Ethnicity and Education

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“ethnic differences in educational achievement are primarily the result of school factors” 

Most studies found that overall ethnic minorities tend to do less well than other members of the population when it comes to educational achievement. The government sponsored “Swann report” found that “Asians” did almost as well as “Whites” however not as well, one Asian group in particular the “Bangladeshi’s” did particularly badly and “West Indians” preformed considerably worse than “Whites”. Many factors which occur inside the school are the cause of educational achievement however other factors contribute.

The expectations of teachers on ethnic minorities have caused differences in educational achievement. Bernard Coard believes that teachers expect “Black” children to fail therefore labelling the child as a failure. Interactionalists are concerned with how teachers “pidgeonhole” students this is the labelling theory, this is where the teacher makes a judgement of the child based on the child’s appearance, behaviour, previous family members and relationships with other students. However most labels are based on stereotypes rather than evidence, the reality is that once a label starts it is difficult to get rid of and this can cause problems for a student’s educational achievement. Teachers will discuss the students label in the staff room and other teachers will attach the same label to the child and this can lead to the child not being allowed to attend school trips. If a student is labelled as a failure by a teacher then the teacher is likely to put the student into a lower tier exam thus the pupil can only achieve a maximum of a grade C and can’t achieve to the best of their ability. When a student is labelled as a failure the student can begin to believe that the label is true and begin to make it part of their part of their identity, become a failure this is known as the self-fulfilling prophecy thus creating ethnic differences in educational achievement...
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