Material and cultural factors
In 1964 Douglas conducted research which looked at the impact of income on attainment at school. He identified that material and cultural factors affected a child’s ability to achieve at school. Material factors include poverty, diet, health and housing, while cultural factors include the values, attitudes and language.
The following presentation identifies all the material disadvantages uncovered by Douglas’ research.
A more recent piece of research by Lisa Harker (2006) also found a relationship between poor-quality housing and low attainment at school. Harker’s research found:
- Less space to play meant a restricted a child’s cognitive development
- There was less space to study
- Increased likelihood of being bullied at school which increased truancy rates
- Higher stress levels of the parents, leading to less support
Martha Farah (2006) researched the impact of socio-economic status on cognitive development and found that poverty had a direct impact on the development of a child’s brain which ultimately affected their attainment at school.
Furthermore the Sutton Trust (2005) found a direct relationship between free school meals and attainment. Leading state schools had had around 3% of their intake eligible for free school meals, whereas the majority of schools had 14.5% of their intake eligible for free school meals.
In 2014 The Guardian reported on the extent to which poverty is increasing the inequality between schools; particularly the growing gulf between children from low- and high-income families is starker than ever, leading to social isolation and bullying.
Douglas also found cultural factors played an important part in a child’s attainment at school. He particularly found that middle-class parents’ attitudes to education played a significant role in a child’s attainment at school because they were better at…..
A parents’ level of education also plays a major role in a child’s attainment at school. The higher a parents’ level of education the better they are at……
The influences of your cultural socialisation are explained further in the next page.