SCLY2 The Specification. 1 The role and purpose of education, including vocational education and training, in contemporary society. Functionalist and New Right views of the role and purpose of education: transmission of values, training workforce. Marxist and other conflict views of the role and purpose of education: social control, ideology, hegemony; deschoolers (Illich, Friere): socialisation into conformity by coercion. Vocational education and training: the relationship between school and work: human capital, training schemes, correspondence theory. 2 Differential educational achievement of social groups by social class, gender and ethnicity in contemporary society. Statistics on educational achievement by class, gender and ethnicity; trends over time. Social class and educational achievement: home environment; cultural capital, material deprivation; language (Bernstein); school factors, relationship between achievement by class in education and social mobility. Gender and educational achievement: feminist accounts of gender-biased schooling; the concern over boys underachievement and suggested reasons; subject choice; gender identities and schooling. Ethnicity and educational achievement: patterns; reasons for variations; multicultural and anti-racist education; experience of minorities in different types of schools. The relationship between class, gender and ethnicity. The effects of changes on differential achievement by social class, gender and ethnicity. 3 Relationships and processes within schools, with particular reference to teacher/pupil relationships, pupil subcultures, the hidden curriculum, and the organisation of teaching and learning. School processes and the organisation of teaching and learning: school ethos; streaming and setting; mixed ability teaching; the curriculum; overt and hidden. The ideal pupil; labelling; self-fulfilling prophecy. School subcultures (eg as described by Willis, Mac an Ghaill) related to class, gender and ethnicity. Teachers and the teaching hierarchy; teaching styles. The curriculum, including student choice. 1
4 The significance of educational policies, including selection, comprehensivisation and marketisation, for an understanding of the structure, role, impact and experience of education. Independent schools. Selection; the tripartite system: reasons for its introduction, forms of selection, entrance exams. Comprehensivisation: reasons for its introduction, debates as to its success. Marketisation: the 1988 reforms competition and choice; new types of schools (CTCs, academies, specialist schools, growth of faith schools). Recent policies in relation to the curriculum, testing and exam reforms, league tables, selection, Special Educational Needs (SEN), etc. Recent policies and trends in pre-school education and higher education. 5 The application of sociological research methods to the study of education. This may be taught either integrated with the content listed above, or at the end of study of the topic, or by a combination of both approaches: Quantitative and qualitative data in education; the dominance of statistics (eg exam results, league tables). Positivist and interpretivist approaches as applied to education. Issues, strengths and limitations and examples of the application to the study of education of the main sources of data studied (see Sociological Methods section): o questionnaires o interviews (formal/structured; informal/unstructured) o participant and non-participant observation o experiments o use of documents, official statistics and other secondary data The theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of topic, choice of method(s) and the conduct of research on education. 2 Theory summary. 1. From a Functionalist perspective, education performs the following functions:
Developing and reinforcing social solidarity; Providing the skills and knowledge required for a specialised division of labour; Developing value consensus and preparing young people for adult roles; Assessing young people in terms of their talents and abilities and allocating them to appropriate roles in the wider society. 2. From a Marxist perspective, education: Transmits ruling class ideology; Prepares pupils for their role in the workplace; Legitimises inequality and disguises exploitation; Rewards conformity and obedience;
Reproduces new generations of workers, schooled to accept their place in capitalist society. 3. From a feminist perspective, education has promoted, and to some extent still does promote, male dominance by, the use of gendered language and gender stereotypes; leaving women out from the curriculum concentrating more on men; Defining certain subjects as girls subjects and others as boys subjects; Discriminating against female students in terms of grammar school, further and higher education places. 6 Theory summary. 4. From a Social Democratic perspective, education: should provide every young person with an equal chance to develop their talents and abilities; this will benefit society as a whole by producing economic growth; however, social class is a barrier to equality of educational opportunity. 5. According to neo-liberal / New Right perspectives, the role of education is to instil drive, initiative and enterprise. This will come from: competition between schools and colleges; motivating teachers to improve standards; providing parents and students with a choice of schools and colleges.
7 1858-1917 He wrote Moral Education (1961) A structuralist, macro approach to the role of education in society. KEY CONCEPT: Social solidarity SUMMARY OF THEORY: * A major function of education is transmission of societys norms and values. * Without similar attitudes in people, social life would be impossible. * Education, particularly the teaching of history, provides links between the individual and society. Children will come to see that they are part of something larger than themselves they will develop a sense of commitment to the social group. * School makes children learn to co-operate with other members of society besides friends and family, it is like a mini society. * Education also teaches children skills for their future roles. RESEARCH METHOD: this was what we call Armchair theorising because Durkheim didnt actually carry out empirical researchhe was simply expressing his opinion based on his functionalist beliefs. WEAKNESSES: Durkheim assumes the norms and values transmitted by the education system are those of society as a whole, rather than those of a ruling elite or ruling class. 11 He wrote The school as a social system (1961) A structuralist, macro approach to the role of education in society. KEY CONCEPTS: Focal socializing agency; particularistic and universalistic
standards; ascribed/achieved status; meritocracy; role allocation. SUMMARY OF THEORY: School acts as a bridge between the family and society, preparing children for their adult roles. School prepares children for the transition between their particularistic standards and ascribed status of the family to the universalistic standards and achieved status of society. Status is achieved on the basis of merit (or worth). Advanced, industrial society requires a highly motivated, achievementorientated workforce. By using the principle of differential reward for differential achievement, this value is instilled in a society. Schools match children to occupations based on aptitude and achievement. RESEARCH METHOD: this was what we call Armchair theorising because Parsons didnt actually carry out empirical research, he was simply expressing his opinion based on his functionalist beliefs. WEAKNESSES: The idea of meritocracy is undermined by the statistical patterns which show that not all children have equal chances of success. Like Durkheim, Parsons fail to recognise that the value consensus may be that of the ruling elite. 12 MOCK EXAM QUESTIONS ON FUNCTIONALIST THEORIES OF THE ROLE OF EDUCATION IN SOCIETY. 1 Read Item A below and answer parts (a) to (d) that follow. Item A According to functionalists, the education system encourages open competition while giving everyone an equal chance to succeed. As a result, all pupils can show what they are capable of achieving and what kind of future work role they are best suited for. The system is then able to provide each child with an education appropriate to their talents and to fit each individual with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they will need in their adult role. Functionalists see this as having two main advantages. For the individual, it allows social mobility and rewards people according to their ability, not their social background. For society, it promotes a
successful economy by ensuring each job is filled by someone with the appropriate talents. This leads to higher living standards for everyone. (a) Explain what is meant by differential reward for differential achievement. (2 marks) (b) Suggest three criticisms that could be made of Functionalist views of education. (6 marks) (c) Outline the ways in which education integrates individuals into societys shared culture. (12 marks) (d) Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the view that the function of the education system is to select and prepare individuals for their future work roles. (20 marks) MQP(i) He wrote for marx. 1969. A structuralist, macro approach to the role of education in a capitalist society. KEY CONCEPTS: ideological state apparatus. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * In modern society the education system has largely replaced the church as the main agency for ideological control. * The ruling class cannot hold power for long simply by the use of force. Ideological control through influencing the way people think, is the most effective way for the ruling class to maintain power over the subject class. * Schools transmit an ideology which states that capitalism is just and reasonable. * Schools prepare pupils to accept their future exploitation. * Pupils who become managers and decision makers through their qualifications which legitimate their power over others. RESEARCH METHOD: this was what we call Armchair theorising because Althusser didnt actually carry out empirical research, he was simply expressing his opinion based on his Marxist beliefs. WEAKNESSES: his work lacks empirical support.
