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63 Cards in this Set

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Define formal education

learning particular subjects, for example, maths, English, in organised institutions (schools).

Define informal education

Occurs through observing what going on around us, through experiences of life

Functionalists: argue that

the function of institutions such as education is to reproduce culture by socialising individuals into the key values and roles required for social stability.

what is an Agent of social control

: individual or group that is responsible for ensuring members of society conform to socially acceptable behaviour.

what is Social mobility

movement of individuals up or down a social scale.
what is Social cohesion
‘sticking together’. It describes the integration of a society into a unified whole.

What is Meritocracy

a social system in which rewards are allocated justly on the basis of merit rather than factors such as class, gender, ethnicity.

What is the National Curriculum?

subjects and subject content that must be studied by all children in state schools, in an attempt to standardise educational provision.

what is Ofsted (Ofce for Standards in Education):

the government agency given the task of monitoring the quality of schools and teachers in the UK.

Define the league stable

lists produced by the government indicating the position of each school in comparison to others depending on their exam performance.

What does Vocational mean?

describes a course or qualification designed to provide more of a ‘hands-on’ approach to learning. This encourages the application of knowledge and understanding of a subject in a practical way.

What are State-funded comprehensive schools?

Comprehensive schools aim to educate all students, regardless of background or ability, under one roof. The aim is to ensure that all children have access to the same level and quality of education.

What are specialist schools?

These receive additional funding to support a subject of expertise, and are able to select up to 10 per cent of their students on the basis of ability in this subject. They are an important part of the government’s plans to raise standards in secondary education. Specialist status can be in one of eleven specialisms. Special schools can also apply for an SEN (Special Educational Needs) specialism.

What are trust schools?

These are schools supported by a charitable trust where the school and partners work together for the benet of the school.

What are city academies ?

Ofsted have been given the power by the government to place failing schools under special measures whereby they are re-inspected more regularly. In extreme cases, the government can close down a failing school and reopen it as a city academy with funding from private businesses.

What are city technology colleges?

These are independently managed, non-fee-paying schools in urban areas for pupils of all abilities aged 11 to 18. They are geared towards science, technology and the world of work, offering a range of vocational qualifications as well as traditional GCSEs and A-levels.

What are faith schools?

Faith schools are mostly run in the same way as other state schools. Their faith status may be reected in their religious education curriculum, admissions criteria and stafng policies.

What are the disadvantages and advantages of faith schools?

Advantages: Faith primary schools offer an advantage over other primary schools in terms of age 11 test scores in maths and English. Children who attend faith schools generally achieve one per cent higher on tests in English and maths. They also receive a religious education supporting their own belief.

Disadvantages: Admission policies may exclude certain groups of children.

What are grammar schools?

Grammar schools select all or most of their pupils based on academic ability.

What are independent schools?

Independent schools set their own curriculum and admissions policies. They are funded by fees paid by parents and guardians and income from investments. Independent schools do not have to follow the National Curriculum but most students will take national exams, ensuring that qualications are consistent and recognised.

What are special schools?

Special schools for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) offer a choice to parents who have children that require special education.

Advantages of special school education?

Children can learn appropriate skills to help them with their disability.They are taught by teachers who know the techniques to use to help the children.Special schools have the most appropriate equipment to help the children develop and learn.

Disadvantages of special school education

Children are often excluded from other children who do not have their disability.They may not have access to the range of the curriculum that may be available in mainstream schools.

Define formal curriculum

what students learn in their timetabled lessons, for example, maths and English.

Define hidden curriculum

the ways in which the organisation of teaching, school regulations and routines shape pupil attitude and behaviour, that is, what students learn at school that is not taught in lessons.

Structures of schools

Schools are hierarchical institutions. Any hierarchy can be illustrated by using a pyramid. Each layer of the pyramid has more power than the one below it, with the layer at the top having most power. In schools, the headteacher is at the top of the pyramid and holds most power, and the students are at the bottom of the pyramid and have least power.This structure in schools reects the hierarchical structure of society in general. In any workplace, there will be a manager at the top of the hierarchy with the most power and workers at the bottom with least power.

Social control in education

The hidden curriculum consists of rules, regulations and respect for authority. This reects the social control that operates in society. Students learn to accept society’s social controls while they are in the education system. Students need permission to do any activity that is not an assigned task.

