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  • Created by: Iveta
  • Created on: 16-03-14 09:12

Ethnicity and achievement: Internal, material fact

Material Factors

  • Strand: he looked at students from different ethnic groups and measured their achievement leves in their first four years of secondary education.
    -He found that African-Caribbean students did less well than white British students because they lacked on material factors i.e. they could not afford educational books
    -In 2005/6 it was found that over 63% of Africans lived in poverty and poor housing. They lived in over-crowded housing where there was little space to do work, uncomfortable, noisy, etc- NOT the ideal place to do school work
    -Many African children lived in deprived areas so attended schools in poor areas were they did not get a descent education and underachieved 

AO2: However, Strand found that NOT all ethnic groups underachieved and he showed how Indian students did VERY well at school. They had HIGH ASPIRATIONS, they were DEDICATED and had GOOD RESOURCES at home i.e. computer and private tutors.
Also, Bangaldeshi students have made the greatest gains since 2000 with 28% points gained whereas Pakistani students had 22% points gained.
This shows that NOT all ethnic minority students underachieve

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Cultural Factors

  • Sewell: He claimed that there are cultural factors that can explain why many African-Carriebans underacheived. This was because a large number of children were raised by SINGLE PARENTS and this in particularly disadvantaged BOYS.
    They lacked the father role model so were more vulnerable to peer pressure. They were also drawn to gangs which show masculinity and so compensates for the decline of father figure. This means they made little efforrt at school and turned to street crime instead. 

AO2: However, underachievment was not just as a result of single parenting but social class. Most of these family types are DEPRIVED i.e. single mothers cannot afford much for their children and so they end underachieving

  • Langauge:Haque and Ball argue that another way that ethnic groups are deprived is due to the language they use. Ethnics that have recently came into the UK may find it difficult to do well because of LANGUAGE BARRIERS. Parents may also not know how the educational system works so end up sending their children to lower league schools- they do less well.

AO2: However, language barriers did NOT negatively affect all ethnics.Chinese pupils did WELL i.e. 70% of boys and 79% of girls achieved 5 A*-C GCSE grades.

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Evaluation of Cultural Deprivation

Keddie argued that cultural deprivation theory is VICTIM-BLAMING. Ethnic minority students are NOT culturally deprived but culturally DIFFERENT. The reason why they underachieved was because schools are WHITE MIDDLE CLASS agencies that aim to deprive them from opportunity.

Internal Factor Insitituional Racism:
1) Coard found that there was SYSTEMATIC RACISM in British education where teachers had LOW EXPECTATIONS of black girls which lowered their confidence.
2) Wright found that in a primay-school, teachers displayed OVERT RACISM i.e.they did not give Asian girls attention, mispronounced their names, did not include them, etc
3) A Radical view of black youth claimed that schools aim to DEPRIVE BLACKS from opportunity.
4) Sewell argued that racism leads to some black students to form anti-school subcultres from the lack of status the school gives them. The 'rebels' showed aggressive masculinity where they rejected school authority and misbehaved- underachieved.

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More internal factors of ethnics

  • Labelling: Gillborn and Youdell found that African-Carbbean students were NEGATIVELY labelled by teachers and seen as FURTHEST away from what an ideal student should be like. Teachers thought that Blacks were less likely to gain 5 or more A*-C grades so helped them less. This created SELF FULFILLING PROPHECIES
    They were also placed in LOWER STREAMS and SETS and they ended up forming ANTI-SCHOOL SUBCULTURES from the lack of status they are given. They gain status amongst their peers by being deviant and ignoring teachers- end up underacheiving. 

AO2: However, labelling theory can be criticised for being OVER-DETERMINISTIC. Fuller argued that NOT ALL ethnics that are negativelly labelled underachieve. It was found that BLACK working class girls did not self-accept their negative label but worked hard to achieve great results.

  • Curriculum: Tikly et al studied 30 comprehensive schools and found that a large number of African-Caribbean pupils felt that their culture was INVISIBLE to the curriculum.I.e. the curriculum was ETHNOCENTRIC. There was an European focus i.e. learning European languages. Also, in history, only negative aspects of black slavery was focused on such as SLAVERY. This lowered the self confidence of blacks and they underacheived.
    AO2: However, NOT all students underachieved because of this. Chinese and Indian did well
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Conclusion of ethnic essay

However, it is imporatant to consider how other variables that are not related to ethnicity can also affect the achievment levels of ethnic minority students.....

  • Gender: Sharp found that girls did better than boys because they were more patient, hard working, disciplined,etc. Also, education was feminized which positively affected girls i.e. more female than male teachers.
  • Class: Social class also affects achievement. Working class are mateurally deprived and there are barriers that face them which means that they are less likely to afford educational toys and resources to do well at school.

This shows that other factors, as well as ethnicity should all be looked at when considering educational achievement.

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