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Analyse the effect of two socio-economic factors on educational achievement

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Introduction

´╗┐Unit Title: Socio-Economic Factors and Educational Achievement Kayleigh Giles-Johnson ________________ Analyse the effect of at least two socio-economic factors on educational achievement In this essay, we will be looking at the effect that different socio-economic factors have on educational achievement in schools. It is a fact that girls out-perform boys at every level from SATS to A-Level, making them more likely to move on to higher education. This year, the gap in gender achievement was at a record high with 73.3% of girl achieving a grade A*-C compared to only 65.4% of boys ? a gap of 7.9% percentage points (http://www.dailymail.co.uk). There could be a number of factors contributing to this, such as the ideas of Mitsos and Brown (1998) who say that teaching has been dramatically feminised in schools. Women are more likely to be classroom teachers, particularly in primary education, giving the girls more positive role models to look up to. ...read more.

Middle

Females are also known to spend more time on activities such as reading or communicating in their spare time, developing their language skills, as opposed to boys who spend a majority of the time being physically active (Parsons, 2004, p.55). Class has been found to be a major factor in affecting pupils' performance, with students from a professional background achieving substantially better grades than those from an unskilled background, making them more likely to enter higher education. Labelling can also have an effect here too, as Bali (1981) found that the top subjects sets of students were largely from higher social classes. This means that the working classes do not have the same access to higher levels of knowledge, potentially sparking a self-fulling prophecy of underachievement. As a response to this, anti-school subcultures may form amongst working class students, further lowering educational achievement as a result. However, there are factors at home that could contribute. ...read more.

Conclusion

found. Working class pupils were found not to be comfortable with the style of language required by their school, so instead talk in a restricted code that is more familiar with them. The middle-class pupils tend to be more well-spoken, using the same elaborated code as their teachers (Parsons, 2004, p.55). This correct use of language, and a more positive attitude and use of knowledge is what Bourdieu (1971, 1974) called "cultural capital". He believed that having cultural capital is the key to success and is something that working class children can not easily access. In conclusion, there are many socio-economic factors that can contribute to educational achievement. We have found that gender is a major factor and that girls tend to achieve higher than boys, but that it can also be a combination of reasons behind the pupils' class background, with a number of factors both in school and at home that can affect achievement. Reference List Books: Parsons, R (2004) AS Level Sociology: AQA Revisions Guide, UK: CGP Publishings Ltd. Websites: First ever FALL in top GCSE grades, Available online at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2192383/GCSE-results-2012-First-fall-grades-exams-24-year-history-teachers-claim-tests-marked-harshly.html [Accessed 07 November 2012]. ...read more.

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