Assess Sociological Explanations for Ethnic Differences in Achievement. (20 Marks) Essay

641 WordsApr 20, 20153 Pages
Assess sociological explanations for ethnic differences in achievement. (20 Marks) There are many reasons for ethnic differences in achievement, it’s been found that Indian and Asian pupils achieve higher than White, African-Caribbean, and Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi pupils. One possible cause of ethnic differences in education is labeling, sociologist Gillborn found that teachers would label and therefore discipline black pupils quicker than other pupils which would do the same things and this would create a self fulfilling prophecy of the teachers thinking that black pupils would misbehave and do poorly and the pupils would accept that and with the extra lack of teacher help and increased discipline would therefore fail. Gillborn and Youdell think that this is because teachers label black pupils as being more likely to cause problems and rebel, with the teachers labeling the black pupils like this it makes them feel picked on and that the teachers underestimated them. Another result of the negative labeling of black pupils is the higher exclusion rate and the higher chances of black pupils to be put in sets below their actual abilities, which can only lead those black pupils to underachieve. Another reason for the difference in ethnic achievement is the ethnocentric curriculum which gives priorities to the main ethnic group whilst ignoring others, many sociologists have had their opinions on the ethnocentric curriculum and most of them see that British schools teach lessons and base the curriculum around the English language, history, religion and music. Ball for example stated that the national curriculum focuses on English history and recreates a mythical age of empire and past glories whilst ignoring black and Asian history, sociologist Coard explains why this would cause ethnic underachievement as English history makes other ethnic groups feel inferior
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