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In what ways do social class, gender and race effect educational achievement?

Uploaded by jak832000 on Jul 02, 2004

‘‘The evidence suggests that social class origins…ethnicity and gender continue to have an influence on how well people do in education…these factors appear to be more important than innate ability in effecting educational achievement.’’ (Browne, 1998, Page 317)

In this essay the writer shall be considering the ways in which, and the extent that, social class, gender and race influences a persons progress and achievement in education.

Turning now to class and looking at Bernstein’s theory of cultural reproduction where he states that schools along with other social institutions are helping against social and economic inequalities. Saying that schools influence the learning of values and that these values in turn effect the individuals ability to obtain secure employment. Bernstein believed that schools were necessary in preparation for the work place, in that schools work on a delayed gratification principle. Schools teach the quality of future work in the way uniform and punctuality regulations and the rules are applied by authority (Browne, 1998, Pg 336). Bernstein also stated that language played a large part in the schooling process. Saying that some children may not be able to communicate with the middle class teachers, this in turn influences their educational achievement (Giddens, 2001).

He said that teachers think working class pupils are lacking in ability because they don’t understand the language used in the classroom. And that the language used by middle class children is better, hence the middle class children are more able than working class children. He stated in Browne (1998) that middle class children are already ‘‘tuned into the atmosphere of the school’’, and also said in Browne (1998) that ‘‘for the working class child there is a culture clash, coming from an apparently less able background’’. Bernstein states that there are different types of language, and that children have difficulties depending which one they have been taught, middle class children use the elaborated code in the home and so are at an advantage when in school (Browne, 1998, Pg 335). He came up with a theory of two language codes, elaborated code and restricted code (Giddens, 2001, Pg 512).

Saying that those associated with using the restricted code were predominantly from working class backgrounds, and that those associated with using the elaborated code were predominantly from middle class backgrounds, Bernstein described the difference in codes by...

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Uploaded by:   jak832000

Date:   07/02/2004

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   7 pages (1,594 words)

Views:   2662

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