In What Ways Do Social Class, Gender And Ethnicity Intersect With Educational Achievement? Provide Some Examples To Illustrate Your Answer

1675 words - 7 pages

Educational achievement is influenced by a variety of factors, each of which is interwoven with another. Gender influences educational achievement for a variety of reasons and in a number of different ways. I intend to describe the ways in which educational achievement differs between males and females and the possible reasons for this variation between the sexes. Social class and ethnicity also play important parts in affecting the achievement of individuals and groups. I intend to discuss their affects on results seen in education and the way in which these factors are interwoven with one another. I will highlight the importance of each of these factors in determining the achievement of ...view middle of the document...

(Machin and McNally, 2005) Girls have always performed better in English than boys and this shows no signs of change with the gap having doubled since the mid 1980’s. (Machin and McNally, 2005)

Many theories have been put forward in order to explain this gender gap. It has been suggested that males and females prefer to work in different ways, with boys having lower levels of concentration and poorer organizational skills. (Salisbury et al, 1999 in Machin and McNally, 2005) Males and females possess different behaviours, values and attitudes of which can effect educational achievement. ‘Laddish’ behavior is a common cause for disruptive behaviour and anti school attitudes. (Francis, 1999 in Gibb, Fergusson and Horwood, 2008) It was found that boys are more likely to be ridiculed for showing interest in schoolwork and are therefore more likely to pretend not to care about it in order to fit in with the group. (Warrington, Younger and Williams, 2000, in Gibb, Fergusson and Horwood, 2008) At GCSE level, the importance put on coursework is likely to be an important influence on the gender gap as boys tend to respond better to multiple choice questions and girls by essays and coursework. (Machin and McNally, 2005) Higher wage returns for women could also be an important factor, which could be the reason for the large gender gap in college attendance between males and females in the US. (Jacob, 2002 in Machin and McNally, 2005) Returns to qualifications may affect the incentive to work hard at school.

Schooling in the Caribbean is an example of a very anti masculine education system. Images and stereotypes of men emphasize sports and outdoor behaviour as well as violent and crime related activities. These images are the opposite of what is emphasized in schools. There is also a lack of male role models in the teaching profession to inspire young males. Caribbean societies have a tendency to be homophobic and so any feminine activities in a male’s behaviour are avoided. This may be the reason for the better educational achievement of girls in the Caribbean. (Page and Jha, 2009)

The combination of both ethnicity and social class affects educational achievement. A social class is a group of people who are similar in terms of wealth, power and prestige. (Weber, 1987 in Blair, Blair and Madamba, 2003) In general, the professional and managerial classes perform better than those of the manual classes by quite a margin. (Rothon, 2007) Whites tend to dominate the upper class groups while Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are nearly twice as likely to fall into the manual class group. This is a very influential factor leading to their poor educational performance. Blacks are also likely to fall into the manual class group. (Rothon, 2007) The highest educational performance scores are held by Asian Americans, followed by whites, Hispanics and African Americans. (Blair, Blair and Madamb, 2003) Bangladeshis are at the bottom of the ladder with the lowest...

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