Evaluate the Claim That Factors Outside the School Are the Main Cause of Working-Class Underachievement

792 Words Apr 18th, 2016 4 Pages
Underachievement in schools can be heavily linked to factors that are internalised within the school. Both internal and external factors can contribute to the underachievement of pupils who belong to a working class background, and they may be equally as effectual on the underachievement of the pupil.

One of the major causes of underachievement is the lack of economic capital, proposed by Pierre Bourdieu (1984), that a working class family possess. As item A states, ‘sociologists claim that factors outside the school, such as parental attitudes and parental income, are the main causes of working class underachievement.’ Children who belong to a working class background may not be able to afford the necessary equipment or meet the demands
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This is due to the elaborated code being used by teachers, as well as questions and textbooks being written with more complex vocabulary. As well as this, Bernstein said that the elaborated code is a more effective tool for analysing and reasoning and for expressing thoughts clearly and effectively, which are all essential in achieving highly during education. This, ultimately leads to higher achievement for middle class children cause they are comfortable with more complex language, and therefore have the necessary understanding to achieve highly. Comparatively, working class children struggle to understand the elaborated code, because they simply haven't been brought up in a household where this type of speech is used frequently. This leads to underachievement amongst the working class. Due to the use of the restricted code, these pupils may be labelled by teachers as less able and therefore streamed into lower sets, leading to a self-fulfilling prophecy. These lower sets may consist if pupils who belong to an anti-school subculture, which can disrupt the learning of fellow pupils, thus leading to a higher chance of underachievement.

Thirdly, parenting style is also a hugely contributing factor for underachievement. As item A states, ‘factors outside the school, such as parental attitudes and parental income, are the main causes of working class underachievement.’ Educated parents emphasise consistent…