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

Critically assess explanations for differential educational achievement in relation to ethnicity

Extracts from this document...


Critically assess explanations for differential educational achievement in relation to ethnicity Educational attainment is looked at as being able to complete a course of study successfully and be able to gain a qualification that may eventually lead to employment using those skills obtained. Children's educational attainment from all backgrounds can be influenced by in school and out of school factors. The in school factors are human, physical and financial resources and the out of school factors are those that relate to the background of the child's parents and the child's own personality. Educational performance and achievement can be down to many factors, such as ethnicity, social class or gender. Each of which can play a vitally important role in what many believe is achievable. Take social class for example, people believe that dependant on a child's class in the social world can have a greater influence on how that child performs in school. The same principle can be applied to Ethnicity, it is believe that certain races fair better than others and it is not always as straight forward as people think. It may be said that whites do better than blacks, however it is not always as clear-cut as this bold statement. ...read more.


It is also true to say that Indian youths are similarly disadvantaged even though the proportion of these youths attending good exam performance schools is higher than the aforementioned. Bernard Coard (1971) claims that the British educational system actually makes Afro-Caribbean children or other ethnicity's become educationally sub-normal by making them feel 'inferior in every way'. For example Afro-Caribbean children are told that their way of speaking is second rate and unacceptable. This is also seen in some Asian households where English is not the first language used. The Policy Studies Institute (PSI) Survey, found that lack of fluency in English was a significant problem for some groups. Amongst men nearly everyone spoke English fluently, however, amongst the women only about a fifth of Pakistani's and Bangladeshi's were not fluent. It is feared that if the child's first language is not English it may hold back the child. However, the Swann Report (1985) found that language was not a significant factor in educational attainment. The Swann Report investigated the question of social class and if it related to educational achievement. As it was widely thought that members of the lower social classes gained fewer qualifications and left the education system a lot sooner than those in middle or upper class. ...read more.


Some sociologists emphasise the positive and active part that pupils themselves play in determining how they react to the educational system. In conclusion it has been shown that there are a variety of explanations in regards to educational attainment within the ethnic groups. It is shown that not one factor out-weighs the other and that they all work together in producing the lower levels of achievement in some ethnic groups. The Swann Report itself concluded that racial discrimination inside and outside of school along with social depravation were probably the main factors. However, it is not conclusive in showing that the ethnic groups were less adjusted or achieved less than the rest of the population, as it clearly stated that Asian girls are shown as being the single most successful group in the entire British state education sector. From the evidence provided the Swann Report seems to be the strongest argument, as it has looked at every factor and the impact that ethnicity has had on education attainment. Although it strongly suggests that racial discrimination and social deprivation are the main factors in low educational attainment it also acknowledges that cultural factors can also play a part in explaining these differences between ethnic groups and the rest of the population. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and assess Functionalist explanations of the role of the education system.

    4 star(s)

    Perhaps seen as a polar opposite to functionalism, Marxism suggests that society is based upon inequality, which is negative for society; with inequality arising and being reinforced within the education system. Bowles and Ginitis reject the functionalist view of role allocation, suggesting that the traits of hardworking pupils are not positive, as they are often obedient, conforming and dependable.

  2. Using material from Item 1B and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of ethnic differences in ...

    at a young age, so this explanation cannot account on its own for the low achievement of Afro-Caribbean's. Linked to the material deprivation theory, is the affect of backgrounds, which is to some extent determined by culture. For example, many Afro-Caribbean children are brought up in single-parent families with working mothers.

  1. Is the Underachievement of Ethnic Minority Children due to a Racist School System?

    These early disadvantages could very well hold child back in the later stages of education. This seems to make sense that children from ethnic minority groups have to deal with many more problems in everyday life that can effect them in many different way, one of these may be to

  2. Explain the influence of social class and gender on educational achievement

    However some argue that performance on IQ tests are mainly the result of individuals' motivation, knowledge and skills, largely acquired through learning. Therefore class differences may be the result of class background rather than genes. Thus demonstrating that IQ tests may be biased in favour of the middle classes.

  1. How do the three factors of class, gender and ethnicity affect achievement in education?

    This instils a kind of patience into middle-class children, which helps them to maintain their focus and commitment at school. Middle-class parents can afford to move into catchment areas, pay for educational trips or extra tuition to help their children to achieve in education.

  2. Gender and Education. Explanations of gender differences in subject choice notes.

    American college students 1990 called girls lesbian or butch if they liked sports. Explains whys samesex schools has less pressure! (absence of boys). Less pressure to conform to restrictive stereotypes of what subjects they can or cannot study. 1. Gendered career opportunities.

  1. Assess the importance of school factors such as racism in creating ethnic differences in ...

    These girls were unusual because they were high achievers in a school were most black girls were placed in low sets. These girls instead of accepting the negative label the girls channelled their anger about being labelled into the pursuit of educational success.

  2. Biological and Social Constructionist explanations of Gender development

    The biological approach also argues that these chromosomes decide whether the individual will grow up to be masculine or feminine. The sex chromosome pair associated with females is XX, while the sex chromosome pair associated with males is XY. Although it is very unusual some babies may be born with atypical (abnormal)

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