asses why working class students under achieve due to external factors in education Essay

Submitted By addierumble
Words: 1472
Pages: 6

Many sociologist in particular would tend to agree with the generalisation that working-class underachievement in education is the result of home circumstances and family background. They may feel that this educational underachievement is maintained due to what they classify as ‘poor’ parental attitudes and encouragement towards the education system and its functions. They use evidence of poor parental interest with regards to lack of attendance at parent teacher meetings and other functions held by the school which would be in the best interests of the children if their parents attended. This highlights the fact that parents of working-class students have poor rates of attendance at these meetings and thus it comes across as if they are less interested in their child’s educational experiences and opportunities compared to a middle-class child’s parents who do attend although, this may be due to the fact they are more likely to be single parents and therefore have to work longer shifts or unusual hours. However some would say that this view is rather controversial in that they fail to recognise that many of these parents could be at work when these meetings are scheduled or perhaps they are looking after children and are unable to find or afford someone to look after them. So can we really say that working class underachievement is a result of home circumstances and family background as sociologists suggest. Newson and Newson would also agree with the statement that working-class underachievement in education is the result of home circumstances and family background. Through their study of child-rearing practices, they found that parental skills found within working-class families were poor in comparison with those that were evident within middle-class families were child-centeredness is apparent. They found that middle-class parents got more involved in learning through play, monitoring educational progress and encouragement through visits to the library, museums and galleries etc. They believe that this places middle-class kids at an advantage when it comes around the time for them to start school. Again it is possible to say that it may well perhaps be down to the fact that money may be restricting them from attending museums etc not the fact that they simply don’t care as much as middle-class parents as some sociologists appear to highlight. Many other sociologists would agree and pinpoint parents and the quality of home life to blame for working-class underachievement within the education system. Murray and Marsland argue that the so called ‘underclass’ is made up of parents who are afraid of work, are more of ten than not welfare dependant and according to them they are ‘inadequate’ in terms of transmitting positive values and norms to their children during the process of primary socialisation regarding education and the opportunities it may offer them in the future. Murray and Marsland can be criticised for making very general assumptions regarding working-class families and how they operate with regards to the education system. They fail to acknowledge that many parents from working-class families do work and moreover have high levels of double jobs in order to be able to support their family. Many of them are also not welfare dependant and either work or take care of the children at home. So is it fair to say for Murray and Marsland to say that they are inadequately preparing children for education? Many of them actually encourage their children to work at school as they are aware of the opportunities it will open for them and inform them on what they have previously missed out on. So is it really fair to make comparisons to middle-class families who find it easier to provide these educational resources and then blame working-class families because they find it difficult to live up to middle-class standards? The feminist sociologist Melanie Philips would also agree with this statement. She states that