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Assess the importance of school factors such as racism in creating ethnic differences in educational achievement

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Introduction

´╗┐Abigail Wright 12P Assess the importance of school factors such as racism in creating ethnic differences in educational achievement. (20 Marks) There is a lot of evidence into ethnic inequalities in regards to academic achievement. DfES 2007 found that. More Indian and Chinese pupils achieved five or more A*- C grades at GCSE?s than their counterparts White, Black, Bangladeshi, and Pakistani pupils. Among these 6 groups the 2 groups that seemed to achieve the least amount of pupils with five or more A*-C grades at GCSE were Black and Pakistani. Gillborn and Youdell (2000) found in one local education authority that African American children where the highest achievers when entering primary school. But also found that when it comes to GCSE African American pupils get the worst results of any ethnic group. If it is that one group can enter school being the highest achievers but finish GCSE?s a lot worse off it must be factors within school that affects their achievement. The first factor I would like to examine is Labelling and Teacher racism. ...read more.

Middle

Despite the schools ?commitment? to equal opportunities teachers held ethnocentric views; they took for granted English culture and Standard English was superior. This in turn affected how they related to the Asian pupils. Teachers assumed that they would have a poor grasp of the English language and then left them out of class discussions or they used simplistic language when speaking to them. The pupils felt isolated when teachers expressed their disapproval of their customs and mispronounced their names. Teachers saw them as a problem that they could ignore. The effect was that Asian pupils especially the girls were marginalised. Research shows that pupils can respond to these labels in very different ways. Some respond by becoming disruptive or withdrawn. Or they may even refuse to accept the label and prove teachers wrong by working hard. It is not always true that negative labels always lead to self-fulfilling prophecy. Mary Fuller (1984) studied a group of pupils that responded by rejecting the negative label that they were given. She studied a group of black girls in year 11 at a London comprehensive school. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another internal problem is the ethnocentric curriculum. This is a curriculum that favours one ethnic group. Troyna and Williams describe the curriculum in British schools as ethnocentric as it gives main priority to white culture. Stephen Ball also critises the National Curriculum for ignoring cultural and ethnic diversity. Coard explains how the ethnocentric curriculum can produce under achievement. An example of this would be that in History the British are seen as bringing civilisation to the primitive peoples they colonised. This image of black people as inferior undermines black children?s self-esteem and can lead to their failure. Troyna and Williams also argue that schools are a place of institutional racism because they believe schools and colleges routinely discriminate against ethnic minorities. These are only some of the internal factors that affect ethnic minority children whilst at school. There are also external factors that can have something to do with academic achievement. Examples of these are cultural and material deprivation. It is difficult to properly identify which of these factors is the largest to the contribution of ethnic achievement. Perhaps all of these factors work hand in hand into creating the results we see when we look at ethnic achievement. ...read more.

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