As shown in item A, some sociologists believe that the most important factors causing social class differences in education are class differences. They believe there are huge differences between the middle and the lower class. An example they give is the lower class’ need for fatalism and collectivism. Fatalism is the belief that all events are predetermined and ‘whatever happens will happen’. This can lead to them not trying as hard in education, as they have been brought up to believe their efforts wont effect the outcome. Collectivism is the idea that it is better to be part of a group then to succeed as an individual. Both these views contrast the middle class views, as the middle class try and teach their children that you should be trying to achieve all the time. Also, the middle class believe that you should be strong and individual to prepare you for later life.
Sugarman argues that they stem from the fact that middle class jobs are secure careers offering prospects for continuous individual advancement. This encourages ambition, long-term planning and willingness to invest time and effort in gaining qualifications. By contrast working class jobs are less secure and have no career structure through which individuals can advance. There are few promotion opportunities and earning speaks at an early age.
Sociologists such as Engelmann believe that the language the lower class families use at home directly affect the grades of their children. Engelmann’s studies the language used by low paid black Americans, and found it was a low standard. This restricted code used in the lower class households isn’t used at school as Bernstein tells us. At school and in middle class homes, they use the elaborate code. This is language that is more complex, longer sentences and is context free. This then disadvantages lower class children, resulting in them underachieving. From a young age, lower class children are disadvantaged as they are not likely to get to go to nursery. Nursery aids your learning and widens your vocabulary, meaning that middle class children will be more use to the education system and to using longer sentences, which would help in exams. Also, they are more use to the format of a school with the teacher in charge. This can result in the lower class become part of the anti-school subculture, and the middle class becoming part of the pro-school subculture.
Compensatory education is a policy designed to tackle the problem of cultural deprivation by providing extra resources to schools and communities in deprives areas. Compensatory education programmes attempt to intervene early in the socialisation process to compensate children for the deprivation they experience at home. In