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DOES CULTURAL AND MATERIAL DEPRIVATION AFFECT A CHILDS EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS?

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Introduction

DOES CULTURAL AND MATERIAL DEPRIVATION AFFECT A CHILDS EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS? I am going to explore why I believe that being deprived does have an affect on a child's educational progress. The idea that material and cultural deprivation could explain different educational achievements amongst children has been discussed and studied for more than 50 years. If we think about pre-World War 2 Britain, where there was wide spread disparities of wealth and income, poverty and deprivation were obvious explanations for educational differences in achievement between upper/middle class children and their working class peers. However in the years following the 2nd World War, material conditions for the working classes greatly improved. They had the benefit of the introduction of the Welfare State, National Health Service and the 1944 Education Act that provided free, compulsory, schooling. Even with all these extra benefits the level of achievement amongst the working class children did not significantly improve. This in part led to the Plowden Report ("Children and Their Primary Schools", 1967) to conclude that only in extreme cases did poverty play a significant part in explaining different educational achievement. In addition to this Haley, Floyd and Martin who produced the report "Social Class and Educational Opportunity, 1967, found the proportion of working class children admitted to Grammer schools between 1952 and 1954 fell-despite the belief that the use of "objective" intelligence testing at 11 (the eleven plus) ...read more.

Middle

In addition to this in controlled experiments, children whose vitamin intake was increased, saw that their IQ scores also increased by a few percentage points. Lack of school resources (books, computers etc) is another consequence to the child being unable to study within the home. The stigma of poverty, could possibly lead to behavioural problems and if the child is being bullied, this may result in the child playing truant. Also the need to work to bring money into the home. This leaves less time for homework, and the child is tired after working before/after school. We also have to understand that working class people have a different culture from middle class people, and that working class people do less well in education. Melvin Kohn discovered that there are class differences in culture. He described middle class parents as desiring independence of mind and working class parents as valuing obedience. This also links to the idea introduced by Oscar Lewis who introduced the idea of poverty. He claimed that poor people developed distinct sub-cultural values to enable them to survive poverty, but this disadvantaged children in school. At an individual level, he believed that people grow to feel helpless and disempowered to change their circumstances. ...read more.

Conclusion

In today's society there are many ways in which we can help the children who come from deprived backgrounds, one new initiative is Sure Start, which is a government run programme which aims to achieve better outcomes for children, parents and communities of deprived backgrounds by; increasing the availability of childcare for all children. Improving health and emotional development for young children. Supporting parents as parents and in their aspirations towards employment. The Sure Start Unit is responsible for raising the quality of learning and development opportunities for children from birth to five years, and giving children the best possible start to their learning journey. This is to be achieved by, helping services development in disadvantaged areas, alongside financial help for parents to afford better childcare. In conclusion then although not fully accepted, it does seem that material and cultural deprivation plays a significant part in a child's educational progress. And with the help of such programmes as Sure Start, let's hope that the future for these innocent children becomes a better place for them to thrive in. REFERECES Haralambos and Hloborn (2000) Sociology Themes and Perspectives, fifth addition, London: Harper Collins. Microsoft (2001) Encarta Concise Dictionary, Student Addition, London: Bloomsbury. http://www.sociology.org.uk (accessed 13/10/2004) http://www.SureStart.gov.uk (accessed 05/11/2004) Victoria Cox Study Skills Tutor: Lina Ghosh. ...read more.

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