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Education and Social Inequality

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Introduction

Education and Social Inequality There are many current debates in education, ranging from the types of new schools that are being introduced like an increase in faith schools, to the changing the way schools are i.e. the new academy's, also what is being taught in schools, like the policy on citizenship in schools where financial education will be taught. And the increase in independent schools where anyone can set up a new school as long as they have enough money behind them. I am briefly going to look at two of these current debates. First I am going to talk about the new diplomas. These have been introduced into school as an alternative to GCSE's and A-Levels but what makes them different is that they combine practical work with academic work so that the person studying doesn't just get the knowledge from learning in a classroom but also from doing it themselves. The diplomas are aimed at 14-19 year olds and there are 3 different levels that can be done and they take around 2 years on each level, the foundation diploma is equivalent to 5 GCSE's grade D - G, the higher diploma is equivalent to 7 GCSE's grade A*- C and the advanced diploma is equivalent to 3.5 A 'levels. ...read more.

Middle

The actual term was supposedly first used by Phillip W. Jackson (Life In Classrooms, 1968). He argued that we need to understand "education" as a socialisation process. Counter school culture this has been display through various studies such as the study by Willis (1977) the study showed that some pupils did not take on board the hidden curriculum that they had little respect for teachers or authority. The counter school culture had many features, like they tended to see gaining qualifications as pointless, the main objectives where to be disruptive during lesson if they even bothered to attend. They tended to think that they were better than school and tried to be adults by drinking, smoking and not wearing correct uniform for school. During Willis' (1977) study he found that they groups tended to be very sexist and racist and they believed manual labour was better than working in an office. In addition to that, there are many key factors that have an effect on achievement in education like Class, Gender and Ethnicity. Gender was a big issue back in the 1980's as men were achieving more than women in most aspects yet by the mid 1990's there was a big reversal, now Girls were being outstripped by boys at both ...read more.

Conclusion

Bernstein (1970) studied the difference between speech and attainment in the classes and during this he found that language was a significant factor in the success of working class and middle class children. He identified two codes of language, first there is the restricted code this is shown through a narrow vocabulary, a kind of short hand speech, short simple, and more instruction like, lacking detailed explanation or reasoning, e.g. don't do that! . . . . Because I said so! Then there is the elaborated code, this is shown through a wider vocabulary, more complex sentence structure, more explanation etc e.g. don't do that!....Because you will get hurt, it is hot! The restricted code was more likely to be typical of the working class home and vice versa. The elaborated code seemed to equip children better for the more formal setting of the school and middle class children could switch more readily from one to the other when necessary (i.e. in the playground and then in the classroom) the elaborated code was the language used by teachers, tests, textbooks and subsequently middle class children were at an advantage from an early age. ...read more.

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