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Does social class over power gender at attainment in schools?

(392 Posts)
Emily19 Wed 27-Apr-11 14:47:14

I am currently studying on an access to Teacher Training course. I intend to research "Does social class over power gender at attainment in schools?".

Any Information given is completely confidential, if you require a copy of any work I have used, I will be more than happy to supply you with a copy. (In your opinion)

- What are your views on Social class affecting attainment in schools?

- What are your views on Gender affecting attainment in schools?

-Which do you think has the greater influence?

Many Thanks

languagepedantic Wed 27-Apr-11 15:44:53

presume you mean 'overpower' - otherwise title is meaningless

jabed Wed 27-Apr-11 16:07:37

I would say that by far the most significant factor in attainment at school is social class without a doubt.

I work in an independent school where all the pupils are middle ( middle) class and their achievements outstrip, ability for ability any I have seen by those in the state schools I worked in previously. The reasons for this are many, not least of all being able and willing to pay fees ( lets not get this wrong, some working class children could get into schools like mine if they applied and I am sure many of their parents could pay, or the children get scholarships. but they just do not apply).

Then there is the home support. Parents value education and their children are encouraged to do well. There is a culture of such support. The children arrive at school able to access education because they have the correct basic skills and social education ( its not a matter of being taught or helped at home, more a case of children arriving ready and able to sit and listen and do as instructed).

The children are also generally well disciplined and most importantly a worh ethic and discipline which is missing in working class children.

Although one hesitates to add this last bit , very often middle class children are actually more intelligent and they fully monopolise on that ability in their education where working class children can be bright but simpley dont know what to do with it or how to use it effectively. That said I have met fewer working class intelligent children and those I have have often had parents who were lower middle class or skilled working class and were trying to move their children up the social ladder successfully.

As for gender, I do fear for boys in our future society. They are fairing badly even in the middle classes although the gap is significantly smaller there. Working class and male and they gap is unbridgeable. I think a lot of this is to do with changes which have left many boys short of good role models, a curiculum at GCSE especially which is geared to meeting the abilities of girls more readily and I suspect even in my school boys feel that society has no place for them. They do not have a role. Girls are seen to do eveything and boys are no longer necessary. Boys were once sure that one day they would have to go out and earn a good living to keep a wife and children. That was their main role - economic and supportive. Most boys do not see that future now and so are directionless. I suspect this affects working class males even more.

You asked for opinions, thats mine.

2BoysTooLoud Wed 27-Apr-11 17:17:34

Interesting jabed.. and as a mum to 2 boys slightly concerning...

fivecandles Wed 27-Apr-11 18:11:58

It's a very badly worded question TBH. What on earth do you mean by social class 'overpowering gender'? And what does 'at attainment' mean? I'm assuming you're not going to be teaching English. How much research have you actually done into these areas?

EvilTwins Wed 27-Apr-11 18:40:54

Jabed - you sound like a hideous snob.

OP - you need to research this properly, not ask for the opinions of random people on a website. This is lazy, and I hope you realise that.

CrystalChandelier Wed 27-Apr-11 18:42:54

a worh ethic and discipline which is missing in working class children

Jabed - I'm really glad you don't teach my children. This sort of arrogance squanders talent and holds us all back. Jaw-dropping.

Agree, the OP is completely muddled.

senua Wed 27-Apr-11 19:25:47

Ah, I see that eviltwins has written my post for me.grin
Why are you asking us? Do you think that we have any special insight? Do you know what factors may sway our responses (political class, social class, are we teachers/parents/Governors). How on earth will you present this as any sort of scientific data? It's not - it's merely a string of anecdotes and personal opinions.

If it is any consolation, you are not the first 'researcher' to be sent away with a flea in their ear.

mumzy Wed 27-Apr-11 19:39:59

This is anecdotal observation based on personal experience. My dc attend a small inner city school in one of the most deprived boroughs in uk. In all my dc classes all the boys on the top 2 tables for ability(25%) have come from professional families whereas the girls predominantly from families where parents not been in higher education so from my experience your statement rings true. Also noticed the bottom tables tend to be dominated by boys whose parents not had higher education. Not sure how you could officially get hold of this kind of data showing parent economic group and educational ability.

AnnieBesant Wed 27-Apr-11 19:43:45

I think if you are a teacher it is actually your job to make sure children do know what to do with their intelligence, even if they are not 'middle class' hmm

OP - do you really need to write about individuals' views - or do you need to write about statistics?

jabed Wed 27-Apr-11 19:43:49

Oh dear me, I am a snob and you cannot understand the original question either most of you?