13 They wrote Schooling in capitalist america. 1976. A structuralist, macro approach to the role of education in a capitalist society. KEY CONCEPTS: Correspondence principle; hidden curriculum; subservient workforce; acceptance of hierarchy; jug and mug principle; fragmentation; myth of meritocracy; motivation by external rewards. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * There is close correspondence between the ways in which people and children are treated in the workplace and the school. This is to get children used to their future exploitation. It achieves this through the hidden curriculum. * By maintaining power over children, teachers are training children to become a subservient and docile workforce who will not challenge the power of capitalism. * The fragmentation of the school day and subjects corresponds to the fragmentation of the workforce. By keeping workers unaware of the overall running of a business, they cannot use this knowledge to set up in competition. RESEARCH METHOD: they conducted a study based on 237 members of the senior year in a New York high school. WEAKNESSES: Trunacy rates and behavioural issues show children are not docile and unquestionning. Also, can we apply findings of the American education system to the British one? 14 He wrote learning to labour. 1979. (humanist)
A structuralist, macro approach to the role of education in a capitalist society. However, Willis used a micro approach to examine experiences of school. KEY CONCEPTS: counter-school culture; shop-floor culture; penetrations. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * There isnt a simple relationship between the economy and the education system; students are active participants some of whom choose to fail. * The lads formed their own friendship group which had a counter-school culture which was against the values of the school and doing well. They focused on having a laff to cope with the boredom they felt at school & in work. But they clearly just try to cope with tedium and oppression instead of actively challenging it. RESEARCH METHOD: As well as drawing upon Marxist sociology, Willis used some of the research techniques of interactionism and micro theory. His ethnographic method used observation in class, recorded discussions, informal interviews and diaries. He focused on 12 working class lads in their last 18 months at school and their first few months at work. WEAKNESSES: unrepresentative sample size which focuses only on male experiences. 15 MOCK EXAM QUESTIONS ON MARXIST THEORIES OF THE ROLE OF EDUCATION IN SOCIETY. 1 Read Item A below and answer parts (a) to (d) that follow. Item A Marxist sociologists believe that the primary role of education is simply to reproduce the existing class system. However, they disagree as to how this occurs. For example, Bowles and Gintis believe that it is the product of the hidden curriculum and the correspondence principle, namely that schooling in capitalist society mirrors the world of work. By contrast, Paul Willis believes that working-class pupils end up in working-class jobs because they actively reject the values of the school. Another Marxist, Pierre Bourdieu, argued that reproduction occurs because the middle class possess cultural capital, which they are able
to turn into educational success because schools are themselves middle class institutions. Although Bourdieu can be described as a Marxist, there are similarities with Bernsteins ideas about the role of restricted and elaborated speech codes in producing unequal educational achievement. (a) Explain what is meant by cultural capital. (2 marks) (b) Suggest three criticisms that could be made of Marxist views of education. (6 marks) (c) Outline the ways in which schooling in capitalist society may mirror the world of work. (12 marks) (d) Using material from Item A and elsewhere assess the different functions that the education system may perform for individuals and society, according to Marxism. (20 marks) MQP(ii) Competitive advantage & parental choice. 1994. My teacher said that the school has tough new standards and I need to improve my vocabulary. Whats vocabulary? Their focus was to examine the effects of parental choice and competition between schools on the education system and opportunities for students from different social groups. KEY CONCEPTS: privileged/skilled choosers, semi-skilled choosers, disconnected choosers. FINDINGS OF STUDY: The use of school league tables, open enrolment & formula funding (bums on seats) had a number of consequences for education. This was because schools wanted to attract and select more able students to boost their place on the table and their reputation. There is a shift of emphasis from student needs to student performance, from what the
school can do for the students to what the students can do for the school. Shift in values from comprehensive and social justice to market values, money and reputation. There was also suspicion and hostility between schools now. They examined parental choice and found that it was limited by availability of schools and ability of parents (in terms of their motivation and money). Found three types of parents when it came to choosing schools: i) Privileged/skilled choosers had strong motivation and skills to fight for the best school, had money to move to catchment area or pay for private school. More than likely to be middle class with university education. ii) Semi-skilled choosers strong motivation but little ability to engage with the market. Lack social contacts & cultural skills to fight for the best choice. Less likely to appeal if their children are rejected from their first choice. More thank likely to be working class and to choose local school. iii) Disconnected choosers not involved & dont see it as important, more than likely to choose the nearest school. More concerned with their childrens happiness than their academic performance. More likely to be working and underclass. RESEARCH METHOD: conducted surveys of 15 schools in 3 neighbouring Local Education Authorities (LEAs). Mix of LEA controlled schools, grant maintained schools, two church schools & a City Technology College. There was a mix of middle and working class schools and areas of high to no ethnic variety. Attended meetings, interviewed head teachers, parents and teachers. Examined a variety of documents about patterns of choice. 55 MOCK EXAM QUESTIONS ON NEW RIGHT THEORIES OF THE ROLE OF EDUCATION IN SOCIETY. 1 Read Item A below and answer parts (a) to (d) that follow. Item A Writers from a New Right perspective have suggested that giving more power to schools and to parents will help drive up standards as schools compete to provide a better service. This means allowing schools to decide their spending priorities and allowing them more control over what type of pupils they admit. They propose giving more power to parents so that they can force schools to be more responsive to parents wishes. They point to the academic success of many private schools and suggest that this is due to the fact that they are answerable
to their customers, the parents. Alternatively, Gewirtz (1995) suggests that increased competition between schools has mainly benefited middle-class pupils and parents because they have the means to gain access to the best schools. This means that the more academically successful schools attract middleclass parents and pupils who have cultural and material advantages. (a) Explain what is meant by marketization? (2 marks) (b) Suggest three criticisms that could be made of New Right views of education. (6 marks) (c) Outline some of the policies introduced by governments to create an education market in the United Kingdom. (12 marks) (d) Using material from Item 1C and elsewhere, assess the extent to which policies of encouraging competition between schools and increasing parental choice have improved the achievement of working-class pupils. (20 marks) MQP(iii) Differential achievement SOCIAL CLASS summary. 1. Class, ethnicity and gender make a difference to educational attainment. Class makes the greatest difference. 2. The following explanations have been given to explain why pupils with working class backgrounds are less successful: a) Material deprivation a lack of money and the things that money can buy (extra tuition, books, trips etc); b) A lack of encouragement, stimulation and interest from parents that probably had negative experiences of education. c) Working-class subculture with its emphasis on fatalism, present-time orientation and immediate gratification. d) Cultural deprivation an absence of the norms, values and skills needed for high attainment. This view has been strongly criticised. e) The use of the elaborated speech code in schools which disadvantages many working class pupils; f) A lack of cultural capital. According to Diane Reay, it is mothers who have the main influence on their childrens education. Their effectiveness largely depends on the amount of cultural capital at their disposal. Middle class
mothers have most. g) A lack of social capital. Balls research argues that social capital is vital when choosing schools. Middle class mothers with wide social networks, have most. h) In general, students with larger amounts of cultural and social capital will choose to attend the more prestigious universities. i) Middle-class pupils are more likely to be placed in higher streams, workingclass pupils in lower streams. In general, research indicates that streaming and setting have little or no affect on pupils achievement. However, they may raise attainment in the top groups and lower it in the bottom sets. j) What does have an effect is a tendency to enter more working-class pupils for lower level exams, so denying them the opportunity to obtain the top grades. 16 He wrote the home and the school. 1964. JWB Douglas was interested in the effect of social class on educational attainment. KEY CONCEPTS: Parental interest. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * He found that children from lower working class backgrounds were less likely to stay on at school while more affluent children were more likely to take their A levels. * He related educational success to students health, size of
family and quality of the school. Poorer children are more likely to come from big families, attend poorer schools and to be less healthy. * Middle class parents were more likely to encourage their children to succeed and socialize them more effectively to achieve in education. RESEARCH METHOD: Longitudinal study of 5,362 children born in the first week of March 1946, which continued until they were 16 in 1962. Participants were divided into groups in terms of their ability which was measured by IQ tests. They were sub-divided into four social class groups. WEAKNESSES: IQ tests are unreliable, cultural capital misrepresents ability of working class children, high drop out rate common in longitudinal studies. 19 He wrote social class, values and behaviour in schools. 1970. Barry Sugarman took a subcultural approach to the study of the relationship between class and education. KEY CONCEPTS: fatalism; immediate gratification; present-time orientation; deferred gratification; collectivism. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * Because middle class occupations provided more opportunity for advancement (promotion), such families had an attitude of deferred gratification. Their children were therefore socialized into these values and did better in school as they valued long-term goals. * Working class socialization emphasised present-time orientation and immediate gratification as their work did not allow the same opportunities for advancement. Therefore working class children didnt have the attitude to stick with education and wanted to earn money instead. They were more focused on collectivism (through parents Trade Union involvement), than
individual achievement. RESEARCH METHODS: used interviews & questionnaires. WEAKNESSES: social class differences in response to interviews & questionnaires may not reflect what happens in real life. 20 He wrote social class & linguistic development. 1961. He used an experimental approach to make links between language and educational achievement. KEY CONCEPTS: elaborated code; restricted code. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * He found that working class children tended to speak in a restricted code which had limited expression and implicit meaning. It also had limited grammatical complexity, vocabulary & are a kind of short-hand speech. * Middle class children tended to use the elaborated code is more detailed and the meanings are more clear through the use of more specific vocabulary. * Because education relies on an elaborated code as its common mode of communication, working class children are disadvantaged in terms of their understanding & expression. * Middle class jobs tend to demand the use of more elaborated codes while working class jobs, often manual do not rely on verbal expression or complex language. RESEARCH METHOD: one method was when he used two 5 year old boys to explain a series of four pictures. WEAKNESSES: the method is hardly representative. Rosen argues Bernstein has a very simplistic approach to class. There is little sound evidence for his claims. 21
He wrote the school as a conservative force. 1974. He had a Marxist perspective towards the education system and saw it as an agent of social control for the benefit of capitalism. KEY CONCEPTS: cultural capital; cultural reproduction. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * Bourdieu argued that working class failure is the fault of the education system and not working class culture. The education system is biased towards the culture of the dominant social classes and devalues the knowledge and skills of the working class. * The possession of the dominant culture by an individual is referred to as cultural capital because, via the education system, this can be translated into wealth and power. (Success in education = superior qualifications = professional and powerful occupations/careers). RESEARCH METHOD: the theory of cultural capital was developed on a theoretical, therefore non-empirical basis, by Bourdieu and his colleagues at the Centre for European Sociology in Paris. WEAKNESSES: this theory does not have any empirical basis as Bourdieus work was purely theoretical. 22 Class Work; Mothers Involvement in Their Childrens Primary Schooling. (1998). Reay used the concept of cultural capital in the more practical setting of primary education. KEY CONCEPTS: cultural capital; material capital. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * Reay found that it is mothers who are making cultural capital work for their children. She found that the amount of cultural capital possessed by middle class mothers meant that their children succeeded
more in education that their working class peers. Reay ascribes this to cultural capital. * Middle class mothers had the knowledge and skills to help their children more effectively with homework and to challenge the school and negotiate with teachers for the benefit of their children. * Middle class mothers could afford to have domestic help (giving them more time for their children) and pay for private tutors. RESEARCH METHOD: Reay interviewed mothers of 33 children at two primary schools in London. STRENGTHS: Provides the empirical support for Bourdieus cultural capital theory. WEAKNESSES: Based on a London sample of the mothers of a relatively small group; not representative of whole population. 23 MOCK EXAM QUESTIONS ON DIFFERENTIAL EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT DUE TO SOCIAL CLASS. 1 Read Item A below and answer parts (a) to (d) that follow. Item A Most sociologists see material deprivation as a major cause of underachievement. However, according to cultural deprivation theory, some working class and ethnic minority children fail because their parents do not socialise them into the appropriate norms, values and skills. For example, Douglas (1964) found that many working class parents were uninterested in their childrens progress and did little to support their education; they failed to attend parents evening, did not help them with their homework and did not read to them. As a result, such children are poorly equipped to take advantage of educational opportunities. For cultural deprivation theorists, government and educational bodies need to introduce policies to remedy the situation and give such children the chance to succeed. However, while cultural deprivation has been used to explain class and ethnic differences in achievement, most sociologists consider that when it comes to gender, other factors are more important, particularly as the pattern of achievement has changed rapidly in recent years, with girls now generally out-performing boys at all levels of schooling.
