Outline Some of the Material and Cultural Factors Affecting Education

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The main problems that affect educational achievement within working class students fall into two categories - material and cultural. Material deprivation is the psychical lack of resources essential for a normal life, resulting in poor quality housing, poor diet etc. Cultural deprivation is the values and attitudes that have been passed down from their parents. Studies have shown that material deprivation directly affects a child’s educational achievement. For example, if a student has poor housing then it will affect their schoolwork as they could have no quiet places to do homework, or possible disturbed sleep from sharing bedrooms which would in turn affect concentration. If their housing is extremely poor then it could cause problems to a child’s health, as damp and cold housing can make illnesses worse. If a students’ material deprivation means that they are receiving a poor diet at home, then this will also affect their work. Poor nutrition can weaken the immune system, meaning the student could get ill more often and so miss work. A poor diet can also affect the child’s energy levels, so even if they do go into school they find it difficult to concentrate. Students may also be unable to afford equipment or tutors that middle class students would have access to due to their wealth. There is also the matter of the cost of education. If a child wants to continue onto university, then that would take money that parents do not have. Middle class parents would also be able to send their child to a private school, which often results in a better quality of education. Students with a middle class background are, overall, more likely to go onto sixth form and university. This could be because middle class parents encourage children to pursue an education more than working class parents, who tend to put more emphasis on vocational subjects due to the working
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