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Sociology Education sample essay

a) Educational triage is where schools sort people into different groups, determining which pupils will fail and pupils who will pass. They then focus on the pupils with potential to pass in order to improve the schools’ exam league table position. b) The pro-school subculture is where pupils placed in high streams tend to remain committed to the values of the school and gain status through academic success. Anti-school subculture where pupils placed in low streams suffer a loss of self-esteem and pushed into behaving badly. Another subculture is the Retreatists, they were pupils isolated from school and despised by the rebels. c) Marketisation creates competition between schools. It does this because parents can choose which school to send their child too, the school with the more pupils will receive more money to fund itself; this will therefore create a better impression of the school and more people will want to go there. However, this process can create social class differences. One way it can produce social class differences is because pupils that are of a lower social class-working class-parents will be unable to afford to live in a house that is in a nice area.

This affects the school the pupil goes to because the school in the catchment area might not be as good because it won’t receive as much funding for good teachers and supplies. This is argued to produce inequality because the league tables for unpopular schools won’t show the students to be as high achieving as the students in popular schools; this is because of the limited amount of funding they receive for teachers. If the league tables show bad results then middle-class parents aren’t likely to send their children there, whereas, working-class parents may have to take their children there.

However, some people believe that it does not create social class differences; it only gives parents more choice and creates diversity between schools. Those who support marketization believe that it takes power away from the teachers and gives the parents more power to decide which school to send their child to. By giving parents the choice, this creates competition and in turn raises schools standards. d) In this answer the view that working-class children under-achieve because they are culturally deprived will be assessed. Cultural deprivation is the theory that working-class and black children are inadequately socialised and therefore lack the ‘right’ culture needed for educational success.

Intellectual and linguistic skills are seen as a major cause of under-achievement by sociologists. They believe that low-income black families lack experiences and intellectual stimulation; causing them to be poorly equipped for school because they haven’t developed skills. Bereiter and Engelmann argue that the language spoken by low-income black families is ungrammatical; therefore they are unable to express abstract ideas. This acts as a barrier when going to school because they have not got developed language skills like children who have been taught to speak grammatically. Cultural deprivation theorists believe that black children have a different attitude; they believe their attitude is ‘live for today’ so therefore, they have a lack of motivation and ambition instilled in them. This affects their performance at school because they won’t care if they do well or not. They are unequipped for success.

The New Right believe that a high rate of lone parenthood and a lack of positive male role models lead to the under-achievement of some minorities. Like in item A it says working-class failure is a lack of parental interest and stimulation in the home. Children in lone parent families often don’t have as much attention at home because the parent may have to work longer hours in order to provide for the family. As a result of this a child might not receive stimulation in the home. Geoffrey Driver is one sociologist who doesn’t agree with the cultural deprivation theory. Driver believes that black girls have role models of independent women to look up to; this is why they tend to be more successful in education than boys. Driver believes that the theory ignores the positive effects of ethnicity on achievement. Errol Lawrence argues that black low-income children don’t underachieve because of their weak culture and lack of self-esteem.

Lawrence believes they underachieve because of the racism in schools. Keddie also disagrees with the cultural deprivation theory. She argues children are culturally different; not culturally deprived. Rather than children being culturally deprived; Keddie believes that schools favour white culture and are bias. If schools favoured white culture then it would be seen as unequal considering that everyone is different; so are bound to have different cultures. There are many different opinions put forward on reasons why working-class children underachieve because of cultural deprivation. However, it is unclear whether it is really because they are culturally deprived or if there are also other factors involved.

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