Social Class And Education

2019 Words9 Pages
MEASURING CLASS AND EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT In general, the higher a person’s social class of origin – the higher their educational qualifications. This has been shown time and time again over the past 50 years by sociological researchers and government statistics. Social class is the most important in educational attainment. Its effect is nearly three times greater than ethnicity and over five times greater than gender. At every level of education – from nursery to university – upper and middle class children tend to do better than working class children. This remains the case even when they have the same intelligence quotient. MATERIAL DEPRIVATION During 1960’s, sociologists claimed that the low attainment of many working class pupils resulted from a lack of something. They were deprived. This deprivation was material, a lack of money and the things that money could buy – and cultural, and absence of the attitudes and skills that were needed for educational success. In general, the higher children’s class of origin, the higher their family income. High income can provide many educational advantages (a comfortable heated home, working table, computer, books). EDUCATION, MONEY AND HOME Traditionally, many working class students left school at the minimum leaving age because their parents could no longer afford to support them. Many sociologists in the 1960’s saw differences in primary socialisation as the main reason for class differences in attainment. In a large – scale study of British children entitled The Home and The School; J.W.B. Douglas (1964) claimed that middle class children received more attention and encouragement from their parents during their early years. This provided a foundation for high attainment in their later years. Based on questionnaires given to over 5 000 parents, Douglas concluded that the degree of parents’ interest in
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