(a) Explain what is meant by material deprivation. (2 marks) (b) Identify three features of the restricted speech code. (6 marks) (c) Outline some of the cultural differences between the classes that may explain class differences in achievement. (12 marks) (d) Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the view that working class underachievement in education is the result of home circumstances and family background. (20 marks) MQP(iv) Differential achievement GENDER summary. 1. The educational performance of females has improved significantly since the 1980s. They have overtaken males at every level from primary to higher education. 2. Overall, the performance of males has also improved, but at a slower rate. 3. The following reasons have been suggested for the improvement in female performance: a) Changes in attitudes eg, increasing concern with financial independence for which they need a career and hence qualifications; b) Changes in the labour market more women in the workplace; c) Changes in marriage rising divorce rate and growth of lone-parent families further instil the idea that women need to be financially independent; d) Changes within schools eg, reduction of gender bias and more senior female teachers; e) Changes in society risk, uncertainty and individualisation all make girls think more about their lives and their prospects; they need to look out for themselves and give themselves the best chance to get on in life. 4. The following reasons have been suggested for the relatively low attainment of boys, particularly some working class boys: a) The threat to working class masculinity resulting from the reduction in traditional working class jobs and the growth in female headed families; b) The development of an anti-school culture which rejects the values of the school and helps rebuild a masculine identity in a society in which they feel pretty useless, particularly as obsolete breadwinners in the family; c) The spread of laddish behaviour as a response to the fear and shame of failure.
24 She wrote Just Like a Girl. 1994 A structuralist, macro approach to the role of education in a patriarchal society. KEY CONCEPTS: Girls aspirations. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * The sample of girls interviewed in the 1970s expressed a preference for feminised jobs such as nursing and shop assistants and their roles as wives and mothers while the sample from the 1990s stated they were more career focused in traditionally male sectors. * Girls from the 1990s were also more focused on their financial independence from men and were more likely to see education as a means to this financial independence because it gives them greater opportunities to secure a career. RESEARCH METHOD: this was a longitudinal, comparative study which used an interview technique to elicit qualitative data. By using two samples from two different time periods, Sharpe was able to show how there had been changes in girls aspirations. WEAKNESSES: was her sample representative of the British population of young females? 27 He wrote The making of men; masculinities, sexualities and schooling. 1994. Because Mac an Ghaill used interviews to gather qualitative research, he has used a micro perspective. He does not seem to have
a clear theoretical focus. KEY CONCEPTS: Crisis in masculinity; Laddism, the Three Fs, the New Enterprisers, the Real Englishmen, the Academic Achievers, the Macho Lads. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * Mac an Ghaill found four subcultures of male students at the school he examined. * The Macho Lads were into the three Fs, they also had a clear counter-school culture, not doing homework & answering back. The Academic Achievers were mainly Asian or white from skilled working class homes who were ridiculed by others. The New Enterprisers were focused on future jobs. * The Real Englishmen had a superior attitude and felt they had to work very little to achieve high results. RESEARCH METHOD: an ethnographic study of a school, using interviews to gather qualitative data. WEAKNESSES: Not representative of the wider British population of 28 male students. They wrote an article in; Sociology Review; Volume 8. No 1. Mitsos and Browne analysed a range of secondary sources; other research and statistics. KEY CONCEPTS: Womens movement; laddism. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * Girls achievement has increased for a number of reasons including; womens movement raising the expectations of girls, effort in schools to include girls in non-traditional subjects, increase in feminised service sector opportunities, girls greater maturity and motivation to do well. * Boys achievement has suffered because teachers may be less strict with boys, they are more disruptive (exclusion), laddism emphasises counter-school culture, decline in manual work, overestimation of their ability, non-academic leisure pursuits.
RESEARCH METHOD: they analysed a wide range of secondary data, including statistics (quantitative data). WEAKNESSES: they sometimes fail to give references to the relevant research which makes it difficult to evaluate how well-founded their claims are. 29 MOCK EXAM QUESTIONS ON DIFFERENTIAL EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT DUE TO GENDER. 1 Read Item A below and answer parts (a) to (d) that follow. Item A In general, girls now outperform boys in education. For example, girls are more successful in tests at 7, 11 and 14, and at GCSE. This continues at AS and A level, where girls do better than boys even in so-called boys subjects. For example, girls are now more likely than boys to gain A, B and C grades even in subjects such as maths, physics and chemistry. More females than males now enter higher education. Yet other gender differences remain. Girls are more likely to opt for languages, literature and social sciences at A level; on vocational courses, few boys opt for hairdressing and few girls choose construction. In addition, the everyday experiences of girls and boys in school can differ greatly. Both teachers and other pupils may apply unequal standards and expectations to the behaviour of girls and boys, and use different sanctions and forms of control when these expectations appear not to be met. (a) Explain what is meant by crisis in masculinity (2 marks) (b) Suggest three reasons which might explain why boys tend to do less well than girls in school. (6 marks) (c) Outline some of the reasons why gender influences subject choice. (12 marks) (d) Using material from Item 1A and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of gender differences in education. (20 marks) MQP(v)
Differential achievement ETHNICITY summary. 1. There are significant differences in the educational attainment of ethnic groups. However, these differences change over time eg, over the past 20 years and vary from one level to another eg, from secondary to higher. 2. The following factors outside the school have been seen to affect ethnic differences in attainment: a) Social class affects the attainment of all ethnic groups, but its influence varies from one group to the next. Ethnic minority groups are most likely to be working class. White students appear most affected by class. b) Cultural factors there is evidence that cultural factors, such as the value parents place on education and peer group subcultures, may partly account for ethnic differences in attainment. 3. The following factors within schools have been seen to affect ethnic differences in attainment: a) Racism particularly directed against African Caribbean students; b) Discrimination in setting; c) Discrimination in everyday class interaction there may be racist students. 30 Differential achievement ETHNICITY concepts. Concept Definition Prejudice Discrimination Racism Ethnocentric curriculum Educational triage Street culture Conformists Innovators Retreatists Rebels
Ethnocentrism Myth of underachievement Teacher expectations Black masculinity Overt Racists The Christians The Crusaders The Liberal Chauvenists 31 Early Education: Multi-Racial Primary School Classrooms. (1992). Wright used an ethnographic method to investigate the issue of race in education. KEY CONCEPTS: ethnocentrism; labelling. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * Despite the fact that the vast majority of staff seemed genuinely committed to the ideals of equality of educational opportunity, Wright found many instances of discrimination in the classroom. * Many Asian children were excluded from group discussions because teachers assumed they wouldnt understand the language. Asian girls received less attention and were treated with resentment on account of cultural differences; particularly in PE lessons. * Teachers expected Afro-Caribbean children to fail, were negatively labelled and criticised for behaviour exhibited by white children which was left unchallenged. RESEARCH METHOD: an ethnographic study of four multi-racial innercity primary schools; observation of 970 pupils and 57 staff; interviews with staff and head teachers; interviews with parents of children and examination of test results in three of the four schools. STRENGTHS: extremely thorough method which provides representative empirical support.
