Assess Internal and External Factors That May Influence Educational Achievement Due to Class

2823 Words12 Pages
Assess internal and external factors that may influence educational attainment due to class. Sociologists have recently found that the social class background of pupils has a major influence on their chances of success in the education system. It has been commonly found that children from middle class families generally tend to perform better and achieve higher grades than those from working class families. Children of higher professionals are two to three times more likely than children of routine manual workers to get five or more A*-C grades at GCSE level. A number of explanations for this data has been put forward by sociologists and they can be divided into ‘internal’ and ‘external’ factors, although in reality they do intertwine with each other. External factors are factors that occur outside the education system which possibly have an effect on the educational achievement of pupils. The first main external factor is cultural deprivation. Cultural deprivation argue that many working class families fail to perform one of their main functions- primary socialisation of children- and therefore their children are unable to acquire the basic values, attitudes and skills that are needed for educational success. They grow up ‘culturally deprived’, lacking the cultural equipment needed to do well at school, thus underachieving. There are three main aspects of cultural deprivation: Intellectual development, Language, and Attitudes and Values. Cultural deprivation theorists argue that many working-class homes lack the books, education toys and activities that would stimulate a child’s intellectual development. For example, Douglas found that working class pupils scored lower on tests of ability than middle-class leading him to conclude that working-class parents are less likely to support their children’s intellectual development through reading with them for example.
Open Document