Constructing Educational Inequality: An Assessment of Research on School Processes
This book examines much of the large body of research on educational inequality in Britain since the Second World War, focusing on studies concerned with inequalities in the internal organization and functioning of the schools. A social constructionist approach to the study of social problems as a way of providing a reflexive perspective on the sociology of education highlights the fact that much work in the area has been associated with political pressure to eradicate educational inequalities. The analysis begins by considering the qualities a study must have in order for its findings to be considered valid. A look at the research available suggests that there is considerable overinterpretation of data in the areas of disadvantage resulting from inequalities due to social conditions, ethnicity, and gender. Neither is research on the effects of classroom inequalities nor on inequalities in outcomes of education always supported by adequate evidence. Research on educational inequality in Britain has been subject to bias in favor of uncovering inequalities of particular kinds, to serve particular social purposes. To provide effective research on the real issues and problems of education, the methodological ground rules of inquiry must be applied. (Contains 12 figures, 8 tables, and 432 references.) (SLD)
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academic Afro-Caribbean students allocation argued argument Asian students assessment assumptions attitudes Ball band basis behaviour boys categories of student causal Chapter claims classroom comprehensive school concerned conclusions constructionist cultural curriculum descriptive discrimination discussion distribution education system educational achievement educational inequality educational outcomes effect equality equality of outcome error ethnic-minority students evaluative evidence examination example factual focus foundationalism GCSE gender gerrymandering Gillbom Gillborn girls Halsey Hammersley Hargreaves implied important interaction interpretations involved Jayleigh judgments knowledge labelling theory Marxist mathematics methodological middle-class observation opportunity option choice outcome inequalities particular plausible political possibilitarian post-structuralism presented pupils qualifications qualitative research racism relation relevant rely reproduction theory research on educational result Riddell role school processes selection self-esteem sets sexism significant social categories social class social constructionism social constructionist social problem society sociologists sociology of education streams studies subjects teacher attention tion treated Troyna validity working-class children Wright