Explanations for difference in educational success

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Transcript Explanations for difference in educational success

Explanations for differences in
educational success.
(Outside school factors contd.)
Topic 04
Adapted from S. Moore, M Haralambos and
Issues in the Cultural deprivation debate
Working class culture is deprived
The working classes use a different language
Middle class children have cultural capital
Cultural Deprivation issue
Culture includes phenomena such as values
and norms, it is everything that is learned
Culture is transmitted by primary socialisation
where parents pass on society’s culture to
their children (the next generation)
It is argued that culture varies between social
It is this cultural difference between classes
which accounts for either the success or
failure in education
Cultural Deprivation (Sugarman)
Cultural attitudes of the
working class account
for their lack of
educational success.
working class has a
preference for immediate
gratification (to enjoy things
straight away)
working class
pupils are more likely
to leave school as
soon as possible to get
a job for money now
Criticisms of Sugarman idea that
working class culture is deprived
He was writing at a time when it was more
common for working class children to bring
home money for disadvantaged households
High unemployment makes it pointless to
leave school as soon as possible
Differences in parental Interest Douglas)
Class cultural differences in
the degree of interest show by
parents in their children’s
education accounted for the
lack of success
class parents were
less likely to attend school
functions, for example
parents’ evenings and opendays
Criticism of Douglas’ parental interest
Many working class parents may be
unable to attend these school functions,
e.g. because of shift work or long hours
Working class parents may feel
uncomfortable in the middle class
atmosphere of schools, especially if they
did not achieve well themselves.
Middle and working class differences
in Language (Bernstein)
There are two ways or codes of talking – (i) In
Restricted code and (ii) In elaborated code
i) The Restricted code
This is used by the working class; it is a “shorthand” way of speaking and it tends to be used
between people who share the same meanings,
e.g. close friends
Thus it is not generally understood by everyone
in all situations. (It is restricted and particular)
ii) Elaborated code –
This is used by the middle class
It is not restricted or particular to whether or
not a person already knows what one are
talking about
It is a more detailed way of talking, everyone
can understand what one means because
one explains oneself very clearly. (It is
general and universal)
Bernstein says middle class children use the
elaborated code and thus achieve more in
school because teachers use the same way
of speaking
Working class children start off with a
disadvantage because they do not speak in
the same way as teachers as the restricted
code is not used in education
Criticism of Bernstein
Labov’s study on
working class, black
children in Harlem
(NY) shows their
speech patterns are
just as good at
explaining themselves
as those of white
middle class children
Labov claims that black working class
children achieve badly at school because they
speak a different dialect from the teacher and
teachers often criticise this
The children then see school and the class
room as hostile so they do not say much.
This makes them look as if they have a
restricted code
Cultural Capital (Bordieu)
The idea of cultural capital is used by
Marxists to explain cultural influences on
Bourdieu suggests that middle class culture
has a value in educational terms just as
material wealth (capital) has a value
He calls this cultural capital
Schools are middle class institutions run by
the middle classes
Thus it is middle class forms of knowledge,
values and ways of communicating ideas that
are enhanced and rewarded by the education
Working class children may lack these
qualities, so they do not have the same
chance to succeed
Accent is part of our class culture