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    As of late I've really started to get interested in educational issues, specifically with a sociological basis, as I really enjoyed the Education module of my Sociology A-Level.

    I've been reading a book called Education and Society, and I came across the External vs. Internal debate.
    Basically, this is to do with whether educational problems, and essentially, inequality is caused by factors IN- or OUTside -of the the school.

    The Externalist approach says that the causes of inequality are:
    • innate differences between in groups in terms of IQ/cognitive ability
    • maternal deprivation
    • cultural deprivation (general lack of literacy and knowledge to effectively deal with schools)
    • social differences in degrees of educational motivation and social aspirations
    • a lack of cultural capital (a desire to achieve, be motivated, etc)


    This approach says that there's NOTHING wrong with the actual schools OR the quality of teaching - all the problems are caused outside of the school gates.

    The Internalist approach, however, (no prizes for guessing) states that all the problems originate in the school, for instance the organisation of the system, which reflects and reproduces divisions, and social biases in the curriculum (teacher expectations, labelling students, self-fulfilling prophecy).

    Surely it's impossible to take one side exclusively, but do you think certain factors, in- or outside- of school are more important/effective on childrens' achievement and asymmetries between groups in terms of ethnicity/class/gender?

    (I hope the above makes sense.. I do tend to post a bit, but I just want somewhere to be able to discuss these kinds of things!)
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    I think both are important, but I think external factors can cause alot of the problems that result in schools.
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    Well, at my comprehensive school we had people from the wealthy middle class area of the town (some very wealthy) as well as those from the local council estates.

    It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say there was almost no one from the wealthy areas in the bottom set and almost no one from the council estates in the top. Given that everyone got the same level of education, this surely suggests that these externalist influences you speak of play a very significant role.

    And then if you look at grammar schools, the standard of education isn't always that much better than at local comps, but they get much better results because they only accept the bright kids.

    This isn't to say the quality of the school doesn't play a part of course, quite obviously it does, but it's always seemed to me that outside factors determine a child's achievement more.
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    I would agree with the others, while internal issues obviously have an effect, most problems in schools are driven by the external problems. But I think, just to be sure, we should carry out an experiment and uproot Eton Collge and stick it in the Ghetto in South Central, and make them stop charging fees and let in the locals.
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    (Original post by nikdc5)
    I would agree with the others, while internal issues obviously have an effect, most problems in schools are driven by the external problems. But I think, just to be sure, we should carry out an experiment and uproot Eton Collge and stick it in the Ghetto in South Central, and make them stop charging fees and let in the locals.
    Haha yes! Great plan.
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    (Original post by nikdc5)
    I would agree with the others, while internal issues obviously have an effect, most problems in schools are driven by the external problems. But I think, just to be sure, we should carry out an experiment and uproot Eton Collge and stick it in the Ghetto in South Central, and make them stop charging fees and let in the locals.
    Erm no.
    Sorry just no.
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    (Original post by nikdc5)
    I would agree with the others, while internal issues obviously have an effect, most problems in schools are driven by the external problems. But I think, just to be sure, we should carry out an experiment and uproot Eton Collge and stick it in the Ghetto in South Central, and make them stop charging fees and let in the locals.

    And I agree with this. (Without openly condoning that innovative experiment :p: )
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    Title = LIE.
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    (Original post by Rinsed)
    And then if you look at grammar schools, the standard of education isn't always that much better than at local comps, but they get much better results because they only accept the bright kids.
    You can't use that to support the point you made. The internal factors within a grammar school are significantly different to those within a comp. (example: very little differentiation, no SEN) However, externally the grammar schools potentially have wider diversity with regards to the home situations of it's pupils. Pupils come from all classes, all races and religions etc, whereas this generally isn't the case in comps.
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    (Original post by nikdc5)
    I would agree with the others, while internal issues obviously have an effect, most problems in schools are driven by the external problems. But I think, just to be sure, we should carry out an experiment and uproot Eton Collge and stick it in the Ghetto in South Central, and make them stop charging fees and let in the locals.

    Schools that charge fees usually get better results because the parents care about the money they have invested. So should education for all come at a price? Or should we not have the option?

    Hmmm I wonder if the rich kids parents would care so much about their education if they weren't paying for it? I doubt it you know.
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    (Original post by KayleeLand)
    Hmmm I wonder if the rich kids parents would care so much about their education if they weren't paying for it? I doubt it you know.
    I'm not sure, because obviously they care enough to seek out good schools, and monitor their progress to make sure they do well. Cultural capital can have quite an impact. I suppose in a lot of cases these parents also went to good schools/university, so want the same for their children (which I don't necessarily agree with, if it's being imposed on them, but anyway..)
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    (Original post by MO-M-G)
    Title = LIE.
    Well, are you considering teaching/interested in education? If not, then I can see where you're coming from.
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    Well, having gone to a private school (outside of UK) it seems our school really tries to create a 'utopian' version of the real world which I find really funny. Except I guess it's way too stereotypical in that the problems you think would get you away from inequality out there would actually really hunt you down in school.
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    (Original post by lɪŋgwɪst)
    I'm not sure, because obviously they care enough to seek out good schools, and monitor their progress to make sure they do well. Cultural capital can have quite an impact. I suppose in a lot of cases these parents also went to good schools/university, so want the same for their children (which I don't necessarily agree with, if it's being imposed on them, but anyway..)

    Sorry, I've just reread my comment and it doesn't say what I want it to! Drats!

    I was refering to how much rich parents nag on to their kids to do well, pressurise them and the teachers actually. Would they do that if they weren't paying?
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    Internal versus external.

    Hmmm, well let's see.

    Luke's alarm goes off. He heads downstairs carefully avoiding the used needles lying on the hall carpet. He peers in the cupboard for something to eat but all he can find are some Pot Noodles and a multipack of crisps. The electricity card has run out so no hot water for a wash and he can't boil the kettle for the Pot Noodle. Mum didn't come home this morning and Luke is worried. He gets his little sister up for school and tries not to lose his temper with her when she grizzles and complains she doesn't want crisps for breakfast again.

    As he walks his sister to school, Luke passes the bus stop where he is subjected to the usual barrage of threats and abuse from the older boys on the estate. Trying his best not to look intimidated, he delivers his sister to her primary school and almost makes it back to his own school in time for the second registration bell.

    Form teacher: "Luke, you are late again. And why are you wearing trainers?

    Luke: "F**k off you stupid c**t".
 
 
 
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