In school you have

tight routines to stick to, like cant be late so arriving to school on time and lessons on time.

we have a dress code

May have gender role allocation, teachers may be nicer to those of their gender or nicer to girls etc

What is labelling in education?

names/labels given to individuals by teachers (and by others, for example, police) which then influence the behaviour of those individuals and also influence the way others respond to those individuals.

Define the self fulfilling prophecy

people hear labels about themselves from people who are more powerful than they are. They come to believe that the labels are true and then act as if they are true. Therefore, the labels become true.

What is setting?

a way of dividing pupils into groups for particular subjects based on their ability in those subjects.

What is streaming ?

a way of dividing pupils according to their supposed ability. A pupil will normally remain in the same stream across all areas of the curriculum.

What is an Anti school sub culture?

these are formed because pupils feel that they are not valued by the school or because they do not identify with the value system and the goals of the school.

Arguments FOR setting and streaming

Children are judged by their performance as they will be in a hierarchical society.Creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages hard work.Stretches the brightest pupils whilst allowing the less able to work at their own pace.Easier to teach pupils of one ability rather than teaching mixed ability classes.

Arguments AGAINST setting and streaming

Labels pupils, which can produce a self-fullling prophecy and an 4 anti-academic sub-culture can develop.Allocations to groups can result in indirect discrimination, for 4 example, Asian pupils may be put in lower streams than their ability indicates.The system is inexible because transfer up the streams is difcult if 4 the speed and content of the work is different.Lower groups are disadvantaged because teachers deny them 4 access to certain aspects of the curriculum and the emphasis is on controlling behaviour rather than teaching.

What is a Cultural capital?

the desired skills, for example, language which middle classes pass on to their children.

Factors affecting differences in educational success




How does HOME affect educational success

Material deprivation– Lack of money can mean a cold and overcrowded house, inadequate levels of nutrition as well as lack of books, computers, etc. This can make it difcult to study at home and may lead to poor school attendance through ill health.Parents’ attitude4 – The degree of interest and encouragement parents show in their children’s education can be a signicant element in educational success.Speech patterns– Middle-class children are more likely to have their writing and speaking skills developed to a higher standard at an earlier age than working-class children.Cultural deprivation – The norms and values of the working-class child differ from the norms and values of the middle-class institution of schools.Bourdieu (1977) suggested that middle-class cultural capital is as valuable in educational terms as material wealth. The knowledge, values, ways of interacting and communicating ideas that middle-class children possess are developed further and rewarded by the education system. Working-class children may lack these qualities and so do not have the same chances to succeed.

How does SCHOOL affect educational success?

– Teachers are inevitably involved in making judgements and classifying pupils.If teachers have low expectations of working-class children, this can affect their progress in school. Equally, if the teacher sees the student as only being capable of reaching a certain level of academic achievement, they may see no point in trying to develop the student’s performance any further. This is known as a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’.

Gender and education

historically boys out performed girls but now girls are better than boys in education in exams,

Home factors that affect the different educational success depending on the gender

Parents tend to buy girls different toys, which encourage their language skills. Research shows that girls spend their leisure time differently from boys. Boys relate to their peers by doing (that is, being active); girls relate to one another by talking. This puts girls at an advantage because school is essentially a language experience, and most subjects require good levels of comprehension and writing skills. Some boys see schoolwork as ‘uncool’ and ‘unmasculine’ and may gain peer group status from not working.Job market 4There are increasing job opportunities for women. Many girls have mothers in paid work who provide positive role models. As a result, girls recognise that the future offers them more choices; economic independence and careers are now available to them. Boys, however, are experiencing a crisis of masculinity (Mac and Ghaill, 1994). They are socialised into seeing their future male identity and role in terms of having a job and being a breadwinner. However, the decline of manufacturing industries and the increase in service sector jobs, which are often part-time and desk-based, are more suited to the skills and lifestyles of women. Working-class boys’ perception of this may inuence their motivation and ambition.

Factors at school that affect different educational affect on gender

There are now more career opportunities for women and this has filtered through the education system. With broadening opportunities for girls, more is expected of girls today. Teachers also have different expectations concerning typical behaviour for girls and boys. Boys are expected to be livelier than girls and girls are expected to be more studious than boys. Teachers often respond to these stereotypes.Curriculum4Since the introduction of the National Curriculum, all girls and boys are required to study English, maths and science up to GCSE level. Girls are therefore studying the same core subjects as boys. Girls tend to spend more time on homework, are more organised and put more effort into their work.Hidden curriculum4The attitudes created by the wider society about the correct behaviour for females, plus their home socialisation, are strengthened at school through the hidden curriculum. Use of gendered regimes, for example, girls playing netball, boys playing rugby, order of names in the register, uniforms, lining up or seating plans may also reinforce gender roles.

