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Examine some of the ways that differences in the home background of middle & working class pupils, can lead to differences in educational attainment.

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Introduction

Examine some of the ways that differences in the home background of middle & working class pupils, can lead to differences in educational attainment. It has been suggested that class differences in educational attainment are due to the differences in the home and family backgrounds of the pupils. Children from lower social backgrounds are more likely to fail because of what they experience inside the home environment. This approach is based on the belief that those from different social classes have very different home lives. Home and family based factors can be put into two categories, these are: Material factors and Cultural factors. Each factor serves as an explanation for working class under-achievement. Cultural factors include both cultural depravation and Cultural Capital. Cultural depravation means to be deficient in the skills and values required to be successful in education. This explanation points out that working class children are short of stimulus in the home. Stimuli such as: the lack of parental interest, limited amounts of educational toys and restricted amount of access to books. ...read more.

Middle

Bernstein's theory argues that middle class pupils have an advantage over the working class pupils because school is conducted through an elaborated code and analysis is that middle class pupils are more likely to use the elaborated code and therefore are well practised before they enter the school system. The reason working class pupils are said to under-achieve in comparison with the middle class is because working class pupils use more informal language, known as the 'Restricted code', which is unsuitable in school. This immediately disadvantages them from acquiring the skills needed by the education system. Cultural Capital refers to the idea used by Marxists to help explain cultural influences on education success. According to 'Bourdieu', he say's that middle class and working class are different or have different 'Habitus. Middle class pupils enter school with a habitus, or a set of beliefs or ideas, which fit the culture of the school. This helps them deal with the material they learn in school. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is known as 'Deferred gratification' On the other hand, working class pupils tend to seek their rewards immediately, so leave school at 16. This is known as 'Instant gratification'. Generally the jobs or occupations of middle class people have a long-term reward structure, so that encourages a deferred gratification culture. In terms of working class people's jobs, they have a short reward structure, and that encourages an instant gratification culture. 'Douglas' found in early research, that poor living conditions also affected educational attainment. Poor housing conditions such as over-crowding and insufficient space and quiet can make study at home difficult. Poor diet can lead to ill health. High levels of sickness in poorer homes may mean more absence from school and then falling behind with lessons and schoolwork. This in turn affects the pupil's performance in education. Although Factors and relationships within the family. And outside of the education system, offers an explanation for the differences in educational attainment between different social classes. Other factors within the education system or outside the family will also lead to differences between working and middle class educational attainments. 1 ...read more.

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