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'Multicultural' curriculum the reason for poor white kids failing? Watch

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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    Precisely this. I feel attempts to pin their underperformance on 'multicultural curricula', whatever that means, is at best a poorly construed argument and at worst a politically motivated agenda.

    For all the leftists, though, I hope they finally see the irony in claims of 'white male privilege' in society when (the poor ones) are categorically the worst performing group. Rather puts paid to notions of institutional discrimination in education via racism or 'patriarchy' too. And I say this as a non-white.
    Well you know the score when it comes to IQ. "Working class" whites is just code for low-IQ whites. Amazingly, the group of whites that already had low IQs does worse in school than other groups with higher average IQs. Or is in fact that amazing? If you believe everyone is born with equal aptitude and all differences are due to culture and environment then maybe, otherwise, not really.

    It is simply impossible to do any useful policy relevant work in this field because examining that full logic would blow apart much of the current establishment ideology.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    Well you know the score when it comes to IQ. "Working class" whites is just code for low-IQ whites. Amazingly, the group of whites that already had low IQs does worse in school than other groups with higher average IQs. Or is in fact that amazing? If you believe everyone is born with equal aptitude and all differences are due to culture and environment then maybe, otherwise, not really.

    It is simply impossible to do any useful policy relevant work in this field because examining that full logic would blow apart much of the current establishment ideology.
    I see that you and a few other posters have thought this was a comparison of white working class vs entire ethnic populations, but that's not the case. Specifically, "poor white British children now come out of our schools with worse qualifications than equally poor children in any other major ethnic group. They do less homework and are more likely to miss school than other groups." It's a like-for-like comparison (source).

    I do agree with you - I'm all for the consideration of truth over ideology, even if this means admitting the existence of intrinsic differences. We must be careful to be analytical and nuanced about this, though. For example, in the US, there is a large amount of evidence (despite stifling of research) that African Americans intrinsically score lower for IQ than whites, even controlling for socio-economic status. But perhaps this is a feature specific to US blacks who are descendants of the slave trade; after all, they mostly originated from a small area of West Africa, presumably descended from the lower classes of their society (they were sold and bartered by their chiefs in exchange for trade goods) and faced intense selection pressures during indenture.

    By contrast, poor blacks in the UK outperform poor whites, as stated above. Perhaps this is a reflection of African IQ in general, since the black population of the UK is more diverse in origin; perhaps it is because voluntary immigrants tend to represent the higher IQ portion of the population, and so there is a selection effect in place; perhaps it is, indeed, mostly down to culture. Either way, I certainly agree that until and unless you can make some determination as to the genetic component of intelligence (which is widely accepted by biologists and psychologists to account for more than 50%, and up to 80%) in the groups concerned, then making inferences and policies targeting specific 'ethnicities' is not a great deal better than a game of blindfolded pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.

    Alternatively, they could just stop caring so much about stratifying results by ethnicity. Personally I rather like that idea.
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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    I see that you and a few other posters have thought this was a comparison of white working class vs entire ethnic populations, but that's not the case. Specifically, "poor white British children now come out of our schools with worse qualifications than equally poor children in any other major ethnic group. They do less homework and are more likely to miss school than other groups." It's a like-for-like comparison (source).
    If you read my first post on this thread carefully (not that you necessarily should have read it at all, of course), I switch without explanation from one assumption to the other (since I could not be bothered to track down the source and see which comparison was actually made). But as I briefly touched on there, I think it does not matter so much: parental wealth is a much better proxy for IQ in a population that has been in a prosperous free market country for several generations, than among recent immigrants. Non-white 'working class' groups probably contain something close to the normal distribution of IQs for their ethnicity; the white working class probably contains mostly the negative 1-2 standard deviation and below.

    I do agree with you - I'm all for the consideration of truth over ideology, even if this means admitting the existence of intrinsic differences. We must be careful to be analytical and nuanced about this, though. For example, in the US, there is a large amount of evidence (despite stifling of research) that African Americans intrinsically score lower for IQ than whites, even controlling for socio-economic status. But perhaps this is a feature specific to US blacks who are descendants of the slave trade; after all, they mostly originated from a small area of West Africa, presumably descended from the lower classes of their society (they were sold and bartered by their chiefs in exchange for trade goods) and faced intense selection pressures during indenture.

