Ethnicity and Education

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  • Created by: Lilly
  • Created on: 01-03-13 10:26


Ethnicity: 'People who share common history, customs and identity as well as in most cases language and religion, and who see themselves as a distinct unit'- Lawson & Garrad 2000 


  • Webb (2008)- White pupils make up around 4/5 of all pupils
  • DfEs (2007)- Only 24% of white male pupils who were on free school means gained 5 A*-C. -White and Asian pupils on average achieve higher than black pupils. -Amongst Asians, Indians do better than Pakistanis and Bangladishis.
  • Hastings (2006)- White pupils make less progress between the ages of 11-16 years old, compared to Asian and Black Pupils. If current trends continue then white pupils will become the lowest performing ethnic groups in the UK

E- Using statistics to back up an answer, reference advantages and disadvantages of these statistics

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Ethnicity and gender

  • DfES (2007)- Within every ethnic group, middle class do better than working class pupils. -Among all groups other than gypsy/roma children, girls out perform boys.
  • Just like social class and gender, explanations for ethnicity and differences in achievement can be generally split into 2 categories:

          1) External factors (outside of school)-- Cultural deprivation theories

          2) Internal factors (inside school)-- Labelling- interactionist theories

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External factors- Cultural deprevation

1) Intellectual and linguistic skills: these arguements suggest that many ethnic minority groups (particularly black, low-income groups), lack adequate stimulation and linguistic development through their socialisation

  • Bowher (1968)- 'The education of coloured immigrations'- a lack of standard english creates a huge barrier to UK education

E- The Swan Report (1985)- found that language differences had little impact on achievement. Doesn't explain why Indian pupils do so well.

2) Attitudes and values: these arguements suggest that different ethnic groups are socialised into different attitudes and values

  • Arnot (2004)- suggests that the media have created negative anti-school role models for black pupils in particular who he describes as 'the ultra-tough Ghetto superstar' reinforced through rap music and MTV videos
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Cultural deprevation 2

3)Family structure and parental support: Many sociologists argue that 'dysfunctional families' types are to blame for the underachievement of certain ethnic groups

  • Maynihan (65) & Murray (1984)- African Carribean lone-parenthood is to blame- lack of male role models means that mothers struggle to socialise children adequately.
  • Scrunton (1986)- Law achievement is the result of ethnic minorities failing to embrace & conform to British culture
  • Pryce (1979)- Argues that Asian in the UK is much more cohesive than black culture & as such they are able to ignore racism more effectively & and as such are not affected by it as much e.g. low self-esteem leading to educational failure. The impact of slavery means that much of the black culture has lost its languagef, religion, ancestory etc. the black culture are therefore much less likely to intergrate and assimilate with white M/C UK- Hall (1992)- calls this a 'culture of resistance'
  • Driver & Ballard (1981)- Arguethat Asian families have a much more 'pro-school' attitude than black families. Also because Asian families are rarely lone paretn families they offer a bigger support network for children
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Cultural deprevation 3 (cont.)

  • Lupton (2004)- Suggests that the 'adult authorization' Asian family matches that of school
  • Driver (1997)- Highlights how ethnicity can be an advantage in education e.g. African Carribbean grils actually do very well in school
  • Keddle (1971)- Says that to blame cultures is to blame the victims of educational failure. -Ignores multiculturalism. -Relies on generalism. -Ignores compensatory education e.g.   1) Operation head start (1960s), Educational priority areas (1960s), Educational action zones (1960s), Sure start (2002)
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Material Deprevation

  • Flaherty (2004)- Pakistanis and Bangladeshi are 3 trimes more likely than white to be in the poorest 1/5 of the population.   - Africans, Pakistanis and Bangladeshi are 3 times more likely to be unemployed than whites.   -15% of minority groups live in voercrowded homes (2% for whites).      -Pakistanis are 2 times as likely to be in semi-un-skilled jobs compared to whites
  • Swan report (1985)- Social class differences account for a high proportion of differences in achievement between ethnic groups.
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Isabella Swan .. Edward Cullen ***


good notes :D

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