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Examine the ways in which factors in pupils home background may affect their educational attainment.

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Introduction

Examine the ways in which factors in pupils home background may affect their educational attainment. Factors in the home background that may affect pupils educational attainment may possibly be; speech, materialistic poscessions, parental support and ethnicity. The main factor that all four of these come under is Class. Sociological research shows that the higher social class somebody belongs to, the higher the levels of educational achievement. A comprehensive study by Halsey, Heath and Ridges shows, the sons of professional fathers were ten times more likely to attend university than the working class son. Functionalists believe that meritocracy exists and is reflected in a pupils natural ability and genetic inheritance (which also accounts for their parents class position). ...read more.

Middle

Bernsteins analysis of speech patterns suggests that: There are two froms of speech patterns: ELABORATED CODE and RESTRICTED CODE. Working class children are limited to restricted code. Bernstein argues that middle class students have a distinct advantage over working class students because school is conducted through an elaborated code and analysis is that middle class people are more likely to use the elaborated code therefore are well practised before they enter the school gates. The reason working class children are said to under-achieve in comparison with the middle class is because working class children use more infromal language, known as the restricted code. It is deemed unsuitable in school and immediately disadvantages them from acquiring the skills demanded by the education system. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is evident from sociological work that cultural background can act as a barrier. The Swann Report showed, that whilst Asian chldren in Britain do almost as well as white children, West Indian childre, do considerably worse. The report found that some (predominantly white) teachers were un-intentionally racist by holding comon stereotypical views of ethnic minority students. In other words they expected them to have disciplinary problems and do badly. This 'Institutional Racism' is exacebated by the language conventions used by schools. Coard argues that West Indian children are taught that Black culture and ways of speaing are inferior to 'normal' school discourse. Schools seem to ostracise certain groups, who mayas a consequence develop a sense of inferioty because they appear to lack qualities that are required for academic success. Overall, it is evident that the factors that are present in pupils home backgrounds effect their educational attainment. Sociology - Education By Azmina Thanda Miss Binsted (12S) ...read more.

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