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A Level Sociology (AQA) > Education > Flashcards

Flashcards in Education Deck (35)
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Functionalists: Durkheim:


Socialisation: importance for development of morality. Sense of achievement and pride necessary for maintaining social solidarity. A lack of development in these areas may lead to anomie.


Functionalists: Parsons:


Education provides a value consensus. Child develops a meritocratic view.
Skills provision: education responds to societal needs, teaching general and occupational skills.
Greater division of labour needs more education.
More wealth from greater educational training.


Functionalists: Davis and Moore.


Role allocation: examinations and qualifications allocate individuals to the best suited job for their skill set.
Exams encourage competition.


Functionalists: Evaluation.


Ignores negative aspects of educational system.
Views may not fit multicultural societies.
Not all pupils conform to the school system.
Questionable as to whether British pupils leave school with the necessary skill requirements.


New Right: Chubb and Moe.


Pupils from low income families do 5% better in private schools, state education is not meritocratic.
Does not create equal opportunity, non-responsive to pupil’s needs.
Private schools deliver higher quality education as they have to answer to parents.


Marxism: Overview.


The wealthy own the means of production, allowing them to dominate and control the superstructure.
Education: reproduces inequalities of the capitalist system.
Legitimised inequalities through myth of meritocracy.


Marxism: Althusser.

Education is an ideological state apparatus, reproducing class inequalities.  Transmits ruling class values. Encouraged to accept without question. 
RSAs maintain the rule of the bourgeoisie through force or the threat of it.

Marxism: Bowles and Gintis.


Correspondence Theory: capitalism require a hardworking, docile, obedient workforce.
Education delivers a hidden curriculum to achieve this.
Conformist pupils achieve higher grades.
Students accept a hierarchy, little control over the system, both work for a reward.


Marxism: Willis.

Hidden curriculum is not always accepted. Teachers can reject capitalist ideology.
Lads counter culture: saw themselves as superior to teachers and conformist pupils. Not interested in gaining qualifications. Went to school to have a laugh. Anti school culture: sexist and racist. Valued traditional working class masculinity. Manual work is more valuable. Reproduced class inequalities.

Marxism: Evaluation.


More competition between schools, emphasis on vocational qualifications.
Exaggerate negative effects of education.


Ethnicity: Official statistics.


Highest pay: Chinese.
African Caribbean pupils achieve less, even when class is taken into account.
Black Caribbean boys are more likely to be excluded and in bottom sets.
Children entitled to free school meals do worse on average.
Mohood: immigrants are more mobile, have higher skills and higher cultural capital.


Ethnicity: Ethnic Differences.


Sutton Trust: differences may be due to improvement in urban schools, cultural attitudes, targeted funding.

Bereiter and Engelmann: language of black American families is disjointed and ungrammatical. Children unable to explain abstract ideas.

Evans: brutal street culture in white working class areas results in a strong pressure to reject education.

Lupton: poorer levels of behaviour and discipline in white working class schools. Lower parental support.

Basit: completed interviews and focus group with Asian families, all generations place a great value on education, saw free education as a blessing.

Jasper: racism in the wider society explains black underachievement. Institutional racism: economic exclusion, increases in poverty and unemployment, growing racism in the criminal justice system, low teacher expectations, low motivation, demonisation of black children.


Ethnicity: Evaluation.


Sewell: children are undermined by poor parenting, peer pressure and a lack of responsibility for their own behaviour. They did not do their homework or pay attention in lessons and they were disrespectful to their teachers.

Brought up in a single parent family, lack a male role model, drawn to gangs.

Sewell is criticised for blaming black underachievement on individuals rather than on inequalities and inadequacies in the system.

Material deprivation is not the primary factor for underachievement. Low earning ethnic families encourage and support their children.


Ethnicity: Internal Factors.


Strand: 3 White-British : 2 African-Caribbean entered for higher tier papers.

Gillborn and Youdell: educational differences due to institutional differences. Teachers interpret policies in a way that disadvantages black students.
Marketisation of education means schools are driven to ensure students achieve C grades or above. High achievers and no hopers are neglected. Black students are disproportionately judged to be in the ‘no hoper’ position. Chinese and Indian students are model minority groups. African-Caribbean students likely to have appearance and speech labelled as a challenge to teacher’s authority.

Sewell: subcultures form in response to treatment:
rebellion, retreatist, innovators.