32 Race, Ethnicity and education: Teaching and Learning in Multi-Ethnic Schools. 1990. Gillborn used an ethnographic method to investigate the issue of race in education. KEY CONCEPTS: labelling. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * He found that the vast majority of teachers tried to treat students fairly. However, they interpreted the actions of Afro-Caribbean students as threatening and responded by punishing them. This leads to negative labelling which can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy and ultimately, failure. * Afro-Caribbean students were more likely to be punished than white students for the same behaviours. * Gillborn found considerable tension between black students and white teachers. RESEARCH METHOD: Gillborn spend a total of two years studying an inner-city comprehensive school. He gathered qualitative data from carrying out classroom observations and interviews with students and teachers. WEAKNESSES: Unrepresentative sample; just studying one inner-city comprehensive school. 33 Young, gifted and black. 1988. Mac an Ghaill used an ethnographic method to investigate the issue of race in education. KEY CONCEPTS: counter-school culture; labelling. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * Mac an Ghaill found that the system of streaming worked by putting boys into lower sets who were exhibiting poor behaviour; not poor
ability. There was a disproportionate amount of Afro-Caribbean boys in the lower sets. * There are boys of relatively high ability in the lower sets, especially among the West Indians. Ive told you before Johnson and Brian were marvellous at Maths, especially problem-solving. But its their its the West Indians attitude and that must decide it in the end. You cant promote a boy who is known to be a troublemaker, whos a dodger. It will look like a reward for bad behaviour. (A teacher from the sample interviewed). * Mac an Ghaill found that many African-Caribbean students responded to this by forming a counter-school culture, called the Rasta Heads. This rejected the schools norms and values and was clearly focused on race. RESEARCH METHOD: ethnographic study of a boys comprehensive school; interviews with pupils and teachers. WEAKNESSES: unrepresentative to use one school. 34 Coming of Age in 1980s England: Reconceptualizing Black Students Experiences. (1992). Mac an Ghaill used an ethnographic method to investigate the issue of race in education. KEY CONCEPTS: labelling; survival strategies. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * His research found that ethnic-minority students attitudes to education were influenced by their ethnic group, their gender and the class mix of their previous schools. * Students who had attended working class inner-city schools said their teachers had expected them to fail. * Gender was clearly an issue. The teachers treated black boys much worse than Asians and whites. Like, if we were standing together, they would break us up, saying gangs were bad. But they didnt seem to feel threatened in the same way with Asian and white boys. * Some students felt teachers saw Asian girls as having more academic
potential than Black girls. RESEARCH METHOD: an ethnographic study of 25 African-Caribbean and Asian students doing A levels in a sixth form college in the Midlands (1986-1988). Observation and interviews with students, parents and teachers. STRENGTHS: thorough method which attempts a multi-dimensional understanding (verstehen) of actors perspectives. 35 Young, Female and Black. (1992). Mirza used a feminist approach to examine issues of racial identity among female students. KEY CONCEPTS: myth of under-achievement. SUMMARY OF THEORY: Mirza argues there is a myth of under-achievement for black women. The girls in her sample performed better in exams than black boys and white pupils. Educational achievements of women are underestimated. Despite being negatively labelled by teachers, Mirza found the girls actively resisted the label and were not undermined. Mirza identified types of teachers; overt racists; the Christians; the Crusaders and the liberal chauvinists. There was also a small group of black teachers who showed no preference for any racial group. RESEARCH METHOD: an ethnographic study of 198 young women and men, including 62 black women aged 15-19 who were the main focus of the study. She researched two comprehensive schools in south London. Mirza used classroom observation, questionnaires to obtain basic data, informal interviews with sample and parents. Also used school records and exam results. Also did three detailed case studies. STRENGTHS: thorough method which attempts a multi-dimensional understanding (verstehen) of actors perspectives. WEAKNESSES: assumes all white teachers are racist. 36
Racism, Gender Identities and Young Children. 1998. Connolly used an ethnographic method to investigate the issue of race in education. KEY CONCEPTS: teacher expectations. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * Black boys were heavily criticised by teachers, seen as being in danger of turning into violent criminals. Bad Boys based their behaviour on hyper-masculinity and gained status from their peers through toughness, football and kiss-chase. * Black girls were labelled by their teachers as only being good as sport and music. They were also seen as disruptive. The girls challenged poor behaviour towards themselves. * South Asian boys were seen as non-challenging and therefore passive and conforming. Peers saw them as feminised. They had a hard time gaining any peer status but teachers had high expectations of them. * South Asian girls were seen as the most obedient and hard working. Teachers expected them to get on with it without any support. High status in terms of academic achievement but low status among peer group cultural differences meant they couldnt be involved in kiss-chase. RESEARCH METHOD: an ethnographic study of 3 classes of 5-6 year olds in multi-ethnic primary school. Observations of lessons, interviews with parents, staff, governors, group interviews with children, examined secondary data. STRENGTHS: thorough method which attempts a multi-dimensional understanding (verstehen) of actors perspectives, also draws on secondary data from school. 37 Black masculinities and schooling. 1997. Sewell focused on a group of black students in a boys 11-16 comprehensive school. He wanted to investigate the relationship between
family life, their identity, street life and how their schooling fitted in with all this. KEY CONCEPTS: street culture, black masculinity, conformists, innovators, retreatists, rebels. FINDINGS OF HIS STUDY: There was a high proportion of the sample of black boys who were raised by a single mother. Sewell argued that, lacking the disciplinarian figure of a father, made these black boys more susceptible to peer group pressure. Many were drawn into gang life which focused on an aggressive and macho form of masculinity which rejected authority from teachers and police and provided them with a comfort zone. Gangsta rap and fashion simply reinforces and validates their behaviour. Sewell identified four types of black students; 1) Conformists largest group, saw education as route to success; 2) Innovators anti-school but tried to keep out of trouble; 3) Retreatists loners who often had special educational needs; 4) Rebels rejected education and felt rejected by racist attitudes in and out of school, they were confrontational and challenging and brought black street culture into school. RESEARCH METHOD: qualitative interviews. WEAKNESSES: He has been accused of blaming black kids, their fathers and the black community for their underachievement while ignoring the role of racism in society. 38 MOCK EXAM QUESTIONS ON DIFFERENTIAL EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT DUE TO ETHNICITY. 1 Read Item A below and answer parts (a) to (d) that follow. Item A According to Tony Sewell (1998), one reason for the underachievement of black boys is labelling by teachers who hold racist stereotypes of the black macho lad. According to this stereotype, all black boys are anti-school and resentful of authority. Teachers see them as not equipped to learn and they leave school with few qualifications. However, Sewell found that only a small minority of black boys in fact belonged to such a rebel subculture. Most either
accepted the schools goals or were opposed to the school but still wanted to achieve. Sewell also argues that factors outside school play a part in underachievement. These include the absence of fathers in some black families and the image of the ultra-tough ghetto superstar put forward as a role model by commercial youth culture. (a) Explain what is meant by ethnocentric curriculum. (2 marks) (b) Suggest three examples of how the curriculum and / or the ways school is organised may be ethnocentric. (6 marks) (c) Outline some of the ways in which subculture can impact on the educational achievement of different ethnic groups. (12 marks) (d) Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of ethnic differences in educational achievement. (20 marks) MQP(vi) Relationships and processes within schools summary. 1. The hidden curriculum transmits messages to pupils which are not spelled out. It consists of ideas, beliefs, norms and values which are embedded in the normal routines and procedures of school life. 2. From a functionalist view, the transmission of societys core values can be seen as part of the hidden curriculum. 3. From a Marxist view, social reproduction and the transmission of ruling class ideology are part of the hidden curriculum. 4. Pupil subcultures can reflect:
Neighbourhood subcultures; Ability groupings within the school; A combination of both. 5. Pupil subcultures are influenced by: Social class; gender and ethnicity. 6. The way teachers define, classify and evaluate pupils can affect pupils behaviour and teacher pupil relationships. 7. Teachers evaluation of and relationship with pupils is affected by their perception of pupils ability. 8. Teachers views of ability are affected by pupils; Social class; gender and ethnicity. 9. There are two main types of teaching groups ability groups and mixed ability
groups. 10. Research indicates that in general, ability groups, eg sets or streams, compared with mixed ability groups have no significant effect on overall attainment. 11. However, there is some evidence that higher ability groups increase attainment levels and lower ability groups decrease attainment levels. 12. The pressure in schools to improve exam results has led to an increase in setting. 13. Setting for exams can have a real effect on attainment for example, placing students in sets for GCSE foundation tiers denies them any opportunity of achieving the higher grades. 39 Relationships and processes within schools concepts. Concept Definition Pupil subcultures Differentiation Polarisation Ability groups Setting Streaming Banding Mixed ability groups Tiered exams Counter school culture Labelling Self fulfilling prophecy Self concept 40 Relationships and processes within schools concepts. Concept
Definition Typing Speculation Working hypothesis Elaboration Stabilization Survival strategies Pupil adaptations Typology of adaptations 41 The social organisation of the high school and deviant adolescent careers. 1971. KEY CONCEPTS: labelling. SUMMARY OF THEORY: Cicourel used an interactionist and micro perspective to examine how students were judged by teachers on the basis of class. * Although the counsellors claimed that they used exam grades and IQ tests as a way of classifying students achievement, Cicourel and Kitsuse found that the students social class had great implications on their college careers. * Students from upper-middle and middle class homes were more likely to be stereotyped as academic achievers and placed on courses with more prospects. * Other factors influenced the counsellors impressions of students; dress, manner, their parents and their conduct. RESEARCH METHOD: an ethnographic study of how students in
American schools are placed on appropriate courses (like the Enrollment process). STRENGTHS: acknowledges reasons why intelligent working class students can fail in education. WEAKNESSES: unrepresentative sample which is based on the American system and is therefore not generalisable to the British population. 42 Pygmalion in the classroom.1968. Rosenthal and Jacobson used an interactionist and micro perspective to explore the selffulfilling prophecy. KEY CONCEPTS: labelling; self-fulfilling prophecy. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * They believed that teachers expectations can significantly affect their pupils performance. Based on such definitions or labels, the teacher makes predictions or prophecies about the achievement of the pupil. They may expect more from brighter pupils therefore they will encourage them more. * The pupils self-concepts tend to be shaped by teachers definition of them; if they are defined as bright, pupils will act accordingly and the label will have been fulfilled. RESEARCH METHOD: they selected a random sample of 20% of the student population in an elementary school in California. They informed the teachers that the children selected could be expected to see rapid intellectual growth. They tested all pupils IQ at the beginning of the experiment. All were tested again after one year and the 20% sample did in fact show significant improvement. WEAKNESSES: rather unethical method; what about the 80% who were relatively unsupported? Sociologists have cast doubt on the plausibility of the IQ test, stating they were of poor quality. No observations carried out to check extent of encouragement given to high achieving students. 43
Banding at Beachside Comprehensive. 1981. KEY CONCEPTS: banding. SUMMARY OF THEORY: Ball used an interactionist and micro perspective to explore banding and the self-fulfilling prophecy. * Ball found that children were placed in one of three bands in the school. This was meant to be on the basis of academic ability however, Ball found other factors were influential. * Ball found that children whose fathers were non-manual workers (more likely to be middle class), were more concentrated in the top band. * When the pupils first came to the school, all of them were pretty much conforming. However, they soon became like the stereotypes applied by their teachers; band three children experienced problems with learning and band two were the most disruptive. * Teachers expectations of the three different bands had a great impact: band one pupils were encouraged to have higher aspirations while band two and three were directed towards more practical and less prestigious subjects. RESEARCH METHOD: ethnographic research of a comprehensive school. WEAKNESSES: not all band two children failed, this weakens the relationship between banding and performance. 44 Classroom Knowledge.1973. (In Tinker, Tailor The Myth of Cultural Deprivation). KEY CONCEPTS: streaming.
Keddie used an interactionist and micro perspective to explore the relationship between teachers and pupils. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * Nell Keddie's study illustrated the way classroom interaction affects both the self-perception and performance of children. In the school she studied, a humanities course was introduced, to be taught to all pupils of a particular age group. Although the school streamed pupils on the basis of educational ability, this particular course was designed to be taught to pupils of all abilities, in mixed-ability classes. Thus, although the school itself was streamed, no streaming by ability tookplace on this particular course. * What Keddie found was that teachers brought to the classroom a range of personal, social and work-related experiences that informed their perceptions of a child's ability. Thus, the fact that a pupil had attracted the label as an "A stream" or a "C stream" pupil informed teacher expectations of the respective abilities of each type of student. In addition, the way different pupils behaved in the classroom further served to confirm teacher expectations and behaviour. RESEARCH METHOD: ethnographic research of a comprehensive school and a particular humanities course. STRENGTHS: really showed how labelling theory worked in the classroom. 45 The Divided School 1979; KEY CONCEPTS: pupil adaptations; typology of adaptations. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * Pupils ways of dealing with school life depend on whether they accept or reject the ethos of the school. Woods identifies 8 different modes of adaptation to the school; 1) Ingratiation (most positive, teachers pets).
