Social class background has a powerful influence on a child’s chances of success in the education system. Children from middle-class families on average perform better than children from working-class families and the gap between middle and working class educational achievement gets bigger as children get older. Internal factors, also known as school factors, these are factors inside the education system, such as a students subcultures, teacher labeling and language codes also affect a child’s achievement in education.
The 1944 Act tried to create education for all – secondary schools were made free for all and the school leaving age was raised to 15. Children had to maxine hingstontake a test called the 11+ exam to determined what type of secondary school they would attend. Grammar schools were for the able children who passed the 11+ exam. Pupils were taught traditional subjects ready for university. 20% of children got in to grammar schools. Grammar schools were aimed at the middle class, and if a middle class child failed their 11+ their parents could still afford to send them to private school.
Secondary modern schools were for the majority of working class children. These institutions were for all the children who failed the 11+ exam. Secondary moderns offered basic education, to which the children would later need in a life of work. Lastly, Technical schools provided vocational education, for example hand on job training for the minority of the school population – approximately 5%. Private and selective schools normally perform better across the curriculum. This is because; bad behavior is less tolerated, there are smaller classes and teachers normally have higher qualifications.
Whereas compared to comprehensive schools, which have less money for resources, have more tolerable attitumaxine hingstonde towards bad behavior. In the late 1980s, the conservative government introduced some major reforms in education. One main aspect being that there should be a system of choice and competition. Meaning that parents could choose which school to send their child to- if the school had space. Secondly, parents could use league tables to help them choose a school. League tables show how many kids at the school pass their exams, and how many get good grades – this leads on to labeling and setting/streaming.
Some Criticism of types of school that a child goes to are that the type of school you go to is not a determining factor in whether or not young working class people have high achievement or not. If the student values education and they are willing to work hard and do well, then they can use their own independence to do so. Also failing schools are inspected and give a time limit to improve, meaning that they have to provide a suitable environment for leaning and achievement. Essentially, if a child was deemed clever enough – from a positive result from their 11+ - they could attend a grammar school or private school.
If they were from working class backgrounds they were more likely going to go to secondary modern and technical schools, which never gave them the education and resource to go to university and have high educational achievement. Negative labeling of students can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. Becker and Keddie say that teachers tend to evaluate pupils in terms of a ideal student, by looking at appearance, personality, speech and social class. Negative labeling can mean students get put into lower streams or bands.
Ball found that the pupils in the top banmaxine hingstonds were from higher social classes. Teachers had higher expectation of them and they were taught in different ways. Keddie found that teachers allowed pupils in the top steams access to higher levels of knomaxine hingstonwledge. Working class students didn’t get this knowledge. This is similar to recent segregation of gifted and talented students. Teachers act differently to them, and it normally gives the student an extra boast of confidence in the class.
Labeling theory is also to deterministic; it says that once you’re negatively labeled that’s it, you’ll fail – this isn’t always the case. Some sociologist may argue that even though working class students are often labeled and streamed into low achieving section, they are far from discouraging students, it often makes students more likely to want to work hard to prove their teachers wrong. This was proved in research in which black young girls were streamed into lower ability classes, and were then determined to do better than they would have if they were labeled as igh achievers. Negative labelling and putting students into different streams or bands can cause some pupils to rebel against school values. As a response to negative labelling and frustration with low status, pupils may form antmaxine hingstoni-school subcultures – or vice versa and create a pro-school subculture. Hargreaves said there were two distinctive subcultures emerged within the school; conformist and non-conformist delinquents. Hargreaves found that those in bottom setting and streaming groups were more maxine hingstonlikely to be non-conformist.
Woods responded by saying that there are lots of different reactions to school, but non – conformist reactions were more likely to come from working class student. The Swann Report found that socio-economic factors affected the lower levels of achievement of Afro-Caribbean pupils. Afro-Caribbean boys are more likely to be excluded from school, and do vocational courses. The generalisation that they don’t value edumaxine hingston cation as a peer group effects their achievement and attainment. Some sociologists say that these factors may lead to a low self-esteem for ethnic minorities.
