Assess the view that differences in educational achievement between ethnic groups are primarily the result of discrimination in schools  In terms of educational achievement, there is evidence of inequalities among different ethnic groups. For example, Whites and Asians on average do better than Blacks. Some would say that this is primarily the result of discrimination in schools, an internal factor. However this is not the case as it is due to external factors such as the influence of home and family background and wider society. On the one hand it could be said that it is down to discrimination in schools that there is evidence of ethnic differences in educational achievement.
He found figures on the higher and lower levels of achievement from different ethnic groups. The survey found that Chinese, African Asians and Indian groups were more qualified than whites, it was also found that Afro-Caribbean women were more likely to have A-levels than white women. Ethnic minorities were more likely than white pupils to continue into further education. On the other hand, Bangladeshi and Pakistani women were least well qualified. Afro-Caribbean, Pakistani and Bangladeshi men were least qualified.
Assess the view that processes in school themselves are mainly responsible for ethnic differences in attainment? Several sociologists have a contrast of theories on if the education is mainly responsible for the ethnic differences in attainment. Some recognise that the education is mainly the reason as they continuously place negative labels on ethnic minorities and give them unfair sanctions. However, other sociologist theorise that the cause to this problem are external factors like material deprivation; their families attitude towards education, and several others. Although statistics show that the highest ethnicity whom over achieves in education are Chinese people, it is still very debatable for other ethnicity’s whether the schools process affects their attainment.
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.
For example, Wright (1992) found that teachers perceived and treated minority ethnic pupils differently from white pupils. Afro-Caribbean boys were often expected to behave badly and they received a disproportionate amount of negative teacher attention. Other sociologists claim that non-school factors such as family structure and home background have a greater impact on the educational achievement of different ethnic groups. Assess the claim that ‘ethnic differences in educational achievement are primarily the result of school factors’ (20 marks) Patterns of ethnic achievement are complex, cross-cut by gender and social class. For example Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi students do worst compared to Indians and Chinese who do best.
To label someone is to attach a meaning or a definition to them. This is studied by Interactionists. When looking at ethnic differences in achievement, studies show that teacher often see black and Asian pupils as being far from the ‘ideal’ pupil. These negative labels leads to ethnic minority pupils being treated differently, resulting in their low educational performance. Gillborn and Youdell (2000) found that teachers expected black pupils to present more discipline problems and misinterpreted their behaviour as threatening or as a challenge to authority.
When looking at the mandatory test scores of minority inner city students, specifically African American students, they are significantly lower than White American suburban students, hence the achievement gap. When the achievement gap is mentioned most people automatically think of the difference in grades, standardized-test scores, dropout rates, and college-completion rates between White Americans vs. African American students, but it goes much deeper than that. When determining the gap one must look at many other factors other than race, such as the child's economic status, where they live and the schools they attend, as well as how much parental involvement there is. When the achievement gap is mentioned the instant thought of White vs. Black students comes to mind. Black students scoring lower than White students, but this can be looked at from many different angles.
It is significant to ethnicities because they tend to be working class and in lower income families. For example, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are over three times more likely than whites to be in the poorest fifth of the population. Also, unemployment is three times higher. These explain why Bangladeshi and Pakistani pupils tend to underachieve compared to white and Indian pupils as they face higher levels of poverty. This is supported by the Swann Report which suggests that social class accounts for at least 50% of achievement differences.
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the view that ethnic differences in achievement are primarily the result of home background factors It is the common belief that home background factors affect achievement for people of different ethnicities; the belief is that White and Asian people achieve higher than black people. Home background factors consist of Cultural and Material deprivation. Cultural deprivation (CD) means inadequate socialisation in the home, this means that children who are culturally deprived lack the correct norms and values needed for educational success. CD can be broken down into 3 aspects, intellectual and linguistic skills, attitudes and values and family structure. Many CD sociologists see a lack of intellectual and linguistic as a major barrier to achievement in education, this is because a lack of these skills will slow development of reasoning skills, which can disadvantage the student.
This cultural deprivation which Murray controversially links to lower IQ levels, is seen as creating a group of pupils who are fundamentally alienated from the education system. Cultural deprivation has been widely criticised as an explanation of class differences in