2) Compliance (they just try hard to achieve, not to please). 3) Opportunism (fluctuate between trying to achieve approval of their teachers and their peers). 4) Ritualists (they turn up, dont try, but arent any trouble). 5) Retreatists (dont do work, daydream and reject the values of the school). 6) Colonization (try to keep their nose clean and will cheat if they think they can get away with it). 7) Intransigence (they reject accepted standards of behaviour, not bothered about success and arent afraid to be caught out). 8) Rebellion (rejection of both the school and its objectives). RESEARCH METHOD: ethnographic research of a comprehensive school in a rural area of the Midlands Lowfield. WEAKNESSES: Woods relates his views in a very general way to social class, but ignores the complexities of interactions between teachers and pupils in schools. 46 Deviance in Classrooms. 1975. KEY CONCEPTS: typing, speculation. Hargreaves et al used an interactionist and micro perspective to explore how teachers type their pupils. SUMMARY OF THEORY: * They were interested in how teachers got to know their new pupils in their first year at school. * They used limited knowledge of children during the speculation phases where teachers type children according to; their appearance, how far they conformed to discipline, ability and enthusiasm for work, how likeable they were, their relationships with other children, their personality, whether they were deviant.
* From this teachers form a working hypothesis. The elaboration phase follows where childrens behaviour confirms or contradicts the working hypothesis. During the final stabilization phase, all pupils actions are evaluated in terms of the type their teachers have labelled them as. RESEARCH METHOD: their study was based upon interviews with teachers and classroom observation in two secondary schools. WEAKNESSES: Unrepresentative research method based on only two schools. 47 MOCK EXAM QUESTIONS ON RELATIONSHIPS AND PROCESSES IN SCHOOLS THAT AFFECT LEARNING. 1 Read Item A below and answer parts (a) to (d) that follow. Item A Students of all social classes are achieving more highly than ever before, but major differences in educational achievement persist. For example, those from professional and managerial background (classes I and II) are about two and a half times more likely to get five or more A* to C GCSEs than pupils from the unskilled manual class V. Similarly, class I students are five to six times more likely to go on to higher education than those from class V. Such differences are the result of a variety of factors. Within schools, processes such as teachers expectations of an interactions with their pupils, labelling and the self-fulfilling prophecy, all tend to disadvantage working class pupils and negatively affect their achievement. However, some sociologists argue that material factors outside school are more important, while others argue than cultural differences between the classes are the key to explaining differences in achievement. (a) Explain what is meant by self-fulfilling prophecy. (2 marks) (b) Identify three other factors or processes within schools, apart from those mentioned in item A, that may negatively affect working-class pupils achievement. (6 marks) (c) Outline some of the in-school factors that can impact on the educational achievement of different social groups. (12 marks)
(d) Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the role of processes in schools in producing different educational achievement among pupils from different social groups. (20 marks) MQP(vii) Educational policies by Governments summary. 1. 1870 Education Act provided the first state-run schools for 5-10 year olds. 2. The 1944 Butler Education Act set up the tripartite system of secondary education grammar, technical and secondary modern schools. 3. The tripartite system provided schools of unequal status and unequal quality. Middle class pupils tended to go to high-status grammar schools, working class pupils to low status secondary modern schools. 4. The comprehensive system (from 1965) was designed to provide equality of opportunity by replacing the tripartite system with a single type of school for all young people. Streaming helped to provide them with the most appropriate level of education. 5. Class differences in attainment remained, partly because pupils were placed in streams or sets with a disproportionate number of middle class pupils in higher ability groups and working class pupils in lower ability groups. 6. Conservative governments form 1979 to 1997 introduced work related training schemes and vocational qualifications. 7. The Education Reform Act of 1988 aimed to provide competition between schools and choice for parents. In theory, standards would rise as parents chose successful schools, while failing schools would go out of business. What happened was that working class parents and those without the means or pro-school attitude ensured that poor schools stayed full of challenging learners. 48 Educational policies by Governments summary. 8. Choice usually meant limited places and selection at the more popular schools. In this situation, the middle class with their cultural and social capital have the advantage. 9. The National Curriculum, introduced in 1988, was assessed by SATs in its core subjects. The results of these tests were published as league tables and provided
parents with information to judge the performance of schools and choose the best one. 10. Labours education policy was influenced by both neo-liberal / New Right and social democratic perspectives. 11. Labour continued the Conservatives policy of diversity and choice in a competitive educational market-place, where parents and children became consumers. Standard comprehensives were steadily replaced by specialist schools. 12. Labour introduced a range of measures designed to raise standards in lowincome, inner-city areas. These included Sure Start, Education Action Zones, Excellence in Cities and academies. 13. The number of places in higher education was rapidly expanded by Labour. The middle class gained most from this as they had the money and the attitude. 14. The New Deal offered education and training for young people who had been out of work for over six months. (This helped to keep the unemployment statistics down). 15. While New Labour education policy did attempt to address social inequality through its initiatives such as the EMA, Sure Start and Education Action Zones, class differences in educational attainment have remained largely unchanged. 16. The Coalition Government of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, which came to power in May 2010, has tried to place a greater emphasis on academic rigor, pupil discipline through teacher empowerment, equipping learners with the skills to achieve independence and economic success & the injection of more market values into education. The overriding characteristic of the Coalition Governments approach to education is the withdrawal of the State from schools & colleges business by making them more self-governing. 49 Educational policies by Governments concepts. Concept Definition 1870 Forster Act 1944 Butler Act Tripartite system
Grammar school Secondary modern school Technical college Parity of esteem O Levels CSEs Social mobility Comprehensivization Comprehensive schools Education Reform Act 1988 Grant maintained schools Local education authorities National curriculum Formula funding National testing 50 Educational policies by Governments concepts. Concept Definition Parental choice Privileged / skilled choosers Semi-skilled choosers Disconnected choosers New Labour Education Policies Academies Beacon schools
Vocationalism GNVQs New Deal Numeracy / literacy hour Tuition fees Over-subscribed schools Pupil premium 51 Technical school 5% In a nutshell: Life chances / prospects Grammar school 20% Secondary Modern 75% WHAT WAS IT? Between 1944-1965 children were selected to go to one of three schools; grammar, technical or secondary modern. This was intended to provide clever working class children to experience high quality education which they would usually pay for. All eleven year olds sat the 11+ (Eleven Plus) exam and they were selected for one of three
schools on the basis of the result. Those passing the 11+ went to Grammar School which provided all students with the opportunity to study O Levels (the predecessor to GCSEs) and A Levels. Grammar Schools were and still are considered to provide the highest standard of education. Only 20% of all children went to Grammar Schools. Those children whose test results showed an aptitude for technical skills went to Technical Schools, although there were very few and catered for only 5% of the high school population. Children who did not pass the 11+ attended Secondary Modern schools where they could not take O Levels but instead sat the easier and therefore less credible CSE exams. Around 75% of the school population attended these. HOW DID THIS BENEFIT THE INDVIDUAL / SOCIETY?: * Bright working class children could access high quality education and gain O Levels which led to a great deal of social mobility. WHAT WERE THE DISADVANTAGES OF IT?: The likelihood of working class children actually getting to Grammar School was very low and they were full of middle class children who had the cultural capital and the money to get private tuition to pass the exam. No parity of esteem Grammar schools and their pupils were seen as better than Secondary modern schools and their pupils. Also, the 11+ was extremely unreliable a lot of 52 people develop academically far later. In a nutshell: From 1965 the Tripartite system was replaced with comprehensivisation which provided local schools which catered for all abilities under one roof. This policy was directed by social democratic ideas about equality of opportunity & giving everyone a chance to succeed.
WHAT WAS IT? Provided one school for everyone of all abilities and all social backgrounds in a local area. Promised equal opportunities to all children by allowing them to sit the most appropriate exam, the O Level or the CSE. Children were put into ability groups within the school itself through the processes of streaming and setting. They then had the opportunity to move up the ability groups. HOW DID THIS BENEFIT THE INDVIDUAL / SOCIETY?: Provided all children with an opportunity to mix with children from different social backgrounds and was intended to break down social class barriers to promote social solidarity. Gave all children the opportunity to develop their skills instead of judging them at the tender age of eleven. Critics of the comprehensive system WHAT WERE THE DISADVANTAGES OF IT?: Streaming and setting was simply another form of selection. Working class children were frequently labelled as thick and put into the lower sets and not given the opportunity to sit the O Level exams. While exam results improved, the gap between the middle and working class continued to grow wider. This was partly because schools located in particular areas usually drew in a homogenous (similar) group of students so if they were from a middle class area, it was a middle class school. 53 In a nutshell: A raft of changes to education brought about by The Education Reform Act in 1988. It aimed to raise standards in teaching by encouraging competition between WHAT WAS IT? schools for pupils who were
now able to choose which * Before the 1988 Education Reform Act, the school to attend. Schools Conservatives introduced Vocational Education which were funded per pupil so aimed to train young people in specific workplace the more students a school skills. The Youth Training Scheme was such as attracted, the more money example. it got * The 1988 Education Reform Act brought about the following changes: Competition and choice used league tables to compare exam successes between schools which allowed parents to make an informed choice about which school to send their child(ren) to through a system of open enrolment. Diversity of schools and choice introduced Grant Maintained Schools (self-governing, not run by LEA) which specialised in particular subjects and City Technology Colleges which concentrated mainly on teaching of maths, English and technology, funded partly by private business and enterprise. The National Curriculum where the government told teachers exactly what to teach on highly specific Specifications. All students to study three core subjects of English, maths and science. Formula Funding sometimes referred to as bums on seats, this is where schools received an amount of money for each student. This encouraged schools to compete for a large number of students in order to get the most money. Testing and assessment National Testing introduced for all students at the ages of 7, 11 and 14. This was to bring everyone up to a common standard. WHAT WERE THE DISADVANTAGES OF IT?: Parental choice was really only exercised by middle class parents with cultural and social capital. League tables are unfair and misleading many students achieve grades that are amazing 54 for them given their background. Education,
education, education. WHAT WAS IT? In a nutshell: The New Labour government attempted to tackle child poverty by injecting private cash into schools in poor areas & by introducing the EMA to encourage kids from low-income families to attend college. Clearly, a focus to improve young peoples social mobility. Diversity and choice expanding specialist schools which focus on particular subjects which can select up to 10% of their pupils with particular aptitude for the specialist subject. Tackling underachievement in deprived areas The Excellence in Schools document (1997) proposed the following new types of school to tackle demotivation in inner city areas: Beacon Schools (centres of excellence who share expertise with other schools), Academies (failed schools taken over by partnerships of government and churches or businesses, Education Action Zones run by forum of parents and representatives from local businesses and government and given 1 million to spend on flexible learning. Vocationalism and training new qualifications in GNVQs and the New Deal to get people of working age some training. Numeracy and literacy hour where all primary school children work on numeracy and literacy for an hour each in the classroom. EMA the Educational Maintenance Allowance was introduced in 2004 and entitled children from relatively low-waged families to a weekly payment of between 10-30, conditional upon full attendance at college. Bonuses were available for those who could evidence good progress, until September 2010 when the Coalition Government scrapped them. Tuition fees for university student maintenance grants scrapped, now all students have to take out student loans and pay tuition fees. Those from very low income homes can access funds.
