Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere Assess Sociological Explanations for Ethnic Differences in Educational Achievement (20 Marks) Essay

1609 WordsMar 24, 20157 Pages
As item A states “there are important differences in the educational achievement of pupils from different ethnic groups” there are statistics that prove this fact, for example in the UK between 50-60% of all white students on average attain 5 or more A*-C GCSES compared to 75% of Chinese students, the figure is closer to 85% for Chinese girls, and only 40% of Bangladeshi and Pakistani students, Indian pupils on average do better than white pupils but less well than Chinese. This essay will assess sociological explanations for these ethnical differences in educational achievement. Sociologists suggest that to fully understand the reasons behind ethnic differences we must consider both external and internal factors. This essay will begin with internal factors, i.e. the factors that occur within the education system, they can be divided into four different problems, the first being labelling and teacher racism. Studies by Sociologists like Gillborn have found that students are labelled by teachers based on their ethnicity, he discovered that black pupils are more likely to be labelled as “troublemakers” and disruptive, Bangladeshi students are commonly labelled as passive and lazy compared to Chinese students who are given the label of hardworking and polite. Gillborn’s study suggested that teachers are quicker to discipline black pupils than other ethnic groups for the same behaviour, such as low level disruption. This often made pupils feel singled out and resentful and caused them to have a negative attitude towards school as a whole. This could be considered as teacher racism and often leads to the “self-fulfilling prophecy” where the student acts up to a teacher as a result of having been given a negative label, therefore the prediction becomes true simply by the virtue of it having been made. If a teacher believes a child is a failure, they can make them become
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