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Race, Gender And Social Class Within The School System

875 words - 4 pages

There are certain complexities within the schooling system which are very prevalent. These include Race, Gender and Social Class. These complexities have affected the educational possibilities of some people. According to Gaine in 1995 the term ‘race’ is often put into quotation marks as it does not mean what people think it means. The key point made by Gaine is that what are often thought of as ‘races’ – Africans, Europeans, Chinese – are only superficially different from each other. Perhaps a useful working definition is ‘a group of people who may share some physical characteristic to which social importance is attached’. Ergo, ‘race’ is not the skin colour, facial features or type of hair ...view middle of the document...

Sociologists need large amounts of data to unravel the complicated way the different capitals interact with each other, in many different people. (bbc.co.uk) In this essay I will be discussing the topics of ‘Race’, Gender and Social Class with regard to Curriculum Design, Schooling Experience and Schooling Achievements.
Where ‘race’ is concerned, the curriculum has been a critical site of struggle between competing perspectives. For many, the school curriculum is the place where one would find what it is that young people need to know, what it is they must know, in order to be appropriately raised as citizens into the society’s culture. (Gaine, 1995) For example, France, a country with rather higher levels of religious observance in terms of church-going, outlaws the public allegiance to a particular faith by pupils, let alone the school authorities , much less the state. Italy, the home of the Roman Catholic Church, does not expect its schools to give pupils a Catholic view of the world. Religious education is also now required by law to concentrate mainly on Christianity unless a special exception is made, school by school, because of the religious backgrounds of the pupils. In current years, the attention has turned from the content of the curriculum to a preoccupation with standards, the implicit assumption being that curriculum matters little in this as long as there are rigorously high expectations of everyone, regardless of ethnicity, or class, or gender. There can be no doubt that there was less radical anti-racist innovation in 1995 than there was in 1985, yet the National Curriculum does insist upon more in the way of competing definitions of history. (Runnymeade Trust, 1993)
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