - see some expectations as pre-disposed to fail in school and look for cultural and genetic reasons to explain this

- Marxists - concerned with social class and so ethnicity tends to be overlooked

- Intercationalist - labelling and SFP, teacher racism and instituioal racism

- Feminist - girl from EM experience a double disadvantage

- New Right - agree with functionalist and are concerned about the recent failure of boys, Claiming West Indian boys in particular lack suitable role models

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