Exploring the Reasons for Differences in Educational Achievement Between Different Ethnic Groups

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Exploring the Reasons for Differences in Educational Achievement Between Different Ethnic Groups

I believe that this is an important issue to consider as research has

shown that whilst Afro-Caribbean males are at the very bottom in terms

of achievement, West Indian females tend to do even better than white

females at GCSE. Sociologists such as Cecil Wright link educational

achievement with teacher racism and labelling whilst other

sociologists such as Charlotte Brookes link it with cultural

deprivation: issues concerned with ethnicity. Ethnic groups contain

people who share a common history, custom, identity and in most cases

language and religion. The issue of ‘differences in educational

achievement’ is regarded as ‘differential educational attainment’

which refers to the tendency for some groups to do better than others

in terms of educational success. In this essay I aim to examine

reasons that cause the differences in educational achievement and how

this links to the different ethnic groups. Evidently there is a wide

variety of ethnic groups for example; Chinese, Bangladeshi, Indian,

Asian and Afro-Caribbean and I wish to centre my focus on the

educational achievement of Afro-Caribbean and Asian students.

It is evident that Afro-Caribbean pupils do not achieve as well as

other ethnic groups as in comparison at degree level, they are at the

very bottom, with Chinese at the top and Asian in the middle. I have

identified one of the main reasons for under achievement to be due to

‘Teacher racism and labelling’. It has observed that often

Afro-Caribbean boys have the label ‘unruly’ and ‘disrespectful’

applied to them as Gillborn (199...

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...f educational success. I believe that this has a

direct link to ‘Teacher labelling’ as Cecil Wright recognised that

Afro-Caribbean pupils receive disproportionate amount of teachers’

negative attentions. Furthermore Wright argues that often black

children are ridiculed, teased and harassed. This would definitely not

make a child’s school experience a happy one if they never feel

welcome or accepted and this can explain why often black children

don’t always behave as well as they should if they are constantly

taunted and made to feel inferior. African-Asian children however,

especially females tend to do much better and it has been suggested

that this is due to the fact that their culture emphasizes a respect

and success through education and many have professional backgrounds,

thus role models and material advantages.
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