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Essay Assess Sociological Explanations Of Ethnic Differences In Educational Achievement

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Essay Assess Sociological Explanations Of Ethnic Differences In Educational Achievement
Assess the importance of school factors such as racism and pupils’ response to racism in creating ethnic differences in educational achievement.
Racism is a system of beliefs that defines people as superior or inferior, and justifies their unequal treatment, on the basis of biological differences such as skin colour. Individual racism refers to the prejudiced views and discriminatory behaviour of individuals. Institutional racism exists when the routine ways an organisation operates have racist outcomes regardless of the intentions of the individuals within it. Racism and pupils’ response to racism are internal factors which means they happen within schools and the education system they may cause ethnic differences in educational achievement
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Instead, they argue, institutional racism must be focused on. Institutional racism is discrimination against ethnic minorities that is built into the way institutions such as schools and colleges operate on a routine basis, rather than the intentions of individual teachers. The ethnocentric curriculum is an important example of institutional racism. ‘Ethnocentric’ refers to attitudes or policies that prioritise a culture or one particular ethnic group whist disregarding others. Many sociologists have argued that the curriculum within British schools is ethnocentric. Troyna and Williams note that it gives priority to white culture and the English language. Whilst Ball sees the history curriculum in British schools as recreating a ‘mythical age and past glories’, while at the same time ignoring the history of black and Asian people. This may result in minority ethnic group pupils feeling that they and their culture are not valued in education and this diminishes their sense of self-esteem, which has a negative effect on their educational achievement as they feel as though they are worthless causing them to

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