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Lesson 1 Class differences in achievement (1) external factors

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Praveen Kandola

on 28 September 2015

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Transcript of Lesson 1 Class differences in achievement (1) external factors

Class differences in achievement (1) external factors
Cultural Deprivation
Cultural Deprivation theorist argue that most of us begin to acquire basic values, attitudes & skills that are needed for educational success through primary socialisation in the family.

This basic 'cultural equipment' includes things like: language, self-discipline & reasoning skills.

Cultural theorists say that: many working-class families fail to socialise their children adequately. -> meaning they grow up 'culturally deprived'.

Poor Housing
E.g. overcrowding can make it harder for a child to study, means disturbed sleeping.

Also, more a risk of accidents. Cold or damp housing can cause ill health = meaning absence from school.
Marilyn Howard (2001) notes that young people from poorer homes have lower intakes of energy, vitamins and minerals.
Financial support and the costs of education

Less equipment as they cannot afford it. Emily Tanner (2003) found that the cost of items such as books, computer, transport, uniforms place a heavy burden on poor families.
Learning Objectives
Private Schools
Working in groups of about 5 students, each member of the group should investigate a different website from the following list.

Find out about the school – for example, the cost of fees (and ‘extras’); how to gain admission; school facilities and sport, arts and expeditions available; the range of subjects and examination results.

1. Why do students from these schools do so well in their GCSE and A level exams?

2. Why are parents willing to pay so much for their child’s education?

Read the following statement and identify how Sugarman’s four key features of working-class subculture are illustrated. There are more than you think!
Material Deprivation
Educational failure is not about working-class subculture, but it is about material deprivation.

MD: refers to poverty & lack of material necessities such as housing & income.

Many different factors that can affect working-class children's education:

1) Housing
2) Diet & Health
3) Financial support and the costs of education
What is meant by social class?
When examining social class differences in achievement, the main differences are between working-class & middle-class.

Middle-class: non-manual occupations traditionally include doctors or teachers, managers and other 'white collar' office workers.

Working-class: manual occupations traditionally include skilled workers such plumbers & electrician, together semi-skilled workers e.g. lorry drivers & unskilled workers e.g. cleaners.
Cultural Capital
Bourdieu: 3 types of capital

Pierre Bourdiey (1984) argues that both cultural & material factors contribute to educational achievement and are not separate but interrelated.

To understand that there are class differences in educational achievement.

Understand the different external factors, including cultural deprivation and material deprivation that impact children's education.

Explaining class diferences
Social class background has a powerful influence on a child's chances of success in the education system.

Children from middle-class families on average perform better than working-class children.

Children of the middle class do better at GCSE stay longer in FT education & take majority of university places.
Why do middle-class children do better?
Better-off parents can afford to spend their children to private schools, which may provide a higher standard of education.

Class sizes on average are 50% smaller than those in state schools.

But, most of the sociological research is based on why do middle-class students still do better than working-class students within state schools.
External Factors
These are factors outside the education system, such as the influence of home & family background & wider society.

1. cultural deprivation
2. material deprivation
3. cultural capital
Parents Education
Refers to development of thinking & reasoning skills, such as the ability to solve problems.

CD argues that many working-class homes lack the books, education toys & activities that stimulate a child's intellectual development.

Douglas Found that working class parents placed less value on education. As a result they were less ambitious for children and gave them less encouragement and took less interest in their education. They visited schools less often and were less likely to discuss their children's progress with teachers - meant lower levels of motivation.

Basil Bernstein & Douglas Young (1967) found the way in which mothers think about and choose toys has an influence on the child's development.

Middle-class mothers more likely to choose toys that encourage thinking & prepare them for school.

Carl Bereiter & Siegfried Engelmann (1966) claim that the language used in lower-class homes is deficient. They describe lower class families as communicating by gestures, single words or disjointed phrases.

This results in the children incapable of abstract thinking.

Basil Bernstein (1975) identified differences between working-class & middle-class language. He found two types of speech code.

