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Class differences in educational attainment.

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Introduction

´╗┐Lucie Jelfs TIP: use examples and make sure the answer links to the question. 1. Becker put forward the term ?Ideal Pupil? to show how teachers have a preference for a certain kind of pupil that they would like to teach. The pupil usually has the characteristics of a middle class child, for example they have a desire to learn and are hardworking and quiet. 2. Students from the upper social classes and those who have attended independent schools are more likely to gain places at elite universities such as LSE and Oxbridge even when they have the same A-level grades as students from state schools because: - They speak with elaborated code. This means that they do not assume that the listener knows what they are talking about and they include as much detail as they can. This means that they are more formal in their speech and will speak better at an interview than someone of a lower class. Thus giving them more of a chance of getting into the elite universities because they will be liked more than someone who uses a restricted code and slang. ...read more.

Middle

Both internal (factors within schools) and external (factors outside of schools) play a part in the difference in attainment between social classes. One internal factor that has a major impact on working class children is labelling. Instead of judging children by their ability and intelligence they judge them on their social class and background. Becker explains that teachers have an ?ideal pupil?, a pupil that has middle class characteristics such as obedience and conformity. Therefore anyone that does not fall into this category is ?labelled? and treated differently. This can then lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. The teachers have judged the children and labelled those who are not middle class as failures or not going to do well. Because of this and the different treatment they receive, the working class children start to believe that they will not achieve. Thus meaning that they do not want to work hard and don?t see the point in achieving so will fail. What the teacher expected happens. However it is not just this that causes the child to fail. The working class have a sub-culture that is different from the ?right? dominant white/middle class of Britain. ...read more.

Conclusion

The child may then fall behind because they have missed out on something that all the other children in their class have had. For example there may be a school trip to a museum that a working class family cannot afford to send their child on. In future lessons the teacher may refer to something seen on that trip so the child that didn?t get to go will be lost and won?t know what they teacher is saying whereas the other students will. Because of this we cannot blame the curriculum for the underachievement in working class pupils, it offers some of the experiences needed for education but the material deprivation means that the child cannot experience it. On the other hand a lot of schools offer help and support to the children from a working class background who cannot afford a lot, and help financially with the cost of a trip. Therefore you could say that it is not the curriculum or material deprivation that causes the child to underachieve. Overall internal factors have an impact of the achievement of working class students. However these internal factors are caused by the external. Therefore it is arguable that they would have little effect if the external factors were taken away. Thus meaning that they external factors are the greatest influence on social-class differences in educational achievement. ...read more.

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