Topic 2 - Class and educational achievement

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  • Created by: Ben_95
  • Created on: 10-04-14 10:20

Class patterns in achievement

Working-class pupils achieve less than middle-class pupils.

Explanations for this can be split into two main catergories:

1. External factors - outside school

2. Internal factors - inside school

Achievement and home background

  • Cultural factors - e.g. differences in norms and values.
  • Material factors - e.g. physical necessties of life.

Cultural deprivation theory

Main explanation for class diffferences in educational achievement.

Culture is transmitted through to the next generation by socialisation.

Different classes socialize their children differently.

Working-class parents fail to transmit the 'right' culture needed for educational sucess.

Three factors responsible for working-class under-achievement:

1. A lack of intellectual stimulation - WC parents are less likey to give their children educational toys and activities that will help their learning. When they start school they are emidiately at a disadvantage to MC children.

2. Restricted speech codes - Bernstein (1975) - WC have an a restricted speech code and MC have a more elaborated speech code. (link to intellectual stimulation). The elaborated code is most found in the education system and therefore puts MC chuildren at an advantage.

3. Working-class subculture -

  • Immediate gratification - wanting rewards now rather than later, unlike deffered gratification found in MC children.
  • Fatalism - what will be will be.
  • Low value on education - Hyman and Douglas


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