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

Critically discuss the reasons for the relative underachievement of ethnic minority pupils in Britain

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Critically discuss the reasons for the relative underachievement of ethnic minority pupils in Britain today There is significant evidence to show that the higher a pupils social class, the higher their level of educational achievement is likely to be. Material depravation disadvantages certain groups that have less money than other and so are not able to make the most of their educational opportunities. They may not have the time and space at home to do school work. They may not be able to raise money for educational trips; and they may not have access to educational materials such as books, computers and the internet. They may experience ill health, have to work part-time to support their studies, or have to car for younger siblings. As most ethnic minorities tend to be working-class, these material disadvantages translate into educational disadvantages in the same way as for the working class. Governments have attempted to reduce the material disadvantages faced by working class pupils through positive discrimination which takes form by compensatory education. ...read more.

Middle

Ethnic minority students are also at a disadvantage because of low teacher expectations, ethnic minority students often need special trained teachers for help with grammar and spelling if they struggle with the English language. Some ethnic minority students such as afro Caribbean boys have been labelled as being 'unruly,' and 'disrespectful' and 'difficult to control' applied to them, the teachers interpreted the dress and manner of speech of Afro-Caribbean boys as representing a challenge to their authority. Thus, the students behaving in accordance to their labels. Wright found that Asian pupils were paid less attention and used simplistic language in wrongly assuming they had poor English speaking skills. Teachers also lack sensitivity towards aspects of culture and displayed open disapproval of their customs and traditions. This made pupils feel undervalued and unable to feel of having the chance to succeed in education. This may be part of the reason why 1 in 3 muslims have no qualitfications. Bourdieu P (1977) takes a Marxist view and has developed his own distinctive cultural explanation for achievement and suggests that there is an element of 'cultural capital' in society. ...read more.

Conclusion

Sociologists have argued that what is taught in schools via the curriculum disadvantages the working class and ethnic minorities as the knowledge they encounter at school does not identify with their own cultural experiences. Coard (1971) showed how the content of education also ignored black people. The people who are acclaimed tend to be white, whilst black culture, music and art are largely ignored. Coard argued that this lead to low self-esteem amongst black pupils. However, this assertion was ridiculed by both the Swann Report (1985) and the Stone (1981) who noted that, despite feeling discriminated against by some teachers, West Indian children had been able to maintain an extremely positive image. The National Curriculum has also been criticised for being ethnocentric - emphasising white middle class culture at the expense of other cultures - especially in its focus on British history and literature. Also, addressing 'multicultural education' which acknowledges the contribution of all of the worlds cultures, however has been criticised for only focusing only on external factors and failing to address the real problem of racism. Ethnic minority languages still do not have the same status as European languages and schools are still required to hold Christian assemblies. ...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. Modern Britain is now a secular society

    The British census showed that 72% of the population described themselves as being Christian and 23% of the population have no religion or didn't state it. However the 390,000 people who responded to the Internet campaign and put their religion as `Jedi Knight' distorted these figures, showing that they did not take the question seriously.

  2. Following the publication of the Macpherson Report, the police service has been accused of ...

    Sir Paul Condon (2003) stated that the inquiry was 'a tragedy for the police service in terms of the damage it has done to the reputation and confidence in the service'. The responses of the police to the report could also be said to have further hindered police relations with ethnic minorities.

  1. Assess the view that the underachievement of some ethnic minority pupils is the result ...

    Wright who did a study of racism in multi-racial primary schools further supports this. She found considerable discrimination in the classroom, Asian children were largely excluded from group discussions and Asian girls seemed invisible to the teachers. She also found that Asian pupils were isolated from other pupils who picked up on teachers comments made to the Asians.

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

    Therefore I have decided that my best opinion is to talk to people who deal with such matters on a day-to-day basis. Another reason why I am taking an interprestivist approach is because I want to look at social interaction and I feel that by using unstructured interviews I can

  1. Evaluate sociological explanations for underachievement of the working class.

    that it is difficult to measure the values and attitudes of a culture, whether they are middle class or working class. The biggest criticism is that the Cultural Deprivation theory makes the middle class sound better than the working class, when in fact they are probably equal in intelligence but have different motivations and different ways of expressing themselves.

  2. Outline and account for the disadvantages experienced by minority ethnic groups in British society.

    Terms like 'coloured' (now thoroughly discredited) or 'black' can be attacked as being themselves racist. 'Race' as a common-sense usage refers to the idea that human beings can be divided into sub-groups and distinguished by biological differences. Such differences can be distinguished by biological difference.

  1. Assess the view that ethnic minority pupils are discriminated against in the education system.

    For example, there is a wide range of ethnic minority pupils from a range of backgrounds in Britain today so it would be impractical to include work that is related to all of the cultures. As we all live in England it seems natural to give slightly more attention to the history of this country.

  2. Black Male perception, of Secondary School Attainment and Opportunities. "Explore reasons for the academic ...

    LITERATURE REVIEW (SECONDARY RESEARCH) Social context race McGuire. Pseudo-scientific biological theories of race are possibly the stem of all racism. Perhaps this leads to the substandard teaching of those which are black. Giroux[2] talks about the legacy of colonisation and enslavement and how this was justified through the argument of biological theories.

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