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Outline and assess the view that processes within school results in differences in educational achievement between ethnic groups

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Introduction

´╗┐Raj Outline and assess the view that processes within school results in differences in educational achievement between ethnic groups The patterns of attainment for ethnicity are complex. It is evident that ethnic minorities perform worse than the white population, but this covers wide variations between groups. In particular, Indian and Chinese students outperform white students, while Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afro Caribbean students do worse than the white population. Any account of attainment must therefore attempt to explain the differences between ethnic minorities as well as the general patterns. Rather than focus on the culture of the home, many sociologists have drawn attention to the way in which the school acts against ethnic minority students. Studies like Wright found teacher racism. Teachers held labels of students that meant that they believed Asian students would have a poor grasp of English and left them out in group discussions or spoke to them in simple terms. This meant that other ethnic minorities got more help from the teacher so straight away they have a clear advantage. Also, Gillborn and Youdell argue that teacher?s racist assumptions led them to believe that Afro Caribbean students would cause trouble and that teachers would see the behaviour of these students challenging. ...read more.

Middle

Their culture is devalued and their devalued. The resulting racism is ineffectively dealt with in school and as a result ethnic minorities? achievement is significantly lower than other groups. However, Sewell rejects the idea that schools are universally racist and that teachers are the problem. He argues that disruptive black students need to be excluded and removed so that other students, including ethnic minority students can progress. The idea of institutional racism helps to provide black youth with an excuse. He is arguing that black misbehaviour is a fact and not a social construct that the problems stem from outside the classroom and not inside the classroom. In a study of students of white and black Caribbean descent by Haynes et al it was argued that students of mixed heritage are often misunderstood by schools and teachers. Teachers believed that these students had identity issues and low expectations. All these fed through to how they treated this group. This operates in addition to socio-economic disadvantages this group faces and helps to explain their relative failure and high level of exclusion. The impact of the organisation on the way in which schools are organised will also have a consequence for ethnic minority students. ...read more.

Conclusion

She argues that there are three types of teacher racism: Colour blind teacher who see students as equal but allow racism to occur, Liberal chauvinists who believe black pupils are deprived so have lower expectations for them, Overt racists who see blacks as inferior and discriminate against them. These subtypes of teachers can lower the achievement levels as Mirza found that girls would avoid teacher interaction and be selective about which staff they seek help form. This can reduce their possibilities and lead to poorer outcomes. Overall there seems to be several in school factors implicated in ethnic differences in achievement. However in order to fully understand why these differences occur the external factors need to be considered as the internal factors fail to take into account the fact that home environment such as language, material and cultural deprivation need to be considered. However, Sewell rejects the idea that schools are universally racist and that teachers are the problem. He argues that disruptive black students need to be excluded and removed so that other students, including ethnic minority students can progress. Since the Swann report found that class has a 50% effect on educational achievement this must be an explanation of ethnic differences in achievement. However Gillborn and Mirza argue that social class factors do not override the effects of culture as even when social class has been accounted for ethnic differences in achievement still exist. ...read more.

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