Mirza: some teachers treated all pupils equally but failed to challenge racism. Some had lower expectations of black pupils. Some were overtly racist.

Fuller: some students can react positively to labels. Group of black girls motivated to work harder and achieve high grades.

Coard: ethnocentric curriculum: British history portrays other cultures as primitive. Lowers self-esteem.

Moore and Davenport: ethnic segregation through marketisation.

Archer: ideal pupil - white, middle class, male, heterosexual, natural ability and intuition.
pathologised pupil - Asian, deserving poor, female, asexual or repressed sexuality, conformist, overachiever.
demonised pupil - black, working class, hypersexual, unintelligent, peer-led, culturally deprived, underachiever.


Ethnicity: Multicultural Education.


Assimilation policies: some minority underachievement lies in poverty and racism.

Multiculturalism education policies: promotes achievements of minority ethnic groups by valuing all cultures.

Mirza: no genuine change in policies, focus on culture, behaviour and the home rather than poverty and racism.
African-Caribbean supplementary schools. Thriving black community, social capital.

Pearce: multiculturalism undermines British way of life.

Parekh: used to keep ethnic minorities quiet.

Gilroy and Mohood: only focuses on black and white.

The Macdonald Report: blamed anti-racist policy for alienation of white working class.

Sewell: underachievement of black boys: lack of legitimate opportunities, poverty, single mother households, cultural deprivation, anti-school peer pressure, poor schools, low expectations, lack of self-belief.


Gender: Official Statistics.


Girls achieve more highly than boys: all levels, more subjects. More girls go into higher education. Gap is bigger between working class groups and African-Caribbean groups.

Both genders have continually improved.

When given a choice there is still a gender divide in subjects.

Only 1% of construction apprentices are female.


Gender: Decline in Men’s Jobs.


Globalisation has led to a decline in heavy industry jobs. Mitsos and Browne: crisis, low self-esteem, motivation to get grades.


Gender: External Factors.


Sharpe: priorities changed from love to marriage, husbands, careers to job. Making them more confident, assertive, ambitious and committed to gender equality.

McRobbie: patriarchy is challenged in all areas. Girls reject the stereotype of wife and mother, more motivated by career prospects. More need for economical independence and more opportunity.

Francis: girls had higher and realistic career goals. Realise the value of education.

Fuller: differences in aspiration were not due to class but emotional support and self-esteem.

Beck: heightened risk, cannot risk being reliant on a husband for security.

Primary socialisation: creates a patriarchal society. Girls have better language skills and are more able to pay attention. Better at conforming and working independently. Socialised into helping and talking to others. Boys view school as feminine. Decline in male-dominated industry work, affecting working class boys.


Gender: Internal Factors.


Kelly: national curriculum equalised opportunities to study same subjects, increasing gender equality.

Gorard: introduction of coursework gave girls an advantage, more mature, organised, able to concentrate for longer.

Weiner: sexist image supporting gender stereotypes have been removed from teaching.


Gender: Laddish Subcultures.


Epstein: working class boy, ‘swot’, likely to be harassed, labelled as a ‘sissy’, subjected to homophobia.

Francis: threatens masculinity.


Gender: Policies.


Girls into Science and Technology, Removal of the 11+ exams, Discover Science Saturday Clubs, Marketisation, Introduction of Coursework, Reading Champions, Dads and Songs Campaign, National Literacy Strategy, Playing for Success, Women into Science and Engineering

Francis: many middle school girls aim to create a feminine identity. Girls take a considerable interest in their appearance and may choose to rebel quietly by talking at the back, feigning a lack of interest. Girls do not wish to be perceived as nerds. Relatively unlikely to favour stereotypical female careers.


Gender: Evaluation.


Early socialisation: girls are rewarded for being passive, boys are rewarded for being active.

Gendered subject images.

Peer pressure, same sex schools have less tradition subject choices.

Sex discrimination act.

Illegal for unequal pay.

Number of women in employment has increased.
Incentive to gain qualifications.


Social Class: External Factors.


Material factors: families may not be able to afford: uniform, trips, school transport, textbooks, computer access, a desk, comfortable space. Middle class parents can afford a tutor.

Cultural deprivation: disadvantaged in intellectual development, language, attitudes.

JWB Douglas: middle class children receive more encouragement. Amount of interest displayed by parents is the most important factor. Attitudes of parents can become clear to teachers. Lower intellectual scores, working class. Lack of interest in education.

