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Examine the ways in which schools benefit Middle class students more than working class students

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Introduction

Examine the ways in which schools benefit Middle class students more than working class students. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that schools benefit middle class students more than working class students. In general, the higher the person's social class of origin - the higher their educational qualifications. Pupils are constantly being assessed and classified. They are defined as able or less able, placed in particular sets or streams, entered for particular examinations and given or denied access to certain parts of the school curriculum. Research indicates that teachers are more likely to define middle rather than working-class pupils as 'able,' 'good students' and 'well behaved'. This may well disadvantage working class, whilst benefiting the middle class student at school. ...read more.

Middle

For students to benefit at school they need to be able to work hard at home as well to enable the teacher to see how hardworking they are and give them positive feedback. For example, setting homework to research on the Internet, design a poster, or to write an essay. Due to the working class having less income and therefore less money to spend on their child, the pupil may not have the internet at home, may not have coloured pens and paper to design a good looking poster, or may not have a computer on which to write an essay with spell check to help them. Therefore the pupil lacks the materials in which to help them to successfully complete homework set. ...read more.

Conclusion

The teachers therefore expect less from these pupils, denying them access to higher level knowledge and skills, and place them in lower level examination tiers. According to research by David Gillborn and Deborah Youdell (2001) teachers are more likely to see middle class students as having the ability to enter higher-level exams. This has more to do with teacher's perceptions of what counts as ability than student's actual ability. The result is discrimination against many working class students. They are denied the opportunity of even attempting to obtain the higher grades and therefore the school benefits the middle class pupils more. Altogether it does seem to suggest that middleclass students benefit at school more than working class students due to labelling, self fulfilling prophecy, setting, streaming, examination tiers by choice of the teacher, and material deprivation at home. ...read more.

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