Assess the view that ethnic differences in educational achievement are primarily the result of external factors.
It has been found that someone’s ethnicity can have an effect on their educational achievement, as in 2006 73% of pupils of Indian origin gained 5 A*– C passes at GCSE compared with 56% of white and 47% of black pupils. It has been found that African students tend to underachieving in the educational system compared to others, with them being below average reading ability and tend to receive less GCSE’s than whites and Indians. They are also least likely to stay in post 16 education, and if they do it’ll more likely to be taking vocational qualification.
Some sociologists suggest that external factors have a hug effects, such as from cultural deprivation with the socialisation experience of children, values, expectations and norms transmitted at home. Driver and Ballard 1979 argued that high achievement in some Asian groups might be linked to the presence of close knit extended families. However with some ethnic groups many tend to have low income, which may explain why black pupils tend to underachieve as many children from low income black families lack intellectual stimulation and enriching experiences. Family structure and parental support can also have an affect, with failure to socialise children adequately is the result of dysfunctional family structures as many black families are headed by lone mothers and have poor care due to lack of money. This is a vicious cycle as someone who failed at school will affect their child’s educational achievement as the child may not get the extra help on work like other pupils may get, which can lead to their own failure causing a vicious cycle. Evidence suggests that those ethnic groups who tend to underachieve also tend have low incomes. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2007 estimated that 70% of Bangladeshi and over 50% of Pakistani children grow up in poverty, compared to 20% of the white population...
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