Assess the Importance of School Factors Such as Racism and Pupils

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Assess the importance of school factors such as racism and pupils’ responses to racism in creating ethnic differences in education Racism in school is clearly an important factor in the differences in educational achievement between ethnic groups. Students are often labelled subconsciously by teachers according to their ethnic group, for example Gillborn and Youdell (2000) found that most teachers are quicker to discipline black pupils than other for the same behaviour. They argue this is a result of ‘racialised expectations’ – the idea that teachers expect black pupils to present more discipline problems and misinterpret their behaviour as threatening or a challenge to authority. Foster (1990) found that teacher stereotyping and racism often led black pupils being placed in lower sets, resulting in lower levels of achievement and differences between ethnic groups. Asian pupils were found to also be the victims of racism in school, especially girls as Wright found (1992), saying that teachers leave Asian children out of classroom discussions and speak to them in childish language, isolating them from the other children and making them feel uncomfortable in school. The main way which racism causes difference in educational achievement between social classes is through things like streaming and exclusions. Black children were more often excluded than white children found Jenny Bourne (1994), this means they spend less time in school and therefore achieve lower on their exams than other groups. Evaluating the impact of racism in schools however, leads to research into student responses. Mac an Ghaill (1992) found that black and Asian students at a sixth form college did not always accept the label given to them by racist teachers. He did note however, that their responses were dependent on factors like their ethnic group, the nature of their former schools and
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