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AQA A2 Sociology - Education- Ethnic Differences in Achievement
Terms in this set (44)
What is meant by ethnicity?
- Ethnicity refers to a shared culture, identity and history
- An ethnic group is a group of people who see themselves as a distinct group based for example on religion, geography or language
What are the general trends in terms of ethnic differences in achievement?
- Black and Pakistani pupils do worst; Chinese and Indians do best
- White pupils are very close to the national average, but this is because they form the great majority of the school population
What are the two factors involved in explaining differences in achievement?
- Internal factors
- External factors
What are the main external factors affecting ethnic differences in achievement?
- Cultural deprivation
- Material deprivation & class
- Racism in wider society
What do cultural deprivation theorists argue that the under-achievement of some ethnic groups is caused by?
- Inadequate socialisation in the home (has two factors)
- - Intellectual and language skills
- - Attitudes, values and family structure
What do Bereiter and Engelmann claim regarding the language of poorer black American families?
- It is ungrammatical and disjointed
- Their children are unable to express abstract ideas (a major barrier to educational progress)
What do some sociologists claim about EAL children?
- May be held back educationally
- This is not a major factor
What do cultural deprivation theorists argue about fatalism and immediate gratification amongst black children?
- The subculture which some back children are socialised into is fatalistic and focused on immediate gratification
- This results in a lack of motivation to succeed
What does Murray argue about the lack of a male role model for African-Caribbean boys?
- May encourage them to turn to an anti-educational macho 'gang culture'
What does Moynihan argue with regards to the culture of poverty?
- The absence of a male role model of achievement in black matrifocal lone parent families produces inadequately socialised children who fail at school
- They go on to become inadequate parents themselves and therefore perpetuate a culture of poverty
What does Pryce argue with regards to the impact of slavery?
- Black Caribbean culture is less resistant to racism because of the experience of slavery
- As a result, many black pupils have low self-esteem and under-achieve
What did Sewell argue with regards to Asian families?
- Chinese and Indian pupils benefit from supportive families with an 'Asian work ethic'.
- He contrasts this with black lone parent families
What does Lupton's study of working-class schools with different ethnic compositions show?
- Teachers reported poorer levels of behaviour and discipline in the white working-class schools
- They linked this to lower levels of parental support and the negative attitudes of white working-class parents towards education
What did Evans argue with regards to street culture in white working-class areas?
- Street culture in white working-class areas can be brutal and is brought into school
- The result is a strong pressure to reject education
What is compensatory education?
- Educational policy that aims to counter the effects of cultural deprivation
Give 2 examples of compensatory education in action in contemporary society
- Operation Head Start
Give 4 criticisms of cultural deprivation theory in regards to ethnic differences in achievement
- Victim-blaming (Keddie argues that minority ethnic children are culturally different not culturally deprived, and they underachieve in schools because they are ethnocentric - biased in favour of white culture)
- Cultural exclusion (Ball argues that minority ethnic parents are at a disadvantage because they are less aware of how to work the system.)
- Gewirtz argues that complex school application forms are an example of cultural exclusion
- Cultural domination (Compensatory education imposes the dominant white middle-class culture on minority ethnic groups pupil's own culture)
How does racism in wider society impact on children's education?
- Racial discrimination in jobs and housing
- Social exclusion
- Unemployment, low pay, inadequate housing
- Affects children's education
What did Gillborn and Mirza find with regards to the actual achievement of black pupils?
- In one area, black children were the highest achievers on entering primary school (20 points above average)
- Yet by the time it came to GCSE, they had fallen 21 points below average
- This suggests that schooling, not background, is to blame
What did Gillborn and Youdell find with regards to the labels teachers give to black pupils?
- Teachers have 'racialised expectations' about black pupils and expected more discipline problems and saw their behaviour as threatening
- Black pupils were more likely than others to be punished for the same behaviour
- The pupils felt that their teachers underestimated their ability and picked on them
What conclusion did Gillborn and Youdell reach with regards to the labelling of black pupils by teachers?
- Conflict between white teachers and black pupils stems from the racist stereotypes that teachers have, rather than from the pupil's actual behaviour
- This can cause under-achievement as it leads to:
- - Higher levels of exclusions of black boys
- - Black pupils being placed in lower sets or streams
What did Wright find with regards to the labelling of Asian pupils?
