1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3

Examine the Reasons for Differences in Educational Achievement between Different Ethnic Groups

Extracts from this essay...


Examine the Reasons for Differences in Educational Achievement between Different Ethnic Groups An ethnic group is one that sees itself as culturally distinct from other grouping in a society and is seen by others as distinctive. Groups may differ from others by country of origin, language, religion, dress or other aspects of culture. Some ethnic groups, for example the Irish, are not physically distinctive. Others are more visible and may be subject to discrimination and harassment, including in the education system. Ever since the arrival of immigrants to Britain from the West Indies and India, sociologists and educationalists have been concerned about wide gaps in attainment between different ethnic groups. There are huge differences between the GCSE results of different ethnic groups in England, as well as gender differences. In 2004, Chinese pupils were 70-79% likely to achieve five or more GCSE grades A*-C, with Indian pupils not far behind (62-72%). These groups achieved more GCSE grades A*-C than the White ethnic group, with a 47-62% chance of getting five or more A*-C CSE grades. However, Bangladeshi and Pakistani achievement is low; Bangladeshi pupils had 41-55% chance of getting five or more GCSE grace A*-C, and Pakistani pupils had 38-5% chance.


However, children of Indian and Chinese origin are now among the highest achieving groups, this suggests that language problems affect only recent immigrants. The Swann Report suggested that the more tightly 'knit' Asian family structure, compared with the typical Afro-Caribbean one, might be responsible for higher levels of achievement in some Asian groups. Few women of southern Asian origin are single mothers, whereas the occurrence is common among Afro Caribbean's and increasingly so among whites. Ken Pryce (1979) observed that Afro-Caribbean family life in Britain can be 'turbulent'. New Right commentators associate the children of lone parents with underachievement and other forms of deviance. When mothers bring up children alone they are often working, this means that their children may receive inadequate parental encouragement and supervision, unless there is support from relatives or friends. There is research showing the links between low parental income and children's achievement in education. In Britain, unemployment rates for non-whites are generally higher than for whites. The relative poverty of many ethnic-minority parents means that their children are unlikely to attend independent schools, have private tuition or have home computers.


Their local school tends to be preferred because it is in a familiar neighbourhood, perhaps making racial harassment less likely. They may also lack sufficient cultural capital to recognise the best-quality schools. Bernard Coard (1971) accused teachers of underestimating the abilities of Afro-Caribbean's. Before 1988, when league tables began to pressurise schools to obtain optimum results, there was evidence of teachers directing black students into sports and steel bands rather than academic study. Gillborn and Youdell (2000) noted that an unequal number of black students in the schools they studied were entered for foundation tiers in GCSEs, meaning that they could only achieve C grades or below. Therefore, they would be unlikely to progress to A-levels. The decisions about entering students for GCSEs were based on teachers' estimates of the students' ability and might have been influenced by stereotyping. Overall, there are many factors that contribute to educational achievement by different ethnic groups. I feel that factors within the education system like the ethnocentric curriculum and prejudice in schools are the biggest problem because they occur everywhere. Also, it mean's that ethnic groups are stuck in a stereotype that needs to be changed otherwise they have no chance of achieving their targets. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amy Morris 12/8 Sociology Education

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

Related AS and A Level Work & Leisure

  1. Assess The View That Material Deprivation Is The Most Important Barrier To Educational Attainment.

    Jobs therefore tend to be limited to a "good trade". Hyman found that members of the working class believe that there is less opportunity for personal advancement. This belief is probably the basis for the lower value placed on education and high occupational status.

  2. Examine some of the ways that differences in the home background of middle & ...

    Working class pupils are deprived of certain values and skills that are important for educational success, and these pupils suffer from a lack of ambition or drive to succeed. Many sociology researchers see 'Material deprivation' as another cause of inequality in educational success between working and middle class pupils.

  1. Find out what subjects girls study more in higher education as well as for ...

    A sample of the question is below. 1. What (A level) subjects are you currently studying? Music English Geography Mathematics PD/Health/PE ICT Drama History Modern Languages Chemistry Biology Sociology Physics Sociology Law Business Media Studies Art Religion Others: From this question I discovered that Males sill did a lot of

  2. A discussion of the theory that class-based differences in educational achievement are mainly due ...

    He found that the children living in 'unsatisfactory condition scored much more poorly on tests that those in 'satisfactory' conditions. Reason suggested for this include poor housing conditions and diet leading to ill health, leading to absence from school, and underperformance while there.

  1. Examine the reasons why females tend to achieve more than males in the education ...

    Also because of this over confidence they are more disruptive in class. They act as if they know everything and thus spend more time getting into trouble than actually learning - this not only distracts the class but prevents their learning too.

  2. a) With reference to the Items and elsewhere, assess the view that the introduction ...

    There would be chaos if students didn't have to do what teaches say, obey the rules and get to lessons on time. There isn't any other way it could be done without teaching the pupils these values whilst still keeping the school working.

  1. Discuss the view that the educational system is an ideological conditioning device.

    there is a higherarchy in school, pupils do what there told and don't question authority also pupils must wear school uniforms preparing them for work overalls etc. Capitalism requires a workforce that is motivated by external rewards - wages and school shape them for this by encouraging them to work for credentials e.g.

  2. Gender and Educational Attainment

    In my opinion this major change in academic results has occurred due to the changing attitudes in society. This change in attitude in my opinion resulted from the female protest for equal rights, which have influenced the government and local authority into creating laws, and acts stating that females should be treat exactly the same as the males in society.

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.