Fuller found that afro Caribbean girls in London formed a subculture that worked hard to prove negative labelling wrong. Coard said that black students are made to feel inferior in British schools. In the 1970s Willis looked at why working class kids get working class jobs. He studied a group of boys. The boys rejected school and formed an anti-school subculture they coped with their own under-achievement by having a subculture where it didn’t matter, and where having a laugh was more important. Mac and Ghaill says that subcultures are complicated. There are lots of different types.
Boys may join a ‘macho lad subculture’ because of a crisis of masculinity. But boys could also join ‘pro-school’ subcultures and be proud of academic achievement. Students labelled as troublemakers tended to seek out maxine hingston each other’s company and within their group awarded high status to those who broke the school rules. Gillborn & Youdell showed that children may still be labelled in terms of their supposed ability and that this process is related to social. Not all pupil subcultures have negative impact of the students’ ability to have high achievement.
As mention before, Mac and Ghaill did research on 'masculine identity', and out of their three identified working class male subcultures, only one affected the pupils’ achievement negatively. The other two both consisted of high achievers in both academic and vocational subjects. The pupil subcultures do explain some low achievement in working class pupils, but to say it affects all of them is simplistic and inaccurate.
Lastly, Bernstein found that working class pupils in the East End of London weren’t comfortable with the style of language required by school. They used a restricted code, which are short forms of speech and slang. axine hingstonMiddle class students knew how to use the same elaborated code as the teacher; a much more wordy style of speech with everything made very explicit. In terms of language, the working class children were at a disadvantage. Some may argue that, there are variation within the middle class and working class. Different sections of these groups vary in how they use the elaborated code – the ‘posh language’ of teachers. Also, some sociologist have developed his ideas to say working class speech patterns are inferior or ‘wrong’ – Labov thinks the elaborated speech code is just different.
Bourdieu reckons middlemaxine hingston class students are at an advantage because they have the right kind of ‘cultural capital’. Cultural capital - is a term first created by French sociologist Bourdieu - is the process of distinguishing between the economic aspects of class and powerful cultural assets. Cultural capital more precisely means the right kind of language, skills, knowledge and attitudes. Bourdieu believes that the more cultural capital you have, the more successful you’ll be in education.
He found that the culture of the upper social class is oriented more toward formal reasoning and abstract thought. The lower social class is geared more towards matters of facts and the necessities of life. He also found that the environment that a person is developed in has a large effect on the social class that a person will have. Working class pupils don’t have access to maxine hingston cultural capital. Compared to middle class families, which pass on cultural capital and expectations from parents to children. This is called cultural reproduction. Hasley found that material factors are important.
Lack of money may stop children staying on at school or getting to university. In addition, not all working class students fail, even if they don’t have cultural capital. Both, language codes and cultural capital are important basic skills that every person and child should acquire, but due to majority of families in Britain coming from working class families it’s hard to attain these aspect; which could result in higher education achievement. Fundamentally, This essay has sought to outline some of the key issues in relation to social class and educational attainment.
Although social class intersects with gender and maxine hingston ethnicity in complex ways to carry on educational inequality, it remains the strongest factor of educational achievement in Britain. Such inequalities are also reflected in the rates of participation by working-class young people in further and higher education. Although a wide range of energy and ambition have been created and delveope to address the socio-economic gap for educational achievement, it if an on going problem and government effectiveness is contradictory – a modern example of this, are GCSE being the final decision on whether you study A levels or NVQs.
Hence, there is a need for interference that come away from the assumptions underpinning themaxine hingston ‘raising aspirations’ of working class and that seek instead to actively include working-class young people, by supporting their social group to exercise more control over their education, and by valuing their lived maxine hingston experiences and identities and create a more equal education system for all.