    By contrast, poor blacks in the UK outperform poor whites, as stated above. Perhaps this is a reflection of African IQ in general, since the black population of the UK is more diverse in origin; perhaps it is because voluntary immigrants tend to represent the higher IQ portion of the population, and so there is a selection effect in place; perhaps it is, indeed, mostly down to culture. Either way, I certainly agree that until and unless you can make some determination as to the genetic component of intelligence (which is widely accepted by biologists and psychologists to account for more than 50%, and up to 80%) in the groups concerned, then making inferences and policies targeting specific 'ethnicities' is not a great deal better than a game of blindfolded pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.
    I agree that it's hard to be definitive without directly measuring the IQs of the two populations and controlling for them, and that will not be done for ideological reasons. But I think my explanation is simpler and more probable than the one proposed, which is even fuzzier (how do you measure work ethic or cultural alienation? obviously the researchers here have not even tried, just assuming they are responsible with no substantiation).

    Alternatively, they could just stop caring so much about stratifying results by ethnicity. Personally I rather like that idea.
    Agreed.
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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    Alternatively, they could just stop caring so much about stratifying results by ethnicity. Personally I rather like that idea.
    I wish that we could live in such a world. However as it currently stands results are stratified by ethnicity. This is not a problem we should simply ignore because it suits our cultural aims.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    If you read my first post on this thread carefully (not that you necessarily should have read it at all, of course), I switch without explanation from one assumption to the other (since I could not be bothered to track down the source and see which comparison was actually made). But as I briefly touched on there, I think it does not matter so much: parental wealth is a much better proxy for IQ in a population that has been in a prosperous free market country for several generations, than among recent immigrants. Non-white 'working class' groups probably contain something close to the normal distribution of IQs for their ethnicity; the white working class probably contains mostly the negative 1-2 standard deviation and below.


    I agree that it's hard to be definitive without directly measuring the IQs of the two populations and controlling for them, and that will not be done for ideological reasons. But I think my explanation is simpler and more probable than the one proposed, which is even fuzzier (how do you measure work ethic or cultural alienation? obviously the researchers here have not even tried, just assuming they are responsible with no substantiation).


    Agreed.
    I did consider that theory, but some populations have been around for a while e.g. Black Caribbean, Pakistanis, and the poor of both seemingly outperform poor whites, so I'm not entirely sold on it.

    Some more possible theories: IQ is known to be less genetically determined the worse the upbringing of the child (similar to the way genetic potential of height is not reached if you experience malnutrition), so that perhaps culture mediates to a larger extent amongst the poor, and white working class culture is particularly anti-education. Perhaps whites have greater variance of intelligence, either as a race in general, or in comparison to non-whites in the UK specifically. Perhaps they are just less intelligent than the non-white population of the UK - though I believe data on non-poor pupils suggests otherwise. Of course, we'll never know the answer to all these and hence not be able to effectively diagnose the problem.
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    Its utter rubbish. When you consider how much of the curriculum can even have a multicultural aspect. You're eliminating things like science and maths, RE pretty much has an essential multicultural element, Modern Foreign Languages, Latin, Geography? Most of these things aren't even influenced by any changing British culture.

    Perhaps English and History are affected, but the 1 month of black history cannot be attributed to some white kid's failure when the black he's been compared against managed to concentrate through the other 11, and the Chinese kid sat through 12 months of boring content.
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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    I did consider that theory, but some populations have been around for a while e.g. Black Caribbean, Pakistanis, and the poor of both seemingly outperform poor whites, so I'm not entirely sold on it.
    According to census data Britain was 94% white in 1991, today 87%, so at least half of the non-white population arrived (or was born) in the past 20 years.

    Some more possible theories: IQ is known to be less genetically determined the worse the upbringing of the child (similar to the way genetic potential of height is not reached if you experience malnutrition), so that perhaps culture mediates to a larger extent amongst the poor, and white working class culture is particularly anti-education.
    I don't see any reason why intelligence - apparently an organic attribute at some level - should be caused by desire for or exposure to education, any more than height should be caused by desire for or exposure to participation in competitive long jumping. I think it much more likely that the causation is opposite: intelligent people enjoy education more because they are good at it and value it more because it is useful for them.