Bernstein: speech patterns of lower class are inferior, restricted. Language barrier. Middle class have an advantage.
Restricted: communicate in gestures and single words. Disjointed phrases.
Elaborated: wider vocabulary, more complex. 

Bourdieu: middle class values superior to working class. Lower levels of achievement are down to poor parenting rather than the fault of the education system.
Reproduces cultural capital.
Bourgeois parlance.
Less likely to attend parents evening: social inferiority, low value on education, lack education, can’t afford, work longer hours, more likely to be shift workers.


Social Class: Internal Factors.


Middle class students fit ideal pupil stereotype.

Becker: labelling theory leads to self-fulfilling prophecy.

Lacey: pupil subcultures created through: differentiation (streaming), polarisation (pro or anti school), sabotage.

Ball: placed in bands based on primary school reports. Working class placed in lower bands regardless of level they are working at. 
Behaviour deteriorated, lower expectations, lower bands.

Social Class: Evaluation.

Cultural deprivation suggests working class are inferior. Need to be closely linked to material deprivation. Working class prefer immediate gratification.
Difficult to gain an accurate picture of parental interest. 
Ignores factors outside of school. Overly deterministic. Insistence of academic criteria. Additional funding and resources given to lower bands.
Challenges idea that UK is meritocratic. Marketisation is discriminatory. Social inequalities maintained and legitimised.

Educational Policies: Education Act.


1944, schooling became compulsory for all up to age 14. 11+ exam.
Tripartite system: grammar, technical, secondary modern.
Few technical schools built due to cost. Grammar schools seen as prestigious. Some girls achieved highly but still went to secondary modern. Pass mark higher for girls. Few working class got into grammar.
Based on catchment area, postcode lottery. Class divide through ability streaming. More able students dragged down. No interschool competition without parental choice.


Educational Policies: New Right.


Suggested a ‘skills crisis’ is to blame for economic decline. Introduction of apprenticeships and National Vocational Qualifications. Reduce youth unemployment. Working class and ethnic minority groups are entered disproportionately into vocational courses.

Finn: provision of cheap labour, reduces bargaining power, reduces unemployment figures, reduces crime, creates better attitudes.


Educational Policies: Education Reform Act.


Marketisation, testing, national curriculum, league tables.
Privatisation of education, assisted places scheme.

Damaging effects of over testing, schools teach to test, league tables encourage schools to manipulate the system.


Educational Policies: Myth of Parentocracy.


Ball: middle class parents are better at interviews, writing letters and manipulating the system, paying transport costs or moving to desirable catchment areas.


Educational Policies: New Labour.

Schools encouraged to specialise in different subject areas. Focus on improving skills. Sure start centres target maternal deprivation which causes working class children to be at a disadvantage.
Education Action Zones: cooperate to tackle underperformance in low performing schools.
Educational Maintenance Allowance: given to children from low income families. Those from a working class background are more likely to leave the course early, incur more debt and only study part time. 

Middle classes gain the most. League tables lead to rote learning. Inequality in society has continued to increase. Private providers are inefficient.


Educational Policies: Coalition Policies.


Academy programme: schools could be forced to convert to academies if they failed to show improvement. Free schools could be set up religiously, through parents or teachers. Freedom from following a set curriculum.
League tables based on percentage of pupils achieving highly in academic subjects.
Tuition fees increased.


Educational Policies: Policies.


Pupil premium assigned to low income families. Maintenance grants in higher education.

However, parental choice is limited, difficult for disadvantaged background children to get into best schools. Pupil premium is questionable.

Whitty: reproduces inequality through exam league tables. Exam results ensure schools achieving good results are more in demand. Allows schools to be more selective and recruit high-achieving middle class pupils.


Educational Policies: Impact of Policy:


Douglas: average middle class more likely to pass exams than average working class.

Keddie: teachers did not believe in fixed IQ, disapproved of banding. Confused social skills with academic skills. Lower band allowed to work slower, make more noise. Respond differently to questions. Vital aspects not taught to lower bands.

Ball: allocated due to class, labelled as expected, provoked disruptive behaviour. System replaced, improved behaviour. Worldwide marketisation, overseas ‘buying and selling’.

Kelly: government tailors education policy to meet the needs of the economy. Creating a cohesive/equal society less emphasised. Education becomes more similar. Some individual differences required.


Sociologists: Functionalism.


Durkheim, Parsons, Davis and Moore.


Sociologists: Marxism.


Althusser, Bowles and Gintis, Willis.