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"People who do well at school are just more intelligent then people who do less well." Why are sociologists critical of this view?

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Introduction

"People who do well at school are just more intelligent then people who do less well." Why are sociologists critical of this view? Many sociologists argue that there are many more factors that play a big part other then school. Intelligence is measured by intelligence tests which gives an individual's intelligence quotient or know as IQ. Many researchers argue that IQ tests are biased in favour of the middle class. There is an agreement that intelligence is due to both genetic and environmental factors. Environmental influences everything from diet to social class from housing. It is estimated that between 60% and 80% of intelligence is genetically based, this is why many sociologists are critical of this view. Identical twins raised in different environments show they have different IQ scores. Since the twins are genetically identical, it can be argued that the different IQ scores are caused by environments. "Working class culture leads working class children into underachievement" To what extent does evidence support this view? ...read more.

Middle

of a child's ability. Bad behaviour, for example, is taken to be indicative of a poor home background which is taken, in turn to be indicative of low ability. Working-class children are less successful in the education system. Sociologists have explained this by the facts that, the home background is often not as helpful for educational success as that of the middle class; the neighbourhood may also weaken the chances of the working-class child; and what happens inside the school, particularly the actions of the teachers and the peer group, can help the middle-class child and harm the working-class child. Hyman ("The Value Systems of Different Classes", 1967), argues that the value system of the working classes acts as a barrier to their educational advancement, in terms of the way they place a lower value on: * Educational success * High occupational status * Opportunities for personal advancement through education Despite the evidence put forward by the above witnesses, there is also a large number of contrary interpretations based mainly around the idea that the concept of class sub-cultures takes it ...read more.

Conclusion

Rather, children who succeed are those, regardless of their objective class background, whose parents socialise them into the norms and values of middle class life. Approaches were concerned to expose class differences in attitudes towards education. Working class attitudes were seen as a 'deficit system'. Douglas (1964) argued that working class parents offer less encouragement and support towards their children's education The effect of studies like that of Douglas was to 'blame the victim'; working class culture was seen as problematic. One result was the idea that certain students needed 'compensatory education' and gave rise to Educational Priority Areas as a result of the Plowden Report of 1967. In the USA there was a similar scheme called 'Operation Headstart'. "Sociology is the objective study of human behaviour in so far as it is affected by the fact that people live in groups". Sugarman ("Sociology", 1968) Sugarman claimed that many middle-class occupations provide an opportunity for continuous advancement in income and status. This encouraged planning for the future: for example, the investment of time, energy and money in training to meet requirements of higher-status jobs. (Aneil Patel) ...read more.

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