Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere Assess the Sociological Explanations for Ethnic Differences in Educational Success

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There are many reasons for educational underachievement and it has been said that ethnicity is one of these key factors. It has been found that Indian and Asian pupils are of higher educational achievement than White, African-Caribbean, and Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi pupils. One possible cause of ethnic differences in education could be at the fault of the education system. To investigate this Sewell conducted a study using semi-structured interviews and observations in an inner-city boys’ comprehensive school, his study revealed the ways in which African-Caribbean students are labelled by their teachers, peers, white students as ‘problems’ in the classroom. Sewell showed how Black boys use these negative perceptions to construct…show more content…
For example, the home of a pupil is a primary agent in their socialisation and education and this therefore has the biggest impact on the pupil so when at school they will either be handicapped or at an advantage from their upbringing. For example, Modood argued that some ethnic minorities have higher levels of cultural capital, despite often being from a working-class background. Many Indians and Asians originate from working-class backgrounds even though they end up with middle class jobs. These parents therefore place particularly high values on educational success and contain the knowledge and understanding of education to motivate their children and help them to succeed. Strand also investigates ethnicity and achievement in education, he compared the progress of Indian, African-Caribbean and white British pupils in their secondary education. Strand found that Indian children made more positive progress than the white British students but African-Caribbean pupils fell even further behind. Strand found the Indian’s success was due to both material and cultural factors such as high aspirations and dedication to homework, low levels of truancy and exclusion and good resources at home such as computers and private tutoring. However there was no evidence that African-Caribbean parents and pupils adopted a culture that would hold them back in their educational success, they had high aspirations and a positive attitude to school. Overall his research found

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