• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent do sociologists agree that different levels of educational attainment are affected by genetics?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent do sociologists agree that different levels of educational attainment are affected by genetics? A sociologist would not agree that a student's genetic make up has an affect on their educational achievement. They would state that there is also no scientific evidence what so ever to explain or suggest that a person's chromosomes determine their successes within the education system. Instead, they would suggest that the patterns in differences of educational attainment are down to social factors. A sociologist would explain the differences in terms of human social life, groups and societies. Sociologists aim to investigate and understand the social world and human behaviour within it. They are particularly interested in the way society influences us and shapes our lives. In the past it was assumed that some strata of society were superior to others because they inherited intelligence or artist abilities along with their physical appearance from their parents. This belief in "genetic endowment" has been challenged over the past one hundred years and the "nature vs. nurture" debate continues. Many definitions have been given to explain the nature of intelligence. ...read more.


Also it has been argued that it is common for the lower groups of the streaming process tend to be from the working class. Whereas the students of the higher streams tended to be from the middle class. This could be due to more wealth meaning better educational assistance, e.g. tutoring, books and equipment, etc. leading to better educational attainment. However, it could also be due to labelling theory. The school culture tends to be middle class, e.g. type of speech etc. although schools vary in their educational objectives. They therefore, tend to enforce middle class values. Teachers are middle class and unavoidably make judgements about pupils. These judgements often affect the child's chances of educational achievement. The idea of the theory is that a teacher labels a student, according to their class by their, speech and family background. If a student is labelled in such ay to be in the working class, then the teacher may not have belief in them achieving educational success and therefore not offer them as much encouragement or push them to do better. This therefore causes these students to not seek for higher opportunities and not reach their full potential. ...read more.


This therefore puts them at a disadvantage within school. This may lead to students feeling less capable and confident when it comes to oral and written work, affecting their achievement levels and possible causing a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the same way, teachers label males and the middle class to be less capable, they also tend to label ethnic minorities. These stereotypes mean that there are again differences in the way ethnic groups are taught and treated, affecting how they perform within the education system. In conclusion, a sociologist would disagree that differences in genetics affect educational attainment of individuals. They would not argue that biological factors cause the differences in achievement, but would suggest that the patterns of underachievement etc. are due to the way society influences human behaviour. Sociologists have spent much time investigating the influence of social class, ethnicity and gender differences. It is hard to differentiate between the affect of one factor and the affect of another. Therefore, sociologists agree that educational attainment is effected in many different ways and that no one factor can out-influence another. They also agree that the "nature vs. nurture" argument is not fully resolved as society will ever be changing and scientific research and abilities will ever be improving. ?? ?? ?? ?? Lucy Hagan 11d1 - Sociology ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. To what extent does ethnicity affect educational attainment?

    If pupils aren't bothered with education due to the actions of teachers this may mean that they can aim high but it would be hard to achieve their goals without the encouragement of teachers. Although inside school factors affect attainment, outside school factors can have just as much of an affect.

  2. To what extent do sociologists argue that the family is beneficial to society?

    In 1955, Parsons saw industrial societies as becoming more and more specialised. By this Parsons meant that social institutions and their functions had become more specialised and could concentrate on a smaller number of essential functions. This included the family, who carried out the two essential functions mentioned.

  1. Diversity - Gender and education Factors such as ethnicity, economic status and gender can ...

    Skelton and Francis (2003) suggest that the view that 'boys are underachieving' is now being challenged. They suggest the gap between boys and girls in standards of literacy, english and modern languages remains large. Nevertheless, SAT's (Standardised Assessment Tests) results show that boys and girls are showing increased performance on a yearly basis (Skelton and Francis, 2003).

  2. How Does Social Class Affect Educational Attainment?

    He believed that middle class children are fluent in both codes, but that working class children are confined to the restricted code, and are therefore placed at a distinct disadvantage, because teachers use the elaborated code. Middle class children are therefore more likely to understand the teacher, and be understood themselves.

  1. How can sociologists explain the improvement in the educational performance of girls

    a girl" in which she writes that most women then wanted to get married and have children. They did not see the point in staying on at school. There were very few jobs for women in the earlier years - only office jobs, nursing, teaching etc.

  2. Gender and Educational Attainment

    However, there are other reasons for differences in educational attainment. With one reason being ethnicity. Your cultural background affects how well you do, as different cultures do better than others. For example, you will find that many Asian children are usually very successful when it comes to achieving well.

  1. What do sociologists mean by culture? What functions does it perform in society? How, ...

    Symbolic interactionists regard words, pictures, physical objects and actions as being symbolic. Everyone in a culture interprets the same symbols in the same way, this is taught to us in socialisation (I will elaborate on this later in the essay)

  2. Discuss how far sociologists would agree that school factors are the most important influence ...

    rebel as their parents could push them to much which may cause them to not want to do well in school. Cultural deprivation has a big influence on educational achievement. If a student?s parents take their child on educational trips to places like museums and other places that can aid

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work