Gender in education stat

Figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) show that there are more women than men entering full-time undergraduate courses (in autumn 2006, a total of 390,000 gained a place, of whom 210,000 (54 per cent) were women) and 58 per cent of all degrees were awarded to women.

In 2005/6, 64% of girls achieved five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C compared with 54% of boys.

Ethnicity and educational success

Indian children and Chinese children do extremely well and achieve more than white children. Some ethnicities do, however, tend to underachieve. Pakistani, Bangladeshi and black Caribbean ethnicities often achieve less than white children and each of these groups is under-represented at university.

Factors at home that effect ethnicity and educational success

Material deprivation4The difference in educational achievement between ethnic groups can be partially explained by social class. Many ethnic groups are in lower social classes so suffer material deprivation associated with the lower classes, such as poor housing and lack of resources.Language4For many children from immigrant homes, the main language of the home is generally the country of origin. Therefore, their studies are carried out in a ‘foreign’ language. Afro-Caribbean children may speak English at home but it is sometimes in a dialect that differs from standard English and this can cause confusion in school.Cultural deprivation4Working-class and some ethnic minority cultures nd it difcult to motivate their children in the education system. As a result they fail to receive the skills and values required to succeed.

School factors that effect educational success and ethnicity

Teacher/pupil interactions4Despite the existence of equal opportunities policies in schools, sufcient evidence exists to show that children from ethnic minorities often experience racism within school. This can come from teachers as well as other students.Some teachers have stereotyped views and expectations of students, which may be inuenced by the child’s ethnic origin, for example, some teachers may have higher expectations of Asian pupils as they are considered to be capable and hard working.Research has also shown that teachers believe that children from an Afro-Caribbean background are less academic than those from other ethnic backgrounds. Teachers expect less so black pupils are not as encouraged as other students. In this way teachers’ labels may lead to a self-fullling prophecy through which the students’ educational achievement is affected. Teachers inevitably make judgements about and classify pupils. These judgements often affect a child’s chances of educational achievement.Curriculum 4The school curriculum is seen as being ethnocentric. Schools are structured in a particular way which tends to reect British culture, for example, school assemblies, history and language.

Education Act was in

1994 (Butler act)

The tripartite system included

with three types of school– secondary technical schools for those with a talent in mechanical, engineering or scientific areas– grammar schools for more ‘academic’ students– secondary modern schools for those not suited to the other two schools

The Education Act 1944 introduced

Tripartite system4 with three types of school– secondary technical schools for those with a talent in mechanical, engineering or scientic areas– grammar schools for more ‘academic’ students– secondary modern schools for those not suited to the other two schoolsFree compulsory state education to the age of 154Eleven plus4 exam, which was given to all pupils at the end of primary school.

Timeline of Education changes

1944-Education Act

1965 Comprehensive education

1979 New vocationalism

1988 Education Reform Act

1997 New Labour introduced various education policies

2006 – Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances

2007 Children’s Plan

Define the 1965 Comprehensive education

system limited the opportunities available to many students. The overall aim of comprehensive education was to introduce an inclusive approach where all pupils in a local education authority would attend the same school. It did this by abolishing the tripartite system and putting students into sets/streams according to ability when they reached their comprehensive school.

1979 New vocationalism

The issue of whether education was providing the right types of skills for the economy was being questioned. Conservative politicians felt that education had emphasised academic achievement and this was damaging the economy because there was a shortage of skilled individuals. New vocationalism was introduced in schools/colleges.

1988 Education Reform Act

ActThe key aim of this act was to introduce competition between schools (marketisation of education). Parents were given choice over where to send their children, and schools were encouraged to ‘compete’ for their children. It was hoped that this would raise the standard of education in the UK. This Act also introduced: the National Curriculum, SATs, league tables and Ofsted.

1997 New Labour introduced various education policies

1 They retained commitment to parental choice and expanded diversity of available schools. This included specialist schools, faith schools and trust schools.2 Excellence in Cities (EiC) and Education Action Zones (EAZs) were created to improve achievement in the most disadvantaged areas. By doing this they tried to address systematic underachievement in some schools, particularly in the inner cities.

