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April 29, 2018 / C H Thompson

Factors outside school affecting achievement in school

  • Despite numerous forms of social policy interventions by the state, significant class differences in educational achievement continue.
  • Some sociologists focus on factors outside school as the primary cause for social class differences in educational achievement
  • while others focus on factors inside school as the primary cause for social class differences in educational achievement

Outside school factors you need to know and understand are:

  • Material explanations and
  • Cultural explanations

Cultural factors outside of school are distinct from material factors outside of school:

  • Cultural deprivation (not material deprivation) emphasises home and family background as the cause of underachievement at school
  • Failures of socialisation, pre-school learning, weak language skills combined with the wrong values and attitudes lead to underachievement
  • Sociologists have identified the following 5 causes of working-class underachievement:
  1. speech and language codes – Bernstein
  2. amount of social capital – Bourdieu – habitus
  3. parents’ attitudes and interest in education- Douglas cultural deprivation
  4. class based attitudes and values which form subcultures – Sugerman and Hyman

 

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