For example black pupils are often seen as disruptive. Gilborn and Youdell (2000) found that teachers were quicker to discipline black pupils than others for the same behaviour. They argue that this is the result of teachers ‘racialised expectations’. They found that teachers expected black pupils to present more discipline problems and misinterpreted their behaviour as threatening or as a challenge to authority. In turn, black pupils felt teachers underestimated their ability and picked on them.
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.
One explanation for these patterns of achievement lies in the school itself and the processes at work there. For example, Black pupils are more likely to be excluded from school than members of other ethnic groups. Other factors within school include peer groups and subcultures. For example, Sewell found that a minority of Black boys joined ‘rebel’ subcultures. However, he also found that some teachers labelled all Black boys as rebels, regardless of the facts.
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.
On the other hand, Gilbon recognises the processes committed in school which create the ethnic differences in attainment, he found that Afro-Caribbean boys were often labelled “unruly” “disrespectful”, they were also more likely to be given detentions than other pupils. This was because teachers misinterpreted their dress and manner of speech as a challenge to their authority. These actions lead these boys to have a self fulfilling prophecy which results in them
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.
Black-White Achievement gap The difference between various demographic groups of students is commonly referred to as the “achievement gap.” Throughout the United States, an achievement gap between whites and black continue to persist at all levels of schooling, from elementary school to any higher education. Many of the reasons and solutions for minority underperformance remain uncertain. Parental involvement, family background, desegregation of schools, cultural capital and other factors produce a moderate decline in the achievement gap. However, more than half of the gap remains unexplained. Our society remain with a long history of racism, segregation and low expectations for African American children, and the public education system has not sufficiently responded to resolve this situation.
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.
This achievement gap is present before children even start school. Through slavery and legal segregation, today’s racialized social hierarchy, and personal views of educators, racial discrimination has become the basis for today’s black-white achievement gap in education. According to the Department of Education, the achievement gap refers to the observed disparity on a number of educational measures between the performance of groups of students, especially groups defined by race and ethnicity. It is measured by standardized tests required by the No Child Left Behind Act, GPA’s, high school dropout rates, and college completion and drop-out rates (ED.gov). The No Child Left Behind act was put in place by George W. Bush in 2001.
Explainining class differences in achievement Cultural deprivation theory blames the failings of the child on his/her background. This diverts the attention from the educational system which may contribute to, or account for, class differences in attainment. Cultural deprivation theorists argue that many working-class homes lack the books, educational toys and activities that would stimulate a child’s intellectual development. Bernstein and Young (1967) found that the way mothers think about and choose toys has an influence on their child’s intellectual development. Middle-class mothers are more likely to have more of an interest in their child’s intellectual development.