Most of us begin to aquire the
basic values, attitudes and skills
that are needed for educational
success through primary
socialisation within the family.
Development of thinking and
reasoning skills such as the
ability to solve problems and
use ideas and concepts.
Douglas (1964) - Working class pupils
score lower on testes because
their parents are less likey to
support the child's intellectual
development through reading
Restricted code - Typically used by
working class, and consists of limited
vocabulary and short, often
unfinished, gramatically simple
Elaborated code - Typically
used by the middle class,
and consists of wider
vocabulary and longer,
gramatically more complex
Bernstein (1975) - Uses the two types
of code to distinguishe between
classes and concludes that the
working-class are at a disadvantage as
the elaborated code is the one used
within education by teachers,
textbooks and exams.
Attitudes and values
Feinstein (1998) - Working-class
parents' lack of interest in education is
the main reason for their children's
underachievement, more so than any
Sugarman (1970) - Working-class
subculture has 4 key features that
act as barriers to educational
Fatalism - Whatever
will be, will be
Collectivism - Valuing being
part of a group more than
succeeding as an individual.
Immediate gratification - Seeking pleasure
now rather than making sacrifices in order
to reap greater rewards later on in life.
Present-time orientation - The
present is more important than the
future, meaning lack of long term
goals and plans.
Due to the traditional
working enviornments of
the different classes.
Compensatory education is a policy
designed to tackle the problems of
cultural deprivation by providing
extra resources to schools and
communities in deprived areas.
Keddie (1973) - Cultural deprivation is a MYTH!
It is just an excuse, children cannot be
deprived of their own culture, working-class
children are simply culturally different.
Poverty and a lack of material
necessities such as adequate
housing or income.
Nearly 90% of 'failing schools'
are located in deprived areas.
Less space to study
Temporary housing (bed
and breakfast) can cause
disruption to home and
Damp can cause health risks
Diet and health
Less nutrition means
weaker immune system
so more sick days
Less energy so more difficult
to concentrate in class
Make do with hand-me-downs
and unfashionable equipment
which could result in bulling.
Have less equipment and
tools to help learning
However some children from poor families
do succeed, suggesting that material
deprivation is only part of the explanation.
Cultural, religious or political values of the
family could play a part in enabling some
poor children to achieve.
Bourdieu (1984) - Believes in
the idea that there are three
types of capital:
Cultural - Middle-class pupils are at
an advantage due to their
possession of knowledge, attitudes,
values, language etc.
The education system favours
middle-class culture and discriminates
against the working-class.
Educational - Wealthier parents can convert
their economic capital into educational
capital by sending their children to private
schools and paying for extra tuition.
Economic - Being able to afford the
equipment and services to boost a child's
Sullivan (2001) - Conducted
questionnaires on pupils to discover the
relationship between class, cultural
capital and educational achievement.
Those who had greater cultural
capital were more likely to be
middle-class and achieve higher in
However, cultural capital only accounted for part
of the class difference in achievement. Where
pupils of different classes had the same cultural
capital, the middle-class pupils still did better.
Sullivan concluded that the greater resources and
aspirations of middle-class families explained the
remainder of the class gap in achievement.