The Importance of Out of School Factors for Educational Attainment Among Working Class

The Importance of Out of School Factors for Educational Attainment Among Working Class
It has been seen by Marxists that working class children start school at a disadvantage, because many of the working class children suffer from out of school factors that stops them from having a fair chance. There are many out of school factors that working class children are seen to suffer from, many have little money and so from that more problems occur meaning they are disadvantaged even before they enter the school gates. It has been shown that many working class children suffer from cultural and material depravation and has been shown that they are less likely to be found in nurseries or playgroups, More likely to start school with less ability to read, are more likely to fall behind in reading and number skills, are more likely to get fewer GCSE?s and are more likely to leave school at the age of16. This maybe because there parents can?t afford decent clothes or school uniform for them and so this can lead to bullying at school. They can?t afford basic school supplies such as pens and pencils and on raining days they have no car to get driven to school in.
It is no secret that labelling takes place in schools and because the working class child arrives at school already at a disadvantage from there tatty clothes they are more likely to be labelled negatively than that of a middle class child. Many teachers in schools are white and middle class and so may already have a negative view of people who aren?t also of that description. They may then label a child as someone who doesn?t try very hard and someone who won?t do well, this can then cause the child to actually believe this about themselves, stop trying and therefore cause a self fulfilling prophecy. A self fulfilling prophecy is where a child had been labelled and they believe the label so much that they actually start acting the way they have been labelled. There are also many sub-cultures at school and once you?ve been labelled may cause the child to full into one making it almost impossible to get out of. Paul Willis found that there are many different groups in one big culture, and that within the sub-cultures the children act in a similar manner. He found that in schools there is a group of children who just do there work also called the earholes and there is a Lads Culture. This is a group of children who don?t do school work and just mess around. However he also said that by doing this they developed a way of coping in the future with there boring jobs. Research into children who actually enter six form and who continue into university has shown very shocking results. Upper Class children, those who are most likely to be found in private schooling had an 80% higher education rate, the middle class had a 32% higher education rate while the lower class had a rate of only 14%. However Functionalists believe this to be wrong and see the education system as a fair meritocracy and that everyone has an equal chance, and that it?s just that the lower classes don?t tend to try as hard in school as the middle classes. They argue that education has 3 broad functions; Socialisation, Skills Provision and Role Allocation, and that everybody finds a job that is suited to their skills and to there talents. In conclusion it seems as though the Marxists have a very deterministic outlook on education as not all working class children are disadvantaged and fail at school. However it does seem that they are at a disadvantage from both material and cultural deprivation. Which in turn can cause bigger problems within there schooling from bulling and labelling. Though it seems as though functionalists are turning a blind eye to the problems that working class children face as they believe the education system is a fair meritocracy, they may actually have a point, that it?s the amount of work and effort the child puts into there school work that determines whether they do well and its not the out of school issues that effect this.

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