Social Class and Quality of Education Essay

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One of the concerns regarding social justice in education is that there are marginalised groups within society do not having equal access to the learning and life opportunities that they deserve. The concept of social justice stresses that every individual within society is entitled to have equal rights and opportunities. This means that an individual from a lower class background deserves the same opportunities as a person from a wealthier background. It is about becoming aware and recognising that there are certain situations where the application of the same rules to unequal groups can sometimes lead to imbalanced results. It is therefore crucial that the government create a curriculum that can empower every student regardless of their…show more content…
(quoted in Vic Kelly 1983: 10; see also, Kelly 1999). We can view the curriculum as a process by which the knowledge and content is transmitted or ‘delivered’ to students by methods devised by the government (Blenkin et al 1992: 23). A student can also be seen as a ‘product’ within the curriculum as it has been suggested that the knowledge the government wish us to learn are seen to benefit or attempt to achieve desired goals such as creating a skilled workforce for long term economic benefit. Schools also have a hidden curriculum in which values and norms of behaviour are transmitted. For example, wearing a school uniform and keeping to a set timetable can all be seen as activities that encourage particular standards of behaviour which could be viewed as producing disciplined future workers. Therefore the hidden curriculum implies that pupils not only learn formal subjects such as English or physics but also receive hidden messages about their class, ethnicity and gender from their experience of schooling. Through the choice of teaching strategies and characteristics chosen to be employed by educational institutions it indirectly conveys to students the norms, values and expectations. This is what we refer to as the hidden curriculum. As we will later explore there are many that argue the hidden curriculum and processes within schools help to produce inequalities between children of different social classes. Whitty and Young (1976) view the
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