    I'd believe that severe malnutrition could result in failure to reach genetic IQ potential, but is that at all common in the UK? My belief had been that twin studies showed little difference in IQ based on adopted parental socioeconomic in developed countries. On the other hand, I do know that IQ does not correlate nearly so strongly with parental IQ among children in general, whose brains are not fully developed.

    Perhaps whites have greater variance of intelligence, either as a race in general, or in comparison to non-whites in the UK specifically.
    That is plausible, although there's no particular reason to think so. If anything I would expect ethnic minorities - taken as a whole - to have greater variance since the population is less homogeneous.

    Perhaps they are just less intelligent than the non-white population of the UK - though I believe data on non-poor pupils suggests otherwise. Of course, we'll never know the answer to all these and hence not be able to effectively diagnose the problem.
    East Asians seem to be more intelligent than whites across the board, but they're only a small proportion of UK non-whites.

    btw, I think this question of free markets leading to IQ sorting is very important socially even without the race angle. For instance, it's plausible that in 1900 there were still a lot of very intelligent people who worked on farms, in low level factory, jobs, etc. Today, there probably aren't. While I can't prove it, I'd hypothesise that this shift is in large part responsible for the collapse of grass roots political "workers' movements": the intelligent people who analysed society and created and managed organisations at this level simply left the working class, and no longer had much interest destroying the system. Today, an ambitious working class Labour party member is much more likely to become an upper middle class professional wonk (e.g. Owen Jones) rather than remain working class and enter the party structure as a shop steward (e.g. Neil Kinnock). The children of such people, like Kinnock's son, despite often adopting their parents' views, are upper middle class. People like Owen Jones and Stephen Kinnock generally have a personal interest in strengthening and expanding the state, but no personal interest in overthrowing or radically changing it, and often a strong personal interest in not doing so. In this way socialism's transition from a radical movement to a collection of special interests and rent seekers seems more easily explicable.
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    No it is the parents.

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    (Original post by Observatory)
    According to census data Britain was 94% white in 1991, today 87%, so at least half of the non-white population arrived (or was born) in the past 20 years.
    That's quite sad really
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    (Original post by Numberwang)
    Some research published by Lambeth Council in south London has found a correlation between a 'multicultural' curriculum and the academic under-achievement of poor white children.

    White working-class kids perform worse than all other ethnic groups.

    Apparently an emphasis on themes and events such as Black History Month isolates white group.

    But correlation doesn't mean causation. Has diversifying the curriculum in recent years come at a cost or not?
    such crap. And i dont k.ow where you got the idea about multicultural learning because i was never taught about black history in any depth and even if this topic was taught its history - shall we not teach history because it makes kids apparently fail. Stereotypically other ethnic groups pyt more emphasis on education than the working white class - not always but mostly thats the case. I went to a crappy schopl and obly a handful went to uni- in fact more ppl were pregnabt/ got someone pregnant than went to uni. I doubt this is due to multicultural teaching

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    Ever thought it could be to do with the fact that minorities, especially those born of immigrant parents, might actually feel the need to work hard in school so they can make something of themselves and have the future their parents weren't able to?
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    According to census data Britain was 94% white in 1991, today 87%, so at least half of the non-white population arrived (or was born) in the past 20 years.
    True, but for the populations I mentioned your theory should show similar or worse levels of performance.

    I don't see any reason why intelligence - apparently an organic attribute at some level - should be caused by desire for or exposure to education, any more than height should be caused by desire for or exposure to participation in competitive long jumping. I think it much more likely that the causation is opposite: intelligent people enjoy education more because they are good at it and value it more because it is useful for them.