1) THE RESTRICTED CODE: typically used by the working-class. It has limited vocabulary & is based on short, often unfinished, simple sentences. Context bound - meaning speaker assumes the listener shares the experiences.

2) THE ELABORATED CODE: typically used by the middle-class. It has wider vocabulary & based on longer, grammatically more complex sentences. Context-free - uses language that explains clearly their experience.

Depending on which speech code a child is, means it will either be an advantage or disadvantage to them.

Not saying that working-class are inadequate but that schools fail to teach them how to use the elaborated code.
Restricted or elaborated?
1. “They’re playing football
and he kicks it and it goes through there
it breaks the window and they’re looking at it
and he comes out
and shouts at them
because they’ve broken it
so they run away
and then she looks out
and she tells them off”
2. “Three boys are playing football and one boy kicks the ball
and it goes through the window
the ball breaks the window
and the boys are looking at it
and a man comes out and shouts at them
because they’ve broken the window
so they run away
and then that lady looks out of her window
and she tells the boys off.”
“If you are going into Bedford, please get a new toy for Rupert the dog from the pet-shop (which we can’t name because if the dog hears it he will go mad), to replace the one which we have come to call “April”, which he has almost chewed to bits.”
“If you’re going to town, get Rupert a new April from you-know-where”
“I see from the newspaper I am reading that David Cameron, leader of the Opposition, is once again trying to attack the government from a position of right-wing populism as we discussed a couple of days ago.”
“Cameron’s at it again.”
Attitudes & Values
Cultural deprivation theorists argue that parents' attitudes & values are a key factor affecting educational achievement.

Working-class families place less importance on education, which meant less encouragement in doing well. Less likely to go into school and discuss child's progression.

Sugarman (1967) argues that working-class subculture has 4 key features that act as a barrier to educational achievement.

Fatalism: a belief in fate - 'whatever will be, will be' & there is nothing you can do about it.
(Middle-class say change your position through own efforts)
Collectivism: valuing being part of a group more than succeeding as an individual.
(Middle-class say do not be held back by group loyalties).
Immediate gratification: seeking pleasure now instead of in the future.
(Middle-class sacrifice now for rewards later)
Present-time orientation: seeing present as important and having no long-term goals
(Middle-class very future orientated).
What can we do about cultural deprivation?
Compensatory education

A policy designed to tackle the problem of CD by providing extra resources to schools in deprived areas.

In Britain a well known organisation called Sure Start, help with providing children's health, but it provides extra help that some families cannot give their children.
The Myth of cultural deprivation

Cultural deprivation has been widely criticized.

Barry Troyna and Jenny Williams (1986) argue that the problem is not the child's language but the schools attitude towards it.

Teachers have a speech hierachy, they label middle class speech highest, followed by working class speech.
Refer to Sugarman’s account of working class subculture .
Read the following statement and identify how Sugarman’s four key features of working-class subculture are illustrated. There are more than you think!

‘I might be under a bus tomorrow, so what’s the point of waiting? I want to enjoy myself now. I’d much rather go out and have a good time while I can, not do lots of extra work. I’ve got no chance of moving up in the world anyway – things are stacked against me. Working hard for tomorrow is for fools. The only way I’m likely to improve my position and wages is by standing together with my mates against the bosses.’

In pairs, study the list below and discuss which are examples of cultural capital and which are examples of economic capital.

Put them into two lists and add two more examples of your own to each list.

Finally, summarise what is the difference between the two.

Parents writing an effective appeal letter against a child’s school allocation
Parents sending their child to a private school
Parents buying a computer for their child to use at home for schoolwork
Parents are confident when talking to teachers
Parents taking children to the theatre
Parents moving house to be near a successful school
Two fake school reports.

You need to analyse them in order to identify external factors affecting achievement of working class and middle class students. Issues to identify include: Different forms of cultural deprivation, family structure, material deprivation.
Answer the following questions:
Once you have completed these complete the 12 mark essay plan.
Revisiting aims
To understand that there are class differences in educational achievement.

Understand the different external factors, including cultural deprivation and material deprivation that impact children's education.
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