WHAT WERE THE DISADVANTAGES OF IT? The middle class still gain and these strategies have done little to reduce class inequality in educational achievement. Cultural deprivation not having the attitude to put the effort in to succeed in education, is widespread amongst the poor who dont see themselves as 56 having a valued part in a society that constantly derides them as CHAVs. This critically assessed the impact of New Labour Educational Policy. New Labour has narrowed education down to an economic function; its there to provide a skilled workforce. Its not there now to provide any fun in learning about the world. New Labours preoccupation with raising standards means that the middle class children are favoured because oversubscribed schools are able to select (pick) the most able kids and theyre usually middle class. New Labour Education Policy is obsessed with raising standards to look good against other European countries in a global (world) economy. Schools are judged on exam results so teachers just teach stuff for the exams and are restricted to a packed specification teachers and students cant learn for the joy of it, off the cuff. Its all about
being tested and getting a job. 57 In a nutshell: WHAT IS IT? Bringing in more business values into education in an effort to raise standards and imposing a Control View of childhood in teacher-pupil relationships using greater discipline & punishment. Set out in the white paper The Importance of Teaching. Teaching and Leadership * Initial teacher training only funded for 2.2 degree or above. This is the equivalent of a C grade. The idea is to bring in more academic rigor to teaching and learning. * Introducing Free Schools which are run by a board of parents who appoint the staff they want and set the curriculum of subjects they think are important for their kids. * More academies; less government control more do-it-yourself, self-controlling. Behaviour * Strengthen powers to search students for anything deemed offensive by the school. * Reinstate no-notice detentions teachers can keep students back the same day. * Use of reasonable force staff can use force to control unruly students, particularly in the case of fighting. Curriculum, assessment and qualifications * Review of national curriculum looking at which subjects should be taught. * Age 6 reading test to allow parents to evaluate quality of schools. * Introduce English Baccalaureat which is highly prestigious qualification. School Funding * Pupil Premium schools will be funded an extra 430 per pupil whose parents earn less than 16,000 per year. * National Funding Formula the idea that the education pot of money will be controlled by the government, not the local authority but will be up to Head Teachers to decide how it is spent.
* Abolishing EMA as part of the public spending cuts. * Allowing universities to raise their tuition fees to a maximum of 9K per year. WEAKNESSES: - Who decides whats important to learn? - League tables for age 6 reading test will divide schools into good & bad because its home background that is often more important than teachers skill. - But funding is already being cut this is only the money schools should be getting anyway. - Working class and underclass kids will continue to be socially excluded by schools that 58 dont want them & a system that doesnt give them incentive to study further. MOCK EXAM QUESTIONS ON THE SOCIAL POLICIES PUT IN PLACE BY POLITICIANS THAT AFFECT YOUR EXPERIENCE OF AND ACCESS TO EDUCATION. 1 Read Item A below and answer parts (a) to (d) that follow. Item A The 1988 Education Reform Act included a range of policies that aimed to introduce market forces into education. Supporters of the Act argued that the marketisation of education would bring many benefits, driving up standards in schools and making them more accountable to the consumers parents, local communities and employers that they serve. However, critics argue that marketisation policies tend to benefit the more privileged groups, such as the middle class and whites. By contrast, less privileged groups, including the working class, some ethnic minorities and those with special educational needs, lose out. Some critics claim that marketisation also disadvantages boys, since schools often see them as under-achievers. As a result, some sociologists believe that marketisation has led to greater inequality of educational opportunity. (a) Explain what is meant by parental choice. (2 marks) (b) Identify three policies that government or educational bodies have introduced to overcome childrens cultural deprivation. (6 marks) (c) Outline some of the government policies that have been introduced since 1988 in order to raise achievement in education.. (12 marks) (d) Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the ways in which
educational policies may reproduce and justify social class inequalities. (20 marks) MQP(viii) Sociological research methods in the study of education summary. 1. Sociologists test their theories using quantitative or qualitative data. Sociologists obtain primary data themselves, using methods including questionnaires, interviews and observation. Secondary data are produced by others but used by sociologists. In choosing a method, sociologists take several issues into account: Practical issues include time and funding. Ethical issues include whether the researcher deceives the subjects. Theoretical issues include validity (does the method give a truthful picture?), reliability (can it be replicated?) and representativeness (does it study a typical crosssection?). Perspective also affects choice of method. Positivists prefer quantitative data; interpretivists favour qualitative data. Choice of topic is also affected by society's values and funding bodies. 2. Education is a research context with many distinctive characteristics. For example, the need to protect pupils poses ethical problems. Classrooms are highly controlled settings and this may make it difficult to uncover real attitudes. Teachers are accustomed to being observed and may 'put on a show' when being studied. Schools are closed, hierarchical organisations and this may make access difficult. Parents may be difficult to contact without the school's cooperation. 3. In laboratory experiments, scientists manipulate variables to discover laws of cause and effect. Although they produce reliable data, experiments are rare in sociology. They suffer from practical problems (e.g. they cannot be used to study the past), ethical problems of experimenting on humans, and are prone to the Hawthorne Effect. Field experiments and the comparative method are used as alternatives to laboratory experiments. 4. Surveys gather data by asking questions. Before conducting the survey, the researcher needs a hypothesis (a testable statement) or aim, and concepts need to be operationalised (defined so that they are measurable). A pilot study may be used to iron out problems. A representative sample is essential if findings are to be generalised. 5. Questionnaires are lists of written questions, usually closed-ended and often posted. They can gather data on large numbers cheaply and quickly. Positivists favour them because they are reliable and objective. However, low response rates can make
findings unrepresentative. Interpretivists claim they lack validity: they are inflexible, superficial snapshots and don't give a true account of respondents' meanings. 59 Sociological research methods in the study of education summary. 6. Structured interviews use closed-ended questions. They are quicker and cheaper than unstructured interviews, cover larger numbers and produce reliable data, but lack validity and flexibility. Unstructured interviews use open-ended questions, producing valid data by allowing interviewees to express themselves fully. However, they are less representative, and quantification is difficult. Interviews are social interactions and face problems of interviewer bias, status or cultural differences between interviewer and interviewee. Group interviews are relatively unstructured; they can be useful in revealing group dynamics. 7. Participant observation (PO) involves joining in with a group to gain insight, and can be overt or covert. Research goes through three phases: getting in, staying in and getting out. Covert PO may produce more valid data, but is ethically questionable and faces practical problems of maintaining one's cover. Interpretivists claim that PO produces valid data, but positivists argue that it is unreliable, unrepresentative and lacks objectivity. They prefer structured observation, which is usually non-participant and collects quantitative data. 8. Secondary data include official statistics and documents. Secondary sources save time and money and provide useful data, but they may not always be available. Statistics may lack validity, measuring officials' decisions rather than real events. Documents, such as diaries, letters and government reports, may not be authentic or representative. Some sociologists apply content analysis to documents. 9. Case studies involve the detailed examination of a single case or example. Longitudinal studies follow the same sample over an extended period of time. Life histories involve collecting and recording individuals' experiences. Sociologists often use triangulation, where two or more methods complement one another. Often this involves combining a qualitative with a quantitative source of data. 60
Look at page 72 for an example of how postal surveys can be used and what their limitations are. Is this a qualitative or a quantitative method? The results are collated into statistics, so its a QUANTITATIVE method. For example, according to a survey carried out by Mishcon de Reya / The Times, one in three children whose parents have divorced or separated in the past twenty years have permanently lost touch with one parent. Is this a Positivist or Interpretivist method? Because this is a quantitative method, it is a POSITIVIST method. What are questionnaires? A researcher chooses a topic, decides on a hypothesis (children from Chinese families have a higher proportion of skilled choosers as parents) and decides on a list of questions to ask a particular group of people. Once it has been tested in a pilot study, the survey is conducted and the data analysed. They can have open or closed questions. Open questions need more detailed answers (How did your parents encourage you to succeed at school?) while closed questions just require yes or no; (Did your parents encourage you to succeed at school?). The questionnaire should operationalise the concepts identified by the researcher. For example, to see if a child is suffering material deprivation, questions such as Do you receive free school meals? would allow the researcher to measure the extent of the occurrence of that concept. Sometimes questionnaires are distributed to a sample to do themselves (self-completion questionnaire) via the post or done face-to-face. What are the theoretical
considerations? Questionnaires are great if you want a Positivist perspective that gathers quantitative data which allows you to see an issue on a large-scale. What are the practical considerations of this method? How many people do you want to survey? Where will you find them? How will you access them this is particularly problematic in education where it is now harder than ever to access schools & classrooms. What are the ethical considerations of this method? There are few ethical problems with questionnaires because despite having the potential to ask fairly sensitive questions, no one is obliged to answer them, they can just leave it. What are the strengths of this method? * Quick, cheap and can access enormous samples which are more representative; * no need to train / recruit interviewers when people can fill these in themselves; * the data is easily quantified and analysed; * relationships between different variables are easily identified as are cause and effect relationships; * standardised questions produce reliable data; * allow us to make comparisons over time by using the same questionnaires and comparing the answers. What are the weaknesses of this method? * Interpretivists reject them because they dont fully allow respondents to