    I'd believe that severe malnutrition could result in failure to reach genetic IQ potential, but is that at all common in the UK? My belief had been that twin studies showed little difference in IQ based on adopted parental socioeconomic in developed countries. On the other hand, I do know that IQ does not correlate nearly so strongly with parental IQ among children in general, whose brains are not fully developed.
    IQ scores have risen steadily since their inception in developed countries (though have seemingly plateaued in the last couple of decades) in a not yet fully explained phenomenon called the Flynn effect, so that e.g. the average IQ of the US in the 1930s on today's tests would be 80. There are many proposed explanations: the most widely accepted are better nutrition, lower rate of infectious disease, and increased stimulus to mentally taxing tasks from a young age. You can see that it doesn't require severe malnutrition, which didn't really exist in 1930s USA either, to engineer a fairly large IQ differential.

    Twin studies have indeed largely shown that biological parental IQ plays a larger role than adoptive parental IQ, but these studies have tended to follow middle class parents. For poorer parents, the literature is mixed: some say environment starts to play an equal role, some say there is no difference from the middle class studies. Generally these studies suffer from the failing you've pointed out - that they test childhood IQ as opposed to adult IQ and hence underestimate the genetic component.

    That is plausible, although there's no particular reason to think so. If anything I would expect ethnic minorities - taken as a whole - to have greater variance since the population is less homogeneous.

    East Asians seem to be more intelligent than whites across the board, but they're only a small proportion of UK non-whites.
    It could just be the case that the non-white population is a non-representative and restricted variance sample of their original populations. Also, because of the Flynn effect (and lack of socioeconomic norming), national IQ scores across the world are not very informative. The Flynn effect seems to have stalled in the developed world but is still continuing in India/Africa etc. With US whites and blacks, though, socioeconomic norming can take place and a shared environment (broadly speaking) holds, so the IQ differential is much more meaningful.

    That said, I don't think the mean is lower for UK whites than every single group of UK non-whites, as the non-poor whites outperform several ethnicities.

    btw, I think this question of free markets leading to IQ sorting is very important socially even without the race angle. For instance, it's plausible that in 1900 there were still a lot of very intelligent people who worked on farms, in low level factory, jobs, etc. Today, there probably aren't. While I can't prove it, I'd hypothesise that this shift is in large part responsible for the collapse of grass roots political "workers' movements": the intelligent people who analysed society and created and managed organisations at this level simply left the working class, and no longer had much interest destroying the system. Today, an ambitious working class Labour party member is much more likely to become an upper middle class professional wonk (e.g. Owen Jones) rather than remain working class and enter the party structure as a shop steward (e.g. Neil Kinnock). The children of such people, like Kinnock's son, despite often adopting their parents' views, are upper middle class. People like Owen Jones and Stephen Kinnock generally have a personal interest in strengthening and expanding the state, but no personal interest in overthrowing or radically changing it, and often a strong personal interest in not doing so. In this way socialism's transition from a radical movement to a collection of special interests and rent seekers seems more easily explicable.
    I think this definitely has some merit. You see the same pattern outside the UK as well; radical grassroots intellectuals of the likes of Trotsky, Lenin, Guevera etc. have simply ceased to exist, or at least gather much support, in the last few decades. I wouldn't be so cynical as to say that all socialists these days are just 'special interest and rent seekers' - many genuinely believe their ideas would lead to a better society - but it's certainly true that the left has de-radicalised dramatically.
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    I have smpathy with this. My schools were deeply politicially correct -- the culture of Britain and western society in general was only mentioned in negative terms. White kids were forced to celebrate other cultures. Forced to worship other peoples heroes. So its no wonder a lot of them simply tuned out.

    But, because of my non-British background i always felt as if I had to defend this society. Those that criticise this place while they live here truly are the lowest parasites -- as if these parasites have anywhere better to live.

    British society is so open and free that it absorbs so much hate from bitter immigrants, when others would just kick them out.

    The solution to this is free 'western schools'. These schools would teach the extrodinary history of this extrodinary civilisation and give kids confidence in their culture. Of course, these schools would be open to all, no matter their colour. Being passionate about this western culture is not just for white kids.
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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    True, but for the populations I mentioned your theory should show similar or worse levels of performance.
    I don't agree. My theory is, in very crude terms, that we have two populations: one which is a jumble of people, probably above average for their home country, who have just arrived at London Docks and are signalling for a taxi, and a second one, which has been aggressively sorted over centuries by a free market red in tooth and claw. Many high aptitude people in the first population will have low incomes just because they speak bad English, are too old without relevant experience, or lack credentialing, etc. None of those factors will apply to their children.

