Sociology Unit 1

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  • Created by: Elle99
  • Created on: 02-05-16 15:05

Explain what sociologist mean by hidden curriculum

  • Jackson
  • students pick up the messages through the experience of being at school
  • Not taught in formal lesson time
  • Type of socialization
  • messages coded in different ways 
  • structure of school, teach hierarchial organisations
  • social control, rules, regulations and hard work
  • dress code
  • gender role allocations, girls expressive. Boys, instrumental 
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labelling in school

  • When teachers stereotype pupils bad or good due to differnet social facors e.g. class, gender, ethnicity.
  • Interactionist, Howard Becker argues when the agent of social control (teacher) define actions and abilities of different social groups. 
  • 'self fulfilling prophesy' pupils live up to that label
  • Bottom sets create anti school sub culture. Too deterministic
  • Ghaill-black girls resisted label 
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School can raise pupil performance

  • Show working class system is not designed to fail them
  • Paul willis- status frustration- anti school sub culture
  • Bernstein- concentrate on teaching elaborated code
  • Encourage hard work of underachievers, increase examination grades, lead to increase of educational achievement
  • Teaching classes smaller
  • 30:1 go to 15:1 
  • teacher would have less students to pay attention to, students get more of teachers time
  • if topics found hard, teacher can allocate more time to help understand it
  • less marking, means more thorough marking, maximum improvement
  • Easier to control, less chance of messing about
  • better relationship between student and teacher
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Educational reform and how decreased educational o

  • Increasing tuition fees for university.
  • Many people wont be able to afford even if clever enough
  • reason for this, more people wanting to go to university, jobs require a degree but going to university should be seen as exclusivity. not everyone goes
  • £30,000 a year
  • Clever people, have to go to workplace which is competitive 
  • but could se to advantage, get experience (plumer) 
  • Raised leaving age to 18 years old.
  • Everyone will get A-levels and higher education, increase people with qualifications
  • decrease educational opportunities, sixth forms have to lower standards because even people with low GCSE's need to go somewhere
  • Lead to disruption and anti school sub cultures, result in lower A levels
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Marketisation of education

  • Schools now comapared with eachother to appear more attractive to potential pupils and parents.
  • This is done by league tables
  • Schools more like a market place , schools become more independent.
  • Critisiced by sociologists because parentocracy a myth, marketisation leading to parents making informed decisions on best school to send children . schools are hand picking students who are most likley to suceed, for league tables.
  • Schools that dont get good grades, close like real business
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Characteristic of independent school

  • Entry fees. 
  • Support - due to increase of money it means class sizes can be smaller, better grades
  • better teaching standards
  • Focused on middle/higher class, ones that can afford
  • Specialised teaching and facilities, excel more, better jobs 
  • Meritocracy, sifts and sorts 
  • Working class shouldn get better jobs due to poor primary socialization lead to being unpolite and lack dress code
  • Marxists- abloish them, they are elitist and ensure cultural reprodction. 
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Faith school

  • Teaches national curriculum, has particular religious character or has links with religious organization
  • Carry out some religious teachings e.g. praying before lunch 
  • Funded by local church, all students have same religion.
  • Contrast to comprehensive school as has a variety of different beliefs and cultures, freedom in terms of religion
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Peer group pressure

  • A peer group is a group of people of a similar age and interests to you
  • Share a common identity
  • Postitve, peers can pressure individual into revising or taking part in something for charity. Peer group can act as a support system to encourage individual to do things hse would have the courage to do on her own
  • Negative, peers pressure individual into theft or being rude to teacher to gain status within peer group but also to not feel left out. Paul Willis- Status frustration. Working class, create anti school sub culture. Encouraged to mess about, if wanted to study would be taken the mick out of, teased and harassed
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Function of Education, how successful

  • Functionalists
  • role allocation, 'sifts and sorts' students into different jobs for future by testing on knowledge of certain jobs
  • mertitocratic , most intelligent, best jobs
  • Successful, all tested through GCSES and ALEVELS, grades must meet certain demands fro certain jobs.
  • marxists- tests in elabortaed code, aimed at middle class. Based on class if you do well
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encourage competition beneficial/non

  • League tables.
  • Parents can compare academic success of different schools in order to decide where to send child
  • sucessful, made schools improve results in order to compete with others
  • Popular schools being able to pick pupils who think are most intelligent 
  • Doesnt look at factors e.g. care needs. 
  • Specialist schools lower grades but better suited to those with special needs
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Selective Education

  • Small proportion of children attend because exist outside state provison
  • dont have to teach national curriculum 
  • select basis on being able to pay/pass an exam
  • entrance examination and £30,000 
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Achievement and Ethnicity

  • Chinese highest performing 
  • Black lowest performing 

Material Sucess

  • Material deprivation, cannot give their child the means to have maximum educational sucess Their own room, computer... . Without computer, cant research things, gain a lower mark. Without their own room, distractions, no space
  • Working class, Marxists argue not able to support their children because usually single parents, not enough funds to give child things


  • Certian Asian groups have communication barrier, English second langauge. Hard to undertand books and teachers
  • made for middle class, elaborated code
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Parents influence on education success

  • levels of encouragement, some parents from ethnic minority groups less interested in their childrens education
  • Working class less interested, education system harsh on them leade to them rebeliing it and work system 
  • Lead to benefits 
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