tell their story in their own words; * they produce limited and undetailed data; * self-completion surveys have a high non-response rate; * the postal service can be unreliable; * busy people are unlikely to fill surveys in and this leads to a biased sample; * predetermined questions are inflexible and dont allow respondents to explore issues; * unreliable data produced by respondents who lie, forget or dont know; * questions are framed according to what the researcher thinks is important. 66 Look at the following studies for examples: Mac an Ghaill (pages 34-35) and Mirza (page 36). Is this a qualitative or a quantitative method? Interviews are one of the QUALITATIVE methods because it produces qualitative data that is detailed, non-numerical and very descriptive. Is this a Positivist or Interpretivist method? Interviews are an INTERPRETIVIST method because they want to find out what people feel, whereas positivist method uses quantitative data that deals in facts. What are interviews? Unstructured / informal interviews. These are like an everyday conversation, they ask open-ended questions and are flexible and flowing. Structured / formal interviews. This is like a questionnaire read out by the interviewer, so all respondents are asked the same questions. Group interviews. This involves an interviewer and a group of
respondents where discussion is guided around specific topics. Semi-structured interviews. This is where the interviewer asks a standard set of questions but can ask respondents to go into more detail. What are the theoretical considerations? Interviews are great if you want an INTERPRETIVIST perspective that gathers qualitative data that allows closer examination of others feelings and experiences particularly good for verstehen gaining understanding of something you have no knowledge of. What are the practical considerations of this method? Because one-to-one interviews are very labour intensive (unlike questionnaires), you can only access a relatively small sample. Also, what are the time constraints of your research participants? What are the ethical considerations of this method? The interview may cause research participants to become upset if a sensitive topic is being discussed. Some RPs may not want to be involved for reasons of confidentiality, privacy and shame. What are the strengths of this method? Structured interviews provide comparable data & there is less chance of interviewer bias. Semi-structured interviews allows more probing of the issues discussed and more detail can come out. Unstructured interviews
completely allow RPs to tell their story, which is really important if the interviewer has no empirical (when you know something through actually experiencing it) knowledge of an issue. Sensitive groups (like crossdressing men) may feel more comfortable in this situation, being able to build up rapport and trust with the interviewer. It produces richer, more valid information. What are the weaknesses of this method? Structured interviews have rigid questions so this will limit the detail in RPs answers. Semi-structured interviews lose the ability to standardise questions (ask everyone the same) and compare the answers. This means each interview is quite different. Unstructured interviews can produce interviewer bias through unwitting discrimination (they might simply like someone more). Social desirabiltity: people try to portray themselves in a positive light to someone theyve never met before. Replies often based on retrospective data (memories) so can be unreliable. Data is very difficult to compare so you cant see cause and effect. 67 Look at pages 76-77 for examples. Is this a qualitative or a quantitative method? This is a QUALITATIVE method which derives very detailed information, describing a slice of reality. Its a way for a researcher to experience part of life that others experience regularly. Is this a Positivist or Interpretivist method? This is an INTERPRETIVIST method and is one of the methods used in
ETHNOGRAPHY. Ethnography is where researchers study how a particular community or group lives, living in their shoes. This allows the researcher to understand where others are coming from. What is participant & non-participant observation? PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION is when the researcher actually takes part in the activities or life or those they are studying. If they are COVERT, the others dont know that theyre observing and recording everything. If theyre OVERT then its out in the open. NON-PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION is where the researcher watches whats happening but doesnt get involved in the activities of the group (like OFSTED). What are the theoretical considerations? Not good for POSITIVIST research because it produces little or no quantifiable data that can be turned into pretty graphs & statistics. INTERPRETIVISTS really love this method: it allows them to understand why people behave like they do and to understand their point of view. What are the practical considerations of this method? Perhaps THE most labour intensive method, this is sometimes the only way to gain access to groups that are closed to the ordinary world, like deviant gangs, for instance. How to gain access to the group and how to record your data (especially if youre covert), are big considerations. What are the ethical considerations of this method?
Is it fair to observe people without their knowledge or consent? Will you be able to protect their identity? If anything shady or illegal happens where does that leave you as both a researcher and a citizen? What are the strengths of this method? Very VALID method what people say they do and what they actually do can be very different. So it gets closer to the truth. It allows the researcher to gain INSIGHT into an area and reveals fresh information and issues that would never have occurred to the researcher. It may be the only way to access hard to reach groups, such as football hooligans. By having an INSIDERS VIEW, it focuses far more on the concerns and priorities of those being studies than a questionnaire would which reflects the things the researcher thinks are important. What are the weaknesses of this method? Takes a lot of time, money and personal sacrifice if youre undertaking a full-on observation where you live with a community. You have to leave your life behind and live a new one for the time it takes to gather all your information. It can also be very dangerous if youre busted or get into bother. If the researcher gets more heavily involved, they will lose their OBJECTIVITY as they become part of the community and forget that theyre a sociologist and researcher. Some may even join the group theyre studying. This is referred to as going native. Overt research changes behaviour of those being observed the HAWTHORNE EFFECT. So the data is unreliable and not a reflection of reality. The sample sizes will be very small, so theyre unrepresentative. Ethics of observing people without their knowledge or consent is very dodgy. 68
Rosenthal & Jacobson selected a random sample of students & told teachers that the children could be expected to see rapid intellectual growth. They tested all pupils IQ at the beginning of the experiment. All were tested again after one year and the 20% sample did in fact show significant improvement. This experiment was done to show development of self-fulfilling prophecy. Is this a qualitative or a quantitative method? Experiments are a QUANTITATIVE method because it uses SCIENTIFIC methods to test a hypothesis. In order to prove or reject a hypothesis, the evidence needs to be objective, so findings are expressed in numbers. Is this a Positivist or Interpretivist method? This is a shining example of a POSITIVIST method because it is using elements of SCIENTIFIC method to carry out research. This method focuses on reporting WHAT happens in a particular sociological scenario. What are experiments? There are LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS which happen in an environment where all variables can be controlled and where the quantified results are used to show correlations and cause and effect. Then there are FIELD EXPERIMENTS where research happens in normal social places and are much more useful to Sociology. In both, a hypothesis is tested. What are the theoretical considerations?
Great for POSITIVIST research as it gathers quantitative data which is objective & devoid of bias, apparently. INTERACTIONISTS cant be doing with experiments: they dont reflect real life, but this didnt stop Rosenthal & Jacobson doing one, (look at their study on page 43). What are the practical considerations of this method? You need to have an appropriate environment in which to set up your experiment. Laboratory experiments are carried out in a controlled environment while field experiments are done in real social settings. What are the ethical considerations of this method? Can be highly UNETHICAL if you are deliberately putting any of your research participants at a disadvantage, particularly in education where the research can jeopardise the academic success and ultimately, the job prospects of participants. What are the strengths of this method? Allows the researcher to isolate the concept they want to operationalise by controlling variables. Experiments show us cause and effect; that material deprivation causes the effect of educational underachievement. What are the weaknesses of this method? There are ethical problems of basically lying to people or treating them
like a lab-rat, people might act very differently in a lab setting as well (Hawthorn Effect). Conditions in a lab are artificial and nothing like real life. Its hard to isolate variables as social behaviour is the result of loads of different factors. Whats an example of this method in the study of education? Rosenthal and Jacobson page 43. 69 Is this a qualitative or a quantitative method? This is can be QUANTITATIVE or QUALITATIVE it depends on how the researcher wants to record, count or analyse the information in front of them. Is this a Positivist or Interpretivist method? Because documents can be EXPRESSIVE like diaries, letters or films, INTERPRETIVISTS love them. However, STATISTICS are an official DOCUMENT so POSTIVISTS also like them. What are documents? Its a WRITTEN TEXT which can be EXPRESSIVE such as a letter, diary, film, autobiography, suicide note or even a piece of art. Documents can also be OFFICIAL , and therell be a load about you your school/college records, health records, birth
certificate etc. What are the theoretical considerations? Great for INTERPRETIVISM because documents can describe and explain how people feel about situations. This gives researchers valuable insight into society. For POSITIVISTS, official documents are certainly OBJECTIVE & RELIABLE but they cant reveal any cause and effect relationships. What are the practical considerations of this method? Official DOCUMENTS are fairly easy to access, expressive DOCUMENTS are up to the individual, if they want others to see them. But theres nothing dangerous about DOCUMENTS & they can be fairly cheap or even free to get hold of. What are the ethical considerations of this method? There are limited issues of CONSENT, except when accessing expressive DOCUMENTS of living people, but CONFIDENTIALITY with all documents is vital. AVOIDING DECEPTION researchers using DOCUMENTS should always be honest about what theyre doing with them. What are the strengths of this method? Official DOCUMENTS in particular are very representative
because everyone has a birth certificate etc. Historical DOCUMENTS allow us to see change over time. Comparing DOCUMENTS from different times, particularly statistics, allows us to observe social change. What are the weaknesses of this method? CONTENT ANALYSIS of speeches, films, letters or articles can be influenced by the researchers opinions. HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS can be hard to read if theyre really old because of mad handwriting or damage. They might even be faked or fabricated. Whats an example of this method in the study of education? Valerie Heys study, The Company She Keeps (1997), page 71. 70 She wrote: The company she keeps,1997. Hey used EXPRESSIVE DOCUMENTS to carry out primary, qualitative research into girls friendships in school. KEY METHOD: expressive documents. USING EXPRESSIVE DOCUMENTS TO RESEARCH GIRLS GENDER IDENTITY: Valerie Hey started her research into girls friendships in two comprehensive schools in the late 1980s. During her time at the schools, she got to know about fifty girls quite well, and twenty very well. Some girls sent her notes they had stored away and offered her
