Assess the Claim That Social Class Differences in Educational Achievement Are Primarily the Result of School Factors

Topics: Social class, Working class, High school Pages: 5 (1762 words) Published: March 30, 2012
maxine hingston Assess the claim that social class differences in educational achievement are primarily the result of school factors

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 children from working-class families and the gap between middle and working class educational achievement gets bigger as children get older. Internal factors, also known as school factors, these are factors inside the education system, such as a students subcultures, teacher labeling and language codes also affect a child’s achievement in education. The 1944 Act tried to create education for all – secondary schools were made free for all and the school leaving age was raised to 15. Children had to maxine hingstontake a test called the 11+ exam to determined what type of secondary school they would attend. Grammar schools were for the able children who passed the 11+ exam. Pupils were taught traditional subjects ready for university. 20% of children got in to grammar schools. Grammar schools were aimed at the middle class, and if a middle class child failed their 11+ their parents could still afford to send them to private school. Secondary modern schools were for the majority of working class children. These institutions were for all the children who failed the 11+ exam. Secondary moderns offered basic education, to which the children would later need in a life of work. Lastly, Technical schools provided vocational education, for example hand on job training for the minority of the school population – approximately 5%. Private and selective schools normally perform better across the curriculum. This is because; bad behavior is less tolerated, there are smaller classes and teachers normally have higher qualifications. Whereas compared to comprehensive schools, which have less money for resources, have more tolerable attitumaxine hingstonde towards bad behavior. In the late 1980s, the conservative government introduced some major reforms in education. One main aspect being that there should be a system of choice and competition. Meaning that parents could choose which school to send their child to- if the school had space. Secondly, parents could use league tables to help them choose a school. League tables show how many kids at the school pass their exams, and how many get good grades – this leads on to labeling and setting/streaming.

Some Criticism of types of school that a child goes to are that the type of school you go to is not a determining factor in whether or not young working class people have high achievement or not. If the student values education and they are willing to work hard and do well, then they can use their own independence to do so. Also failing schools are inspected and give a time limit to improve, meaning that they have to provide a suitable environment for leaning and achievement. Essentially, if a child was deemed clever enough – from a positive result from their 11+ - they could attend a grammar school or private school. If they were from working class backgrounds they were more likely going to go to secondary modern and technical schools, which never gave them the education and resource to go to university and have high educational achievement.

Negative labeling of students can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. Becker and Keddie say that teachers tend to evaluate pupils in terms of a ideal student, by looking at appearance, personality, speech and social class. Negative labeling can mean students get put into lower streams or bands. Ball found that the pupils in the top banmaxine hingstonds were from higher social classes. Teachers had higher expectation of them and they were taught in different ways. Keddie found that teachers allowed pupils in the top steams access to higher levels of knomaxine hingstonwledge. Working class students didn’t get...
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