Ethnic differences in achievement

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Ethnicity refers to a shared culture, identity and history. An ethnic group is a group of people who see themselves as a group based on religion, geography or language.

 Ethnic differences in achievement

  •  Patterns of ethnic achievement are complex cross-cut by gender and social class
  •  White pupils are closet to national average due to they form the majority of the school population.
  •   Among white and black pupils girls achieve higher, among Asian pupils boys achieve higher.
  • These ethnic differences are due too internal factors within schools and education system, but also due to external factors outside the education system in homes and families.

 Cultural deprivation

 Cultural deprivation theory states that underachievement is caused by inadequate socialization in the home for some ethnic groups.

 Intellectual and language skills

  •  Cultural deprivation theorists claim low income black families lack intellectual stimulation, so fail to develop reasoning and problem solving skills.
  •  Berieter and Englemann claim language is ungrammatical and disjointed; as a result fail to express abstract ideas.

 Attitudes, values and family structure

  •  Attitudes and values towards education may be the result of differences in socialization.
  • Fatalism and immediate gratification – Cultural deprivation theorists argue the subculture that some black children are socialized into is fatalistic and focuses on immediate gratification, therefore resulting in a lack of motivation to succeed.
  • Lack of role model – Murray 1984 argues that high rate of lone parenthood and a lack of adult role model may cause underachievement.
  • Culture of poverty – Moynihan 1965 says the absence of adult role models in black matrifocal lone parent families produces inadequately socialized children, who fail in education. This then causes them to be inadequate parents and perpetuate a culture of poverty.
  • The impact of slavery – Pryce (1979) argues Black Caribbean culture is less resistant to racism because of slavery. As a result this will cause them to have low self esteem and underachieve.
  • Asian families – Khan 1979 argues that the Asian family structure is an obstacle to achievement, since it takes a controlling attitude especially towards girls which mean they will do less well the boys.

 White working – class pupils

  •  Lupton 2004 studied 4 mainly working class schools with different ethnic compositions. Teachers reported lower levels of behavior for white working class due to lower levels of parental support, and negative attitude towards education.
  • Evans 2006 argues the street culture in white working


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