Assess the claim that ethnic differences in educational achievement are primarily the result of school factors (20 marks)
Sociological research has challenged the view that ethnic differences in achievement reflect innate differences of intelligence and ability; this has become a view that very few sociologists now put forward. Ethnicity refers to the shared cultural traditions and history, which are distinct from other groups in society. The level of achievement of different ethnic groups varies greatly in Great Britain. This may be due to factors such as home background, class, language and in-school factors. Recent studies highlight the effects of racism. It is believed that ethnicity influences such factors, leading to an impact upon their education. This essay will assess sociological explanations of ethnic differences in educational achievement, using research from sociologists such as Modood, Gillborn, Mirza and Wright.
Modood was one of the major sociologists. 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. Pakistani and Afro-Caribbean groups were also less likely to get onto university courses. Afro Caribbean boys were more likely to be excluded from school, set in low streams and do vocational courses. This shows that there are big variations between the average achievement levels of different ethnic minority groups, this may be due to social and economic factors.
Sewell was also another big sociologists who did research into in to ethnic differences in educational success. He said...