- Teachers assumed the children would have a poor grasp of English and so they used simplistic language when speaking to them
- They mispronounced children's names
- They saw them as a problem that they could ignore
What was the result of the labelling of Asian students by teachers for Wright?
- Asian pupils, especially girls, were marginalised and prevented from participating fully, affecting their self-esteem
What did Connolly find with regards to how primary school teachers saw Asian pupils?
- Saw them as passive and conformist
- Both teachers and pupils saw Asian boys as more 'feminine', vulnerable and less able to protect themselves.
What are the responses to teachers' racist labelling that Sewell identified?
What are the characteristics of Sewell's conformists?
- The largest group
- Keen to succeed
- Accepted the school's goals
- Had friends from different ethnic groups
What are the characteristics of Sewell's innovators?
- Second largest group
- Valued success, but not teacher's approval
What are the characteristics of Sewell's retreatists?
- Tiny minority of isolated individuals
- Disconnected from both school and black subcultures outside out
What are the characteristics of Sewell's rebels?
- Small but highly visible minority of black pupils
- Rejected school's goals and rules
- Conformed to the stereotype of the 'black macho lad'
- Despised both white boys and conformist black boys
- Aim was to achieve the status of 'street hood'
Despite only a small minority of black boys actually fitting the stereotype of 'black macho lad', how do teachers tend to see the majority?
- Teachers tend to see all black boys in this way
- This resulted in the under-achievement of many boys, not just the rebels, as a result of discrimination
What does Sewell argue about factors external to school?
- Sewell argues that factors external to school, such as peer groups, street culture and the lack of a nurturing father, are more important in producing underachievement than internal factors
What did Fuller's study of high-achieving black girls in a London comprehensive show about rejecting negative labels?
- The girls maintained a positive self image by rejecting teachers' stereotypes of them
- They recognised the value of education and were determined to achieve
- Only conformed in terms of doing their schoolwork, working hard without giving the appearance of doing so
- Didn't seek teacher's approval
- Maintained friendships with black girls in lower streams
- In some way, these are the innovators of Sewell's study
What did Mac and Ghaill find with regards to rejecting negative labels?
- Study of black Asian A level students found that they did not necessarily accept teachers' negative labels
What is meant by institutional racism?
- Discrimination against ethnic minorities that is built into the way institutions such as schools and colleges operate on a routine or even unconscious basis, rather than the conscious intentions of individual teachers
How do critical race theorists see the education system?
- CRT sees institutional racism as deep-rooted, 'locked in' feature of the education system
What is meant by ethnocentric?
- Refers to an attitude or policy that prioritises the culture of one particular ethnic group while disregarding or downgrading others.
What do Troyna and Williams note with regards to the ethnocentric curriculum of British schools?
- It gives priority to white culture and the English language
What does David argue with regards to the ethnocentric curriculum of British schools?
- The National Curriculum is a 'specifically British' curriculum that teaches the culture of the 'host community'
What does Ball argue with regards to the ethnocentric curriculum of British schools?
- History in British schools recreates a 'mythical age of empire and past glories'
- At the same time it ignores the history of black and Asian people
What is the argued result of British schools having an ethnocentric curriculum?
- Minority ethnic pupils feel that they and their culture and identity are not valued in education
- This diminishes their sense of self-esteem
- This has a negative effect on their educational achievement
What did Gillborn find with regards to institutional racism and selection and segregation?
- Because marketisation gives schools more scope to select pupils, negative stereotypes can influence decisions about admissions
What does Gillborn argue with regards to how assessment is an example of institutional racism?
- Baseline assessments showing black pupils ahead of whites were replaced in 2003 by the foundation stage profile (which is based on teachers' judgements)
- Black pupils therefore appear to be doing worse than whites
What did Tikly and Strand find in relation to access to opportunities for BAME groups?
- Whites are over twice as likely as black pupils to be identified as gifted and talented
- Black pupils are more likely to be entered for lower tier exams (often because they had been placed in lower streams due to labelling)
What is meant by the new IQism?
- Secondary schools are increasingly using old-style intelligence tests to allocate pupils to different streams on entry
- This is based on the false assumption that 'potential' is a fixed quality that can be measured
- Black pupils are more likely to be placed in lower streams as a result
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