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Explain how the hidden curriculum and processes within schools help to produce inequalities between children of different social classes.

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Introduction

Explain how the hidden curriculum and processes within schools help to produce inequalities between children of different social classes. Through many different researches, it has been shown that working class students are underachieving compared to that of their middle class peers. Middle class pupils are obtaining better grades, and more of them are staying on in education past the compulsory age. The difference that is noticeable is that they are from different social class backgrounds, and therefore they are socialised differently. In order to find out more about this, we need to discuss the reasons for differences between the ways in which the different social classes are taught in schools. The hidden curriculum could be defined as the values that are taught through the attitudes and ideas of the teachers and other students. Often, teachers have a subconscious concept about children from different social backgrounds. This can affect the ways in which the pupils are taught, and their thoughts and motivations about schooling. ...read more.

Middle

Teachers are more likely to have a better attitude to parents of middle class than working class, and this may be putting the parents off visiting the school and paying attention to their child's education. Many schools have a system where classes are divided into different ability groups. This is known as 'streaming.' Peter Woods is a sociologist, whose research found that, in general, middle class students were placed in higher ability groups, and working class students were in lower groups. Most teachers admitted to having a preference of teaching the higher sets, because the students were better behaved. When educating the lower groups, the teacher often spent more time controlling behaviour, rather than teaching. The lower groups often had an anti-school subculture, in which breaking school rules was regarded as 'cool' by some students. Due to this anti-school subculture and poor behaviour of the lower ability students, the teachers often expected less from them. This led to the students being deprived of higher knowledge and skills that would help them to achieve better grades. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, middle class jobs have regular training sessions, where new skills are frequently taught. On the other hand, working class jobs have no promotions or advancements. Working class children are brought up to be aware of this difference. This leads to them aspiring for different things. They will look for immediate gratification after compulsory education, as they feel that there is no need to stay on. There is no point in staying on if the jobs they will acquire don't involve any upgrades. There are many reasons for the difference in educational attainment between middle class and working class students. The hidden curriculum and other processes within schools do contribute to this. In particular, teachers' attitudes and the system of streaming are probably the main school points that significantly make a difference in social class education. However, it is unfair to just limit the reasons to school factors. To make a reasonable conclusion, other factors need to be considered. Some examples are home and living conditions, and the cultures that the student is brought up with. These other aspects also play a part in the difference between the two social classes, and their education. ...read more.

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