Outline and assess cultural explanations for different class achievement

Topics: Social class, Working class, Middle class Pages: 3 (1006 words) Published: January 4, 2014
Outline and assess cultural explanations for different class achievement (50 marks) A social class background has a very powerful influence on a child’s chances of success in the education system. The children that are from a middle class background will normally perform better than the working class. Basil Bernstein identifies to different speech codes that can effect class achievement in the education system. The restricted speech code, this is normally used by the working class. It is based on a very limited amount of vocabulary. There are uses of short, unfinished and grammatically incorrect sentences. Speech becomes very predictable and will normally involve single word answers or even just a gesture. The elaborated speech code is used typically by the middle class. There are uses of long and grammatically correct sentences. The speaker uses context free speech and does not assume that listener shares the same experiences so they use language to spell out the meaning. The different codes give the middle class children an advantage at school and put working class at a disadvantage. The elaborated code is the speech used by the teachers and it is seen as the correct way to speak. However Bernstein recognises that the school and not just the home is the main courses of class achievement. He argues that the working class children are not culturally deprived but it is because schools fail to teach them the elaborated code in order to proceed with achievement in the future. Many cultural deprivation theorists argue that the working class homes lack books, educational toys and activities that would stimulate a child’s development in the education system. J.W.B Douglas found that working class children scored lower on tests of ability than the middle class children. He argues that this is because working class are most unlikely to support their children’s intellectual development through reading with them or other educational activities in the home. Middle class...
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