Ethnicity in Education

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Ethnicity in Education - External Factors

  • Intellectual and linguistic skills - children from low income black families lack intellectual stimulation.
  • The language they use at home isn't helpful for academic success.
  • Not speaking english at home could hold some back - Swann Report disagreed.
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Ethnicity in Education - Attitudes and Values

  • Lack of motivation is the major cause of failure in black children.
  • Most other children are socialised into mainstream culture - it instils ambition, competitiveness and the willingness to make the sacrifice necessary to achieve.


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Ethnicity in Education - Asian Families

  • Driver and Ballard (1981): Asian family structures bring educational benefits.
  • Higher aspirations, more positive attitudes to education and they are respectful to adults.
  • Verity Khan (1979): Asian families are 'stress-ridden' and bound by tradition, with a controlling attitude towards children, especially girls.
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Ethnicity in Education - White, working class

  • White, working class students (especially males) underachieve.
  • There are lower levels of parental support of teachers against children's bad behaviour.
  • White working class students and parents are less likely to see the values of education.
  • Evans (2006): street culture can spill over into school and so they are not concentrating on education.
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Ethnicity in Education - Criticisms

  • Cultural Deprivation Theory is a victim blaming exercise.
  • Driver (1977): positive effects of ethnicity are ignored e.g. many girls have positive role models in their strong, single mothers. (black girls do better than black boys).
  • Lawrence (1977): challenges idea of weak black culture and low self-esteem, believes the fault is actually racism.
  • Keddie: Cultural Deprivation Theory is 'victim-blaming', children are culturally different NOT deprived - the education system is ethnocentric.


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