Hidden Curriculum and Processes Within Schools Produce Inequalities Between Children of Different Social Classes
Through many different researches, it has been shown that working
class students are underachieving compared to that of their middle
class peers. Middle class pupils are obtaining better grades, and more
of them are staying on in education past the compulsory age. The
difference that is noticeable is that they are from different social
class backgrounds, and therefore they are socialised differently. In
order to find out more about this, we need to discuss the reasons for
differences between the ways in which the different social classes are
taught in schools.
The hidden curriculum could be defined as the values that are taught
through the attitudes and ideas of the teachers and other students.
Often, teachers have a subconscious concept about children from
different social backgrounds. This can affect the ways in which the
pupils are taught, and their thoughts and motivations about schooling.
Douglas carried out research in 1962, and he came to a conclusion that
parental interest was one main factor in the educational attainment of
children. He said that if parents were interested in their child's
schooling, the child would be encouraged to achieve higher. It was
shown; by a process of counting the number of times the parents visit
the school to discuss their child's progress, that middle class
parents had greater interest in their children's education than
working class parents. Middle class parents encouraged their children
to work hard and stay on at Post-16. They taught their children things
from a very young age, and this included reading and speaking, as well
as childhood games and table manners. However, it is suggested that
there are reasons why working class parents seem less interested in
their children's education. It could be that they are interested, but
have more important work commitments; therefore they don't have time
to visit the school. Also, the parents may be put off from visiting
the school due to the ways in which the teachers interact with them.
Teachers are more likely to have a better attitude to parents of
middle class than working class, and this may be putting the parents
off visiting the school and paying attention to their child's
Many schools have a system where classes are divided into different
ability groups. This is known as 'streaming.' Peter Woods is a
sociologist, whose research found that, in general, middle class
students were placed in higher ability groups, and working class
students were in lower groups. Most teachers admitted to having a
preference of teaching the higher...