Children with a lack of cultural capital are more likely to use the restricted code (limited vocabulary) which disadvantages them at school as they feel excluded and are therefore less successful. Working-class children typically use the restricted code. Bourdieu argues that cultural capital affects academic achievement as it ties in with educational capital. Middle-class children with cultural capital are better equipped to meet the demands of the school curriculum.
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.
Fundamentally, one factor which contributes to the ethnic differences within the school place is due to the labeling theory. This is when a particular definition is attached to a student such as ‘smart’ or ‘stupid’ this often leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy as the student begins to believe the label they have been branded as and therefore begins to act upon it. Some sociologists have focused on how black pupils are labeled negatively which has a direct impact on their education. Gillborn & Youdell (2000) found that black pupils were more likely to receive discipline from their teacher although fellow classmates may have been acting in a similar way. This leads to further problems as conflict begins to emerge between teachers and pupils as black pupils are seen as anti-authority due to the misinterpretation of behaviour black boys especially, are labelled negatively leading exclusions which affect their educational attainment as missing lessons means that their knowledge is being limited.
Pygmalion effect is positive. Especially for the immigrant students, their good or bad performances mostly rely on the teacher’s behaviors because they lack of confidents. Tracking can be both positive and negative to students. If the students are divided in the honor group, they will try their best to maintain that good performances, same as Pygmalion effect. Conversely, if the students are divided in the weak group, they may consider themselves as the poor students according to the Looking-Glass Self theory.
If a W.C student is labelled by a middle-class (M.C) teacher the student often believe that the teacher is right therefore they take that label they have been given and they become a self-fulfilling prophecy which means they accept the label they have been given and stay that standard, this is basically saying if a student is labelled negatively they stay negative because they are ‘fulfilling their own prophecy’ so they are now going to underachieve in education. This is effected by poverty due to W.C generally not being able to afford nice uniforms so the teacher can tell they come from a W.C background because they don’t look as smart as the M.C students. Another reason in the claim that poverty is the main reason for W.C underachievement is because they are generally more fatalistic. If a W.C child is fatalistic in school then it means that they are also culturally deprived, because they are culturally deprived they have attitudes which insist that they are not going to do well in school because for example their parents didn’t then they will not try to get an education as they are fatalistic about being setup to fail in
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, asses the view that factors and processes within the school are the main cause of differences in the educational achievement of different social groups. Class differences can play a significant role in educational achievement be it under or over-achievement. Underachievement is associated with working-class children, as when they are young they are identified as W/C and then labelled. This view was put forward by Becker (1971) who identified in his study that teachers did not view W/C children as ideal pupils. Their work, appearance and conduct were all factors the teachers based their label around.
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.
This article addressed the concerns regarding retention rate in the early grades, specifically kindergarten and first grade. The article described that there are two reasons for early-grade retention. In kindergarten, it is usually the result of behavior, children who are thought to not mature enough for first grade. However, what is typically considered the main reason for retaining a student is due to performance in reading and mathematics. The authors acknowledge that there are negative consequences to preventing a student from promoting, some examples include an immediate loss in cognitive growth (Hong & Yu, 2007) and may cause damage to the child’s self-esteem.
The importance of cultural explanation in explaining differences in social class and achievement. Many Sociologists have argued over the course that cultural factors are the explanation of why students do or do not achieve high in education. One side argues that cultural deprivation is the cause of this whilst the other material deprivation argues a different case and some other argue that it is neither both but factors inside school itself. Cultural deprivation means factors such as values, attitudes, languages. So, If a child is in a social group deprived of these factors he could underachieve.
However, despite of significantly improving the students’ performance, this intervention method has been reported to cause more harm than good. Retained children have consistently been found to display and develop a more negative attitude towards school and their school attendance deteriorate. Grade retention is also reported not only to affect the students’ academic life but their social lives as well, most sixth graders equates this intervention with the stress experienced from losing a parent (Jimerson, 2001). Citing these shortcomings, there is need to explore other intervention alternatives that promotes both the academic and the social welfare of the student. This article will focus on Looping and Multiage classrooms as an alternative intervention to retention.