Explain the term ‘meritocracy.’
A meritocracy is a social system in which peoples success in life depends on their talents, abilities and effort in life.
Asses the importance of cultural factors in causing social class differences in educational achievement.
As told in item A, some sociologists say that cultural factors are the most important cause of social class differences in educational achievement. They say it is cultural deprivation that causes this. Sociologists say that parents and children lack the skills and knowledge to succeed and for their children to succeed. They also say that they haven’t been given the right skills or equipment to succeed.
J.W.B Douglas said that working class homes lacked books, toys and educational resources for the child and the parent is less likely to spend time helping the child out, these parents were the parents who didn’t attend parent’s evenings or school events. Whereas middle class parents were keen to support their child and child’s school and visited the school events. These parents focused on their child’s future and knew how to help them out. Burnstein and Young said that middle class parents buy specific toys (of an educational purpose) to help their child when young, to succeed in the future. Burnstein looked at language development in the home and found out that the working class had a restricted code which was shorthand, simple speech which wouldn’t help the child in their education whereas the middle class families had elaborated code which was explanatory which was successful when using in school.
Statistics show that 21.4% of people from poor households got 5 GCSE’s A*-C. Children in poorer areas are proven to do worse than ‘other areas’ and people with free school meals are less likely to go into higher education. It is said that working class children are more likely to be in low sets at schools, less likely to go to nursery, are poor readers and leave school early. Some sociologists believe this is down...