diaries to read. The girls knew she was a researcher and that she was researching their friendships and interactions. After several months into the research, Hey became interested in the notes the girls were passing between themselves. These writings were evidence of the emotional work invested by the girls in their relationships. 90% of the writings were about the girls relationships with each other, only a few spoke about boyfriends. The note would be passed during a lesson, and the recipient would then write back. The original author would respond and so on. The girls were experts in these invisible communication activities, and only a few teachers ever noticed them. Hey collected the notes from the classroom floor, from waste bins, and from where they were left on desks. Once she began talking to the girls about them, they provided her with more. Some of the girls had stored them for four years or more. Through an analysis of the notes Hey drew conclusions about how girls define who they are, how they negotiate their positions in worlds dominated by adults and boys, and how they manipulate prestige and status within their friendship groups. 71 They wrote: ICT in schools, 2003. They used POSTAL SURVEYS to investigate how schools got their kids into ICT outside of school hours. KEY METHOD: postal surveys/questionnaires. USING POSTAL SURVEYS TO RESEARCH HOW ICT WAS USED IN SCHOOLS: Schools have, to varying degrees, invested in a range of ICT resources with the view to enhancing their teaching and learning. This study was interested in the extent to which schools directed time and money into ICT, enabling students to access a range of ICT-based resources both during and outside normal school hours. In an ever-open classroom (like Moodle), classroom resources would be accessible to students and their parents from any place, any time. To explore the issues outlined above, a postal questionnaire survey of
Head Teachers and teachers was carried out in primary and secondary schools in England at the beginning of the 2002/03 school year. Five hundred primary and five hundred secondary schools were randomly selected, from which a total of 4,708 teaching staff were asked to complete questionnaires. Responses were received from 46% of the primary Head Teachers, 29% of primary teachers, 26% of secondary Head Teachers and 20% of secondary teachers. Both primary and secondary schools reported a range of ICT facilities in their schools, including the installation of systems in classrooms and ICT suites to support teaching and learning opportunities for students. Most schools had websites, although their intranet development has not advanced at the same rate and few schools were prepared to allow students to connect with the school. Very few schools were comfortable with students or parents contacting them outside school 72 hours. This started in April 1970 & is ongoing. This is a LONGITUDINAL study of all those people in England, Wales and Scotland, born in one week of April in 1970. Since then, they have been used to provide information on their lives in order to generate data on social change. KEY METHOD: longitudinal study. USING LONGITUDINAL RESEARCH TO GATHER DATA: In a week in April 1970, 17,200 babies were born and since then, there have been five more attempts to gather information from this group. With each successive sweep, the scope of the enquiry was broadened and now covers physical, educational, social & economic development. This is a LONGITUDINAL study based on social survey data collection techniques, including interviews and self-completed questionnaires. In the 1986 sweep, a total of 16 separate methods were used. In 1975 and 1980 immigrants to Britain who were born in the target week in 1970 were added to the sample, despite this addition over the period of time
that this study has taken place, the sample has reduced to 15,500. Jo Blanden, Paul Gregg and Steve Machin have used data from the The British Cohort Study to compare the life chances of British children with those in advanced countries. In comparison to eight European and North American countries, Britain and the USA have the lowest social mobility (movement between the classes / rags to riches). Comparing surveys of children born in the 1950s and the 1970s, the researchers went on to examine the reason for Britains low and declining social mobility. For these children, additional opportunities to stay in education at age 16 generally benefitted kids from better off backgrounds. 73 She wrote: sexism in childrens books, 1976. Loban used CONTENT ANALYSIS to investigate sexist attitudes written into childrens books another form of EXPRESSIVE DOCUMENT. KEY METHOD: content analysis of documents childrens books. Glynis Loban undertook a content analysis of six infants reading schemes, the sort of books first used to teach children to read. Because books for young children explicitly articulate (blatantly communicate) the prevailing cultural values, they are an especially useful indicator of societal norms. These books are often read over and over again at a time when children are in the process of developing their identities. One of the things she did was to count up the numbers of activities, adult roles, times taking the lead, and times learning a new skill, engaged in by boys and girls in the stories. Some of her results are below: Toys and pets Activities
Taking the lead New skills Adult roles Girls only Doll. Skipping rope. Dolls pram. Preparing tea. Playing with dolls. Taking care of young children. Hopping Shopping with parents. Skipping. Taking care of younger children. Mother. Aunt. Grandmother. Boys
only Car. Train. Aeroplane. Boat. Football. Playing with cars. Playing with trains. Playing football. Lifting or pulling heavy objects. Playing cricket. Watching adult males in job roles. Heavy gardening. Going exploring alone. Climbing trees. Caring for pets. Sailing boats. Building things. Flying kites. Washing Dads car. Taking care of pets. Making / building. Saving / rescuing. Playing
sports. Father, uncle, grandfather, postman, farmer, fisherman, shop or business owner, policeman, builder, bus driver, bus conductor, train driver / porter. She concluded that the books presented limited gender stereotypes to their young readers. 74 They wrote: understanding low achievement in english schools, 2007. They used STATISTICS to investigate underachievement at GCSE. KEY METHOD: secondary numerical data. USING STATISTICS TO RESEARCH EDUCATIONAL UNDERACHIEVEMENT: The study was based on data from the Pupil Level Annual School Census and the National Pupil Database for 2003, Census and OFSTED data were also used. Four different measures of low achievement were used: students who received no passes at all in their GCSE / GNVQ exams at Key Stage 4; those who obtain nothing better than a D in any exam; those who do not achieve a pass in at least one of English or
Maths; and those not achieving at least five passes at any grade including English and Maths. Those with no passes at all number about 5% and those with no passes better than a D make up about 25% of school leavers. They are at risk of unemployment and low-level criminality. The analysis found nearly half of all low achievers are white British males. White British students on average are more likely to persist in low achievement. Low achievers are commonly found in poor urban areas. Boys outnumber girls as low achievers by three to two. But the gender gap is larger for some ethnic groups Bangladeshi, Pakistani and African among those not achieving any passes above a D. The study confirms that Chinese and Indian pupils are the most successful on average, though their results have been improving faster than the national average, and when compared with white British pupils of similar economic backgrounds, they do no worse. 75 He wrote: chasing the big-time: football apprenticeship in the 1990s, 1996. He used COVERT PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION to investigate professional youth football training. KEY METHOD: covert participant observation. Between July 1993 and May 1994, Parker spent a full footballing season inside a prestigious English professional Football League club. For the most part I attended the club for three days each week as a participant observer, spending two days training, working and socialising with the trainees and one day at a local FE college as a fellow student. Although he found it easier than anticipated to be accepted by the trainees, he had difficulties with the club coach who was hostile to him. In order to gain access I had played down my academic background, saying simply that I was doing an essay for a college course. As it was, no one ever did find out what I was really doing.
Parker backed up his observations with tape-recorded interviews. Data collection and analysis was on-going throughout the research period, so that, when the time came to synthesise theory, observations, fieldnotes and seven hundred sides of tape-recorded conversation, the task appeared decidedly unmanageable. Parker found the football club a highly restrictive organisation that was not used to the presence of outsiders. He felt that existing media coverage of the life of trainees was presented from a managerial point of view. Trainees were asked to live in each others back pockets, to eat, drink and sleep football and to ignore all forms of career distractions. The trainees live in a hostel and rarely come into contact with non-football people. There was a strict, almost military, code of 76 conduct; It was total participation or nothing. She wrote: The impact of gender constructions on pupils learning & educational choice, 2005. Francis used OVERT PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION to study how gender affects students learning and ambition in school. KEY METHOD: overt participant observation. Francis study involved research in three different London secondary schools, observation was used to record classroom interaction and behaviour during GCSE lessons as well as conducting individual interviews. The observation was conducted in English lessons (a traditionally feminine subject) and Maths lessons (a traditionally masculine subject) both important for acceptance onto A level and degree courses. A top set and lower set were observed for each subject, so four classes were observed at each school (12 in all) and each class had three lessons observed (a total of 36 lesson observations). However, a limitation of the classroom observation was an inability to record all the classroom interaction due to the noise & bonkersness in some of the classes. Francis concluded that boys gained status by taking up laddish or
class clown roles. Many used these roles to dominate the classroom interaction, marginalizing girls and other boys. In eight of the twelve classes, boys dominated the classroom by shouting, making greater use of the space, being more disruptive & taking teachers attention. The research showed girls were seen as more sensible, concentrating more & working harder. Girls ambition for a good job & the need to compete with men may have made them work harder at school. 77 She wrote: gender and schooling, 1983. Stanworth used SEMI & UNSTRUCTRED INTERVIEWS to see if girls and boys were treated the same in high school. KEY METHOD: semi-structured and unstructured interviews. Stanworth wanted to find out if the new comprehensives were treating girls and boys equally now that the tripartite system was gone & there was a big noise about equality. Girls had been underachieving compared to boys; passing only 2/3 of the A levels boys did & only 1/3 going to university. Because she wanted to understand students and teachers experiences in high school, Stanworth allowed them to speak freely and openly in her interviews. Stanworth used respondents from a Further Education College in Cambridge where shed already taught. Through quota sampling, she selected six female students, six male students, three women teachers and three male teachers all of whom knew each other. They werent told the study was about gender differences they were told it was about decision making, instead, in order to prevent socially desirable answers. She concluded that boys dominated the classroom and took up more of the teachers attention. It made the boys more confident, while it made the girls less confident. The girls felt unnoticed in the classroom, one girl describing herself as nothing more than wallpaper. The students valued male teachers more highly for academic knowledge and discipline. But they preferred teachers their own sex in
inter-personal situations or discussion of personal problems. 78