I suggest you go and read a few sociology books. I am not a sociologist but I am widely read.

I have said nothing in my post that is particularly new or spectacular. In fact most of it has been said by sociologists and psychologists and has been in the research for a good forty years. All I am saying is that I can agree with that research because I have experience of it happeneing both in the state schools where I worked for many years and also in my curent school.

Social class is alive and well in GB and more alive and well and with a bigger divide than it had 30 years ago. You may want pretend it isnt there but unfortunately it is and it is growing as the middle class re establish their grasp on education ( they lost that after WW2 and the education reform act of 1944 - just for a while). Of course denying it really does help the status quo establish their control. But thats up to you.

The issues of gender are well documented also. The issue of working class males has been especially looked at in the litereture in recent years.

As they say class controls education and attainment in school and the workplace through several features. Its called CHEAP as an acronym - or the working class get their education on the cheap. - culture, housing and economic factors, and attitude of parents.

Dont tell me about it. Go and read it and learn. Dont criticise the poor OP. All she is doing is regurgitating her classroom learning and needs to write an extended essay on it, to which she wishes to add some small amount of her own research I suspect ( having taught access to HE, I am aware of what they have to do to pass the course).

But of course its obvious what other agendas are running here right now. This is not homework help I would agree. T%his will be my second such
"help". If the OP finds it helpful, thats OK. If not, its up to her. I have very little time to deal with those who have not read beyond their local newspaper and do not know anything other than what they are fed by the government.

Open your eyes, you will see the major gulf there is in society and in education and attainment (which means how well kids do in school including not getting into trouble, always being in isolation, detention and also how well they do in their studies and how well they continue in working life)

jabed Wed 27-Apr-11 19:45:23

2boystooloud - I also have a small son and it worries me a lot. I fear for his future. I love him to bits and I know he is a bright spark but I do worry.

jabed Wed 27-Apr-11 19:49:12

I only spoke as I have found CrystalChandelier. I am sorry if it offends . But sometimes the truth is unpaleatable - as it seems to be here.

AnnieBesant Wed 27-Apr-11 19:52:53

I understand the question, such as it is. And I also agree that the results suggest there is a significant gap. My issue is with your shoulder-shrugging approach to it.

ChateauRouge Wed 27-Apr-11 19:54:44

Emily - did you not like the answers you got last time?
Have you actually done a literature review and looked at the urrent research in this area? hmm

CrystalChandelier Wed 27-Apr-11 19:57:02

jabed That's the trouble, you 'speak as you find' and regurgitate it as fact. Hardly academically rigourous, are you?

senua Wed 27-Apr-11 20:08:54

Well spotted Chateau.
So she has already had the 'flea in the ear' treatment and yet comes back for more?hmm

CrystalChandelier Wed 27-Apr-11 20:21:24

jabed I'm not disagreeing that that class system exists. I'm picking you up on your cod 'fact' - that working class children 'have no work ethic'. Point me in the direction of the study that backs you up, and I'll concede. But I suspect you won't.

jabed Wed 27-Apr-11 20:51:06

CrystalChandelier - I wasnt asked for academic rigour ( I assume she has that from her text books). I was asked by the OP for an opinion, which I gave - hence I speak as I find and not from the texts. That is what was asked for and I followed the instruction.

If I ask for your opinion, I do not expect you to tell me what the book says. I want to know what you think. Conversly, if I ask you what the book says, I dont expect you to tell me your opinion. That is why you need to learn to sit down, read , listen and take instruction from a very early age .

ohmyfucksy Wed 27-Apr-11 20:56:00

You know this isn't proper research, don't you?

jabed Wed 27-Apr-11 21:00:24

Try R. Berkley - Runnymede Trust Report on working class boys and educational failure and Gillian Evans " Educational Failure and Working Class White Children" to name but two CrystalChandeleir. But that isnt what was originally asked for.

The litereture is full of comment on attitude and failure to attain on the part of working class children despite all attempts to increase their attainment in the education system.

jabed Wed 27-Apr-11 21:01:37

Yes, I know its not proper research. OP probably does too. But the request was for opinion. I dont see why it has to cause so much debate really. You either want to answer or you do not.

daylightdreaming Wed 27-Apr-11 21:11:39

This is well researched. For example

Which does talk about the effects of social class on attainment. It also talks about the effects of gender stereotyping. Given some of the comments here maybe there's a research opportunity in the effects of class stereotyping?

daylightdreaming Wed 27-Apr-11 21:13:26

Sorry double clicked on paste blush

Colleger Wed 27-Apr-11 21:17:08

The most detrimental effect on a boys educational attainment is co-education in both state and private sectors.

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