3 Curriculum 2000. Changes were made to the structure of A-levels by splitting A-levels into AS and A2. Also, as part of Curriculum 2000 the teaching and testing of key skills were introduced in numeracy, communication and ICT. To encourage students to continue in education after the age of 16, a payment is given to students who are from less wealthy backgrounds. This is known as the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and can be worth up to £30 a week.4 Ofsted were given the power to place failing schools under special measures where they were re-inspected more regularly and given additional freedoms. In certain cases, the schools would be closed and reopened as an academy. The aim of academies was to raise standards of education.5 Changes were made to the post-compulsory sector with the pledge that 50 per cent of young people will be in some form of higher education by 2010.6 They abolished grants for attending university and introduced student loans.

define Excellence in Cities (EiC)

: the Excellence in Cities programme, launched in March 1999, made a unique contribution to the raising of attainment of disadvantaged pupils in our most deprived cities, towns, and rural areas.

Define Education Action Zones (EAZs

): are built around groups of schools that are determined to raise educational standards in the most challenging areas in the UK.

Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA):

money paid directly to students who stay on in education after the age of 16.The amount received depends on parents’ income.

2006 – Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances

4To encourage young people to stay on in education after the age of 16 this policy was introduced to improve skills for industry, employment and the economy, including skills for enterprise and self-employment. Every further education institution was instructed to develop at least one specialism. The sixth form sector was promoted to encourage young people to continue their education.

2007 Children’s Plan

4The Children’s Plan aims to ensure that every child gets a ‘world class education’ and to encourage parents to become more involved in their children’s education. The links between family life and the education of children have been identied as paramount and this is evident in the creation of a new government department in 2007: The Department of Families, Schools and Young People.

Functionalist view on education

Serving the needs of the economy: Education has an economic role in teaching theknowledge and skills that future workers will need in a competitive global economy- Selection: The education system works like a sieve, grading people and allocating themto jobs based on their individual merit, abilities and exam results- Facilitating social mobility: The education system is expected to enable individuals tomove up/down the social ladder. Able students from disadvantaged backgrounds haveopportunities to achieve qualifications that allow them to move up the layers of thesocial class system- Encouraging ‘Britishness’ and social cohesion: Through their formal education,pupils identify with British culture and see themselves as British citizens. Schools helpto reinforce the ‘glue’ or the social bonds that unite different people in society- Secondary socialization: While at school, pupils learn the culture, norms and values oftheir society- Social control: Schools teach pupils to conform and accept rules and adult authority

Marxist view

The Marxist approach is crucial of the role of the education system in capitalist society. Thisapproach sees the education system as benefiting privileged groups and reinforcing socialinequalities over time. Their beliefs include- Serving the interests of the ruling class: By passing on ideas and beliefs that benefitthe ruling class (e.g. that the capitalist society is fair and meritocratic)- Reproducing the class system: Education appears to reward pupils fairly based ontheir individual abilities. However, it actually favours pupils from more advantagedbackgrounds. Over time, education reproduces the advantages that some social classgroups have over others.- Breeding competition: Through sports and exams at school, students are encouragedto accept values such as competition. If most people value competition, this helps tomaintain the capitalist system because it is based on competition. Created by Lydia Hiraide The BRIT School Sociology GCSE AQA 2013- Secondary socialization: The education system socializes working-class children toaccept their lower position in capitalist society. They learn to accept hierarchy at schooland to obey rules.

Increasing competition in schools

The League Tables publishing SATs and GCSEs meant schools are nowlabelled ‘good schools’ or ‘bad/failing schools’. The media publicises this – andwith the internet – parents can access school Ofsted reports.The aim was to increase competition to raise standards in schools as schoolswould try to be the best.Not all sociologists agree as league tables do not take everything into account– the area the school is in, the background and the issues of that area.Schools are also now required to have prospectuses (to promote and sellthemselves).This is competitive and parents can then make informed choices. However, inmany areas, the result is successful schools (which everyone wants to go to)and failing schools. In some cases, the successful schools attract the bestteachers, and the problem is a self-fulfilling prophecy. introduced league tables and offsted to increased competition as on league table, top schools would get more pupils applying

Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA)?

money paid directly to students who stay on in education after the age of 16.The amount received depends on parents’ income.