• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the strengths and limitations of using questionnaires to investigate how cultural and material factors affect educational attainment.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A.L. Assess the strengths and limitations of using questionnaires to investigate how cultural and material factors affect educational attainment. A questionnaire is a set list of questions. Positivists see questionnaires as useful because they produce statistical data which correlations and cause and effect relationships can be drawn. Positivists in particular see questionnaires because they produce statistical data from which correlations and cause and effects relationships can be drawn. Advantages of using questionnaires are very useful for getting large quantities of basic educational information quickly and cheaply. The pupils are geographically scattered group. It is easier to research a large sample size of pupils. This can easily be done by posting the questionnaires to them. Positivists see this as useful because they want to be able to make generalisation by using a representative group. ...read more.

Middle

Also, questionnaires are particularly useful for testing hypothesis about cause and effect relationships between different variables. For instance, analysis of respondent's answers could show whether there is a correlation between children's attainment and adequate housing and income. We might find, for example, pupils who lac material necessities such as adequate and housing and income tend to be low achievers. From this analysis we can make statements about the possible causes of low achievement and predictions about which children are most likely to under achieve. Because questionnaires enable us to identify the possible causes, they are favoured by positivist as they see to discover laws of cause and effect. A disadvantage would be the researcher might be culturally biased. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, respondents may lie. In this case, the researcher might ask questions about the pupils values of their children?s' education. Some would give 'respectable' answers they feel ought to give rather than the truth. So, this will eventually produce inaccurate data. In conclusion, using questionnaires on investigating cultural and material factors on educational attainment is useful method because it provides a reliable data. That is, if repeated by another researcher, a questionnaire should give similar results to those gained by the researcher. On the other hand, using questionnaire can be a disadvantage because the respondent may lie and so it will affect the accuracy. Also, Interpretivist would reject the use of questionnaires because they impose the researcher?s framework of ideas of the respondents. Questionnaires fail to achieve the main interepretivist goal of validity. Thus, interpretivist would prefer a method that would produce valid date e.g. unstructured interview. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of questionnaires, as a research method

    The researcher should also tell the participants all the relevant aspects of the research so that they can make a fully informed decision. Also, if a participant is under the age of 18, the researcher needs to get parental consent before they can take part in the research.

  2. Assess the usefulness of Postal Questionnaires

    findings, which is generally time consuming and more costly when compared to postal questionnaires. Whilst postal questionnaires produce mostly reliable data interviews are more prone to getting valid data, as long as the interviewer is able to keep their own views to themselves and create a comfortable environment for the

  1. Examine the ways in which factors in pupils' home backgrounds may affect their educational ...

    Bernstein believed that educational attainment may be related to the different speech patterns between the classes and he recognised to different two linguistic codes. These codes originate from the work place and family organisation, the middle classes seem to have a elaborated or universal code where as the working classes

  2. Which has the greatest impact on educational attainment – gender, social class or ethnicity?

    A variety of reasons have been suggested for the difference between male and females in relation to attainment. Sociologists have attempted to explain firstly why females out perform males in most subjects under the age of sixteen and secondly why females are less likely to enter higher education (post 16 education)

  1. Sociology - Cultural Factors in Educational Attainment

    This suggests that Hyman believes that the cultural deprivation is caused by the limited value on education in the working class background. On the other hand, Marxist sociologists Wefhorst and Hofstede (2007) argue that cultural capital is a significant factor in explaining ability levels.

  2. Assess the strengths and limitations of using interviews for the study of educational achievement ...

    Therefore the researcher needs to build a rapport with the participants in order to make the participants feel more comforted, or perhaps use group interviews for the same effect. Furthermore, since they are children, there are gate keepers such as teachers, the governing body and parents who have to give consent for the research.

  1. Class differences in educational attainment.

    Their parents are like to not have any value in education because they did not achieve well and will pass this onto the child. The child will therefore not see the point in going to school and their parents may not take much interest or encourage their child to do well.

  2. Access the strengths and limitations of using the secondary sources of data

    Sociologists using official statistics are very well aware of the quality of data it produces. These are numerical data produced by national and local government bodies and cover a wide range of behaviour including births, deaths, marriages and divorce, economical and employment records, and work and leisure.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work