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Assess The View That Factors Within Schools Are The Greatest Influence On Social Class Differences In Educational Achievement

1146 words - 5 pages

In school factors can have a big impact on the social class differences in education achievement. However, it isn’t the only factor.
In school factors include labelling; this is done by both students and teachers. Pupils will be labelled based on social class; a working class child is more likely to be labelled as ‘stupid’, and other degrading names. This labelling can lead to the self-fulfilling prophecy; this disadvantages them because the teacher is favouring other students. However, teachers are more likely to label a middle class child as smart, intelligent etc. Which makes them feel good and they achieve. This puts them at a starting advantage over their working class peers. Marxists ...view middle of the document...

Lastly, from a Marxist interpretation is the hidden curriculum. Schools use a hierarchy, uniform, assemblies, setting/streaming and detentions, etc. This is the school promoting ruling class ideology. As previously stated Bowles and Gintis say that middle class pupils are likely to be in the top set and working in the bottom set. This is because they are setting them up for the future: a job below the middle class people. And as Althusser says, schools are an I.S.A (ideological state apparatus), and transmits the states norms and values, which are middle class. This disadvantages working class because they are not raised with said norms and values. However, in school factors are not the only factor.
Material deprivation is another factor, including poor living conditions, which re a sign of someone who is working class and doesn’t have sufficient living funds. They are likely to be FSM (free school meals). If a child has inadequate housing, it means it could be damp, dusty etc. This can lead to pupils being ill frequently and missing school, this will reflect in their examination results. Material deprivation also includes inability to afford things such as textbooks, tutors and trips; all three of these are the means to study outside of lessons, or enrich their knowledge within a subject. A student not being able to afford these things indicates that they are FSM and/or working class and this will reflect their examination results. Material deprivation can also include the inability to afford public schools which provides many opportunities for students, and only middle class pupils can afford this. And as item B states, half of people who attend public school go onto attend Oxbridge and other elite universities. Pupils who are FSM, may not be able to afford new uniform and may be labelled by pupils/teachers, which could lead to a negative impact on their exam results. In school and Material are not the only factors, though.
Lastly, cultural factors are also an important factor. Our education system is based around language, Bernstein says that children that are read too, spoken to in full sentences are more likely to develop the elaborated code. This is a more forma, intelligent and professional way of speaking. A child that does not receive this is more likely to develop the restricted code. This is not suitable...

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