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

Examine the view that differences in educational achievement amongst ethnic minorities is a result of an ethnocentric curriculum. (20 marks)

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Examine the view that differences in educational achievement amongst ethnic minorities is a result of an ethnocentric curriculum. (20 marks) The issue of differences between the ethnic minority groups and educational achievement has been something which has been explored by educationalists and sociologists alike for a number of years; as it should have been because in a multi-cultural society where the education system promises to deliver ?equality of opportunity? we need to challenge why some ethnic groups perform so much better than others. In this essay, I will be exploring some of the possible explanations for the differences in achievement and will be demonstrating that it is a complex issue which involves more than just ethnicity. Evidence from official statistics demonstrates that the ethnic group who perform best and achieve the highest grades at GCSE are the Chinese group with approximately 83% achieving 5 A*-C. Indian pupils also do well, achieving approximately 74% compared to 60% of white British pupils. However, there are certain ethnic groups such as Afro-Caribbean and Pakistani children which are clearly underachieving. ...read more.


This is certainly the case for ethnic minority groups who may not speak English as their first language at home. The fact that a good grasp of English is required in order to access every area of the curriculum as well as the assessment demonstrates why this would be a problem. Mac an Ghaill identified this problem. Cultural factors are also important too. Amongst Pakistani girls the expectation is often that they will become mothers and wives as fulfil a traditional family role; this is partly due to the religious influence of their Muslim background. This may mean that for Pakistani girls there is not the same emphasis and importance given to education and we know that parental expectations play a large part in explaining educational achievement. West Indians are also held to have a family life which doesn?t encourage achievement at school but we have to treat generalisations like this with caution. The claim made here that it is the ethnocentric curriculum which accounts for ethnic minority underachievement was made by Cecile Wright who claimed that the UK curriculum was not only entirely focussed ...read more.


This would certainly seem to be a more powerful influence than the argument of an ethnocentric curriculum because the curriculum is only one aspect of the school experience and as Rosenthal and Jacobson showed us, the self-fulfilling prophecy can be very powerful. Gilbourn found that many teachers? felt that black students opposed their authority and disciplined them accordingly. Could this be an example of institutionalised racism? This could also explain the higher levels of exclusion from schools amongst the black ethnic group which would certainly explain underachievement. One final factor to consider is the lack of role models in schools for ethnic minority students. McCreith found that even when there are teachers in schools from ethnic minority groups, they are less likely to be in positions of power and therefore students are not provided with messages from people who have achieved academic success. I would argue that we cannot blame the ethnocentric curriculum alone for the underachievement of some ethnic groups but should instead look at a whole range of factors, as outlined above and should consider the fact that gender and social class are also extremely influential factors in determining academic success. ...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. Critically examine the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisations

    to be in moral decline, and therefore join introversionist sects that separate themselves from the world. This evidence suggests that women are more likely to experience poverty and deprivation than men, and therefore join sects to try and improve their situation.

  2. Using material from Item 1B and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of ethnic differences in ...

    It also assumes that mothers are not an authoritative role in the family, but also does not take into account the female-headed families of children who do achieve. However, background and culture can also have a positive affect. For example, the Swann Report claimed that Asian families are linked with successful educational performance.

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

    emotional, intellectual and social development and that these early disadvantages might well hold back the children in later stages of education. This therefore shows that the underachievement of some ethnic minority pupils is the result of factors and processes within the school.

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

    levels of validity which is very important to me, however I understand that my study will not be representative of the population and much more difficult to analyse. Yet I feel that I need much more than yes and no answers as I am looking for explanations to why and

  1. Assess the claim that ethnic differences in educational achievement are primarily the result of ...

    Bernard Coard(2005) helps to explain how the ethnocentric curriculum may produce underachievement as the image of black people as inferior undermines black children?s self-esteem, leading to their failure. However some such as Troyna and Williams argue that teacher racism is not the only explanation of ethnic differences in education as institutional racism plays a large part.

  2. Outline and assess the view that processes within school results in differences in educational ...

    conflict between students and teachers, which leads to more exclusion for black students. This shows that pupils can still achieve even when negatively labelled and these labels need not lead to self-fulfilling prophecy. However Mirza did find evidence of teacher labelling and even racism in some cases.

  1. Assess the view that gender differences in achievement are largely the result of changes ...

    These aspirations require educational qualifications and may have impacted on the changes in girl?s educational achievement. Similarly, another external factor that could explain gender differences in attainment is the feminisation of education. The majority of lone parent families are headed by females and males in school make up only 16% of primary school teachers.

  2. Examine some of the factors that influence a researchers choice of method (20 Marks)

    a controversial issue at the time and the subjects he was using were committing a criminal act. The second topic which must be considered when writing are the ethical factors behind a research method. The research methods must be kept as ethical as possible.

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