    We then compare the bottom of the aggressively sorted distribution with the bottom of the jumbled distribution. To our surprise, we find that the former does worse, even though it has a long incumbency advantage. Surprising? No, more like obvious. The mainstream theory on the other hand holds that there is no aptitude difference and the overwhelming - positive - influence is length of incumbency. The mainstream theory crashes and burns, because it is based on flawed premises.

    IQ scores have risen steadily since their inception in developed countries (though have seemingly plateaued in the last couple of decades) in a not yet fully explained phenomenon called the Flynn effect, so that e.g. the average IQ of the US in the 1930s on today's tests would be 80. There are many proposed explanations: the most widely accepted are better nutrition, lower rate of infectious disease, and increased stimulus to mentally taxing tasks from a young age. You can see that it doesn't require severe malnutrition, which didn't really exist in 1930s USA either, to engineer a fairly large IQ differential.

    Twin studies have indeed largely shown that biological parental IQ plays a larger role than adoptive parental IQ, but these studies have tended to follow middle class parents. For poorer parents, the literature is mixed: some say environment starts to play an equal role, some say there is no difference from the middle class studies. Generally these studies suffer from the failing you've pointed out - that they test childhood IQ as opposed to adult IQ and hence underestimate the genetic component.
    I'm not convinced that the Flynn Effect represents a real increase in IQ. If you compare the number of top writers, scientists, etc. even in the pre-capitalist age relative to population you just don't see this apparent dramatic rise in intelligence. Ancient Athens for instance probably had a population of about 300,000 - are its intellectual accomplishments matched by a typical small city today? And this was a time in which the rich also had high disease load and often poor diet, and there were plenty of confounding factors, like the simple scarcity of writing materials.

    I could well believe that environment has some effect at these extremes, but in developed countries in modern times I am inclined to believe that the Flynn effect is mostly an artefact of increased familiarity with the test format. I accept that I cannot strongly support this and it remains an open question.

    It could just be the case that the non-white population is a non-representative and restricted variance sample of their original populations. Also, because of the Flynn effect (and lack of socioeconomic norming), national IQ scores across the world are not very informative. The Flynn effect seems to have stalled in the developed world but is still continuing in India/Africa etc. With US whites and blacks, though, socioeconomic norming can take place and a shared environment (broadly speaking) holds, so the IQ differential is much more meaningful.

    That said, I don't think the mean is lower for UK whites than every single group of UK non-whites, as the non-poor whites outperform several ethnicities.
    As you say, if minorities were just cleverer (which is possible) they should outperform at every level. So I think what is strongly suggested by these observations is that the distribution of aptitude for recent immigrants just doesn't correlate with income the same way it does for long standing native families, and I think I have provided a plausible theory why.

    I think this definitely has some merit. You see the same pattern outside the UK as well; radical grassroots intellectuals of the likes of Trotsky, Lenin, Guevera etc. have simply ceased to exist, or at least gather much support, in the last few decades. I wouldn't be so cynical as to say that all socialists these days are just 'special interest and rent seekers' - many genuinely believe their ideas would lead to a better society - but it's certainly true that the left has de-radicalised dramatically.
    That was overly pejorative, and I withdraw it, because I didn't really even mean it that way. The old movements were a lot more dangerous than the new ones, and are the ones deserving, if either, of harsh criticism.

    What I mean to say is that, in the past, "workers' movements" were probably vehicles for people who had the aptitude to lead states, but no legal opportunity, to place themselves in such a position. Of course this did not usually benefit workers - once high IQ socialist factory clerks like Lenin and unemployed priests like Stalin installed themselves as dictators they tended to cause devastation - but the proximal cause was a large population of people of comparable aptitude to the actual government (or other top positions in other fields) who did not have access to it.

    Today, we just don't really have these high IQ people shut out of access to high positions. "Workers movements" largely disappeared, I reason, because the people who would benefit them have too low an aptitude to run them.
 
 
 
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