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

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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

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