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Sociology Ethnicity Question

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Using material from item A and elsewhere assess the claim that ethnic differences in educational achievement are primarily the result of school factors.

It is not completely internal school factors that can affect different ethnicities level of achievement in education, external factors can have a large part to play in the achievement levels of ethnic minorities in education as well. In education studies have shown that Chinese students as well as Indian students are the highest achieving ethnic groups in education while black and Bangladeshi students are the lowest achieving students. In 2006, 73% of pupils Indian origin gained a 5 A* - C passes at GCSE, compared to 56% of White pupils and an even lower 47% of Black pupils, Item A agrees with this point.

Labelling is a large part of the internal factors that affects different ethnic groups’ achievement in education as some teachers label different ethnic students as less able or be less able to understand the teacher because they are of different ethnicity when in fact they can understand as well as a white student.

Ethnocentric Curriculum is also a large part of the internal factors that can have an affect on the success levels of the ethnic minorities in education as in schools they tend to teach subjects which are appealing to the white students over the black students. In history they tend to miss out teaching about black history in order to teach more appealing topics and in English, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens are usually taught over black writers and this can cause the ethnic students to take less of a care to the subject, ending up in a lower success rate.

The internal factor of ‘institutional racism’ is a major factor which can cause the different ethnic groups to be less successful in education. There is evidence of ‘institutional racism’ in schools by the way that the schools take racism less seriously and often fail to deal with issues of racism which make the ethnic groups feel disadvantaged and treated differently making them have a mood of fatalism about education this point is also made in item A.

As well as internal factors there are external factors that can affect the success levels of ethnic groups in education such as the inadequate language level spoken by low-income black families. Bereiter and Englemann found that there language skills were ungrammatical, disjointed and incapable for education and incapable for expressing ideas.

Flaherty argued that the external factor of the ethnic groups being more likely to live in low quality, substandard council housing also plays a large part on the success levels of ethnic groups in education. This means that they will also be less likely to have good study space, money for health nutritious food and means they are less likely to have revision resources needed for success and item A agrees with this point.

Racism in the wider society is also a large external factor which can have a large impact on the ethnic groups in the wider society as this racism can de-motivate people from doing well in education and striving to get the good jobs as they believe only the people who are white ethnicity will get the jobs. This racism is evident in Mike Noon’s study, when he sent off applications named ‘Patel’ he got less, more negative responses than what he got when he sent of the same applications named ‘Evans’.

So in conclusion, both internal and external factors are extremely important as the internal factors can affect them directly when they are doing work in school but the external factors can affect how hard they work to try to give themselves a good start outside of school as well as how hard they try at home after school. This makes them both as important as eachother.

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