Perspectives On The Nature Of Modern Education Education Essay

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Bernstein (1961) (cited in Gross 2005) believes that people from a working class background spoke two different types of speech (codes) language, which are known respectively as restricted this can be related to their cultural settings as the majority of working class people live in strong familial, or even the neighbourhood culture, in which normal values can be taken for granted and not expressed in language. Therefore restricted code speech is thus characteristic of children growing up in poorer families (cited in Giddens 2001). Whereas elaborated code speech is a style of speaking in which the meaning of the words can be individualised to suit the demands of particular situations. The way in which middle class children learn to use before attending school and therefore are able to generalize more abstract ideas as well as their speech when they start to attend school (cited in Giddens 2001).

One of Bernstein (cited Atherton 2008) studies involved showing a cartoon strip too two groups of children one group, working class the other middle class, he asked both groups to describe what the cartoon was saying in their own words, he noted that the working class children described in no detail where as the middle class children described it in more detail. Bernstein noted that restricted code was better suited for when there was shared, established and static meaning, whereas elaborated code was better suited to explain in greater detail so everyone can understand. This led Bernstein to argue that this is why middle class children did better in school because the y had access to both restricted and elaborated code.

Stone (1971) illustrated this by using an imaginary conversation between two mothers and their children which takes place on a bus. One mother was working class; her counterpart was middle class. Both of these conversations took place between the mothers and their children. In the first conversation the working class mother responds to the child questions as why he has to sit down with no explanation whereas the same conversation between the middle class mother and her child goes into greater detail and explanation as she explains in detail that the child could be injured if the bus driver had to stop quickly.

Hess & Simpson (1965) (cited in Gross 2005) found that social-class difference influence children's intellectual development as there was a lack of meaning within the working class speech code. Bee, et al. (1969) studied this and compared lower class mothers to middle class mothers in a waiting room, where they found that lower class mothers were more disapproving and controlling of their children than their counterparts. The language analysis indicated that middle class mothers used longer and more complex sentences, which supports Stones findings in the imaginary mother conversation on the bus scenario.

Rosen (2005) challenged Bernstein by asking "why do so many working class children fail in school and how can we change things so that they do not?" Bernstein whose advanced theories claim to lay bare critical relationships between class, language and educability. It would be difficult to exaggerate the extent to which his ideas have received acceptance throughout the educational system and well beyond it so much so that they are always referred to with deference at the level of professional debate and the terms " restricted" and "elaborated" codes have entered the folklore of the classroom teachers.

French (1987) criticized Bernstein's work saying it caused teachers to view children who spoke in a restricted code as being un- educational, producing self fulfilling prophecies. Ofsted, the organization responsible for inspecting schools in Britain has criticized many schools as having low expectation of their pupils. Willis (1971) investigation into cultural reproduction occurs; simply put how lower class or minority kids produce self fulfilling prophecies as they start to believe there not clever enough to expect highly paid or higher status jobs. This could be due to failure in the academic teaching and by accepting inferiority they move into menial jobs (cited in Giddens 2001).

However according to Zill, Collins, West & Hausken. (1995) who found that the home environment plays a significant part in intelligence, and how the child is raised can affect their education as parents who have come from a Socioeconomic background may have inadequate reading skills themselves (cited in Maltby 2007).

However Bernstein's theory (cited in Giddens 2001) helps us understand that from those socioeconomic backgrounds appear underachievers these traits are associated with restricted code speech which inhibits the Childs educational chances. This may lead the child to ask questions at home and will be less well informed. This means the child will find it difficult to respond to unemotional and abstract language used by the teacher as the language the teacher uses will contain elaborated code speech and with the child not accustomed to this. The child may try to translate what the teacher is saying. However in doing this the child may fail to grasp the very principles the teacher intended.

This suggests that these types of language Bernstein uses connect with such broad cultural differences which underlie variations in interests and tastes. Therefore the children who come from lower class and minority group backgrounds develop their own way of communication within these groups. This can be seen in Labov (1972) study who analysed African-American English have a well defined set of rules in which black children's speech gets misinterpreted which appears to have been tradition in earlier education research. However a great deal of research has been given to the educational system in lower class schools (ghetto schools) in order to understand the poor performance of children studying at these schools. This opinion is widely used as the basis for large scale intervention programs which children from lower class backgrounds show cultural deficit as a result of underprivileged upbringing in their earlier years.

. Thomas (1983) illustrated this by saying that" psycholinguist's have highlighted the relation of language development to aspects of personality". Simply put, children are biologically pre-disposed to develop language and that the social environment extends or triggers language acquisition initiated at birth. However Bernstein (1960), 1962) argues that the child develops their language through his or her speech community.

As shown earlier Bernstein leads the way in speech patterns within the classes, and also with the findings this paper has found. . This easy finds that not only elaborated and restricted speech codes not only have significant circumstances. But as Will (1977) investigation showed children would produce self-fulfilling prophecies to believe themselves not being clever enough to succeed in a higher status or higher paid employment, unlike their counter parts that can be groomed to achieve this. Whereas according to Bernstein children who have acquired elaborated codes of speech, are more able to deal with the demands of formal academic education than those confined to restricted codes. However this does not mean that lower class children have an" inferior" type of speech or that their codes of language are "deprived" Rather the way in which they use speech clashes with academic cultures of the school. Theses who have mastered elaborated codes fit in much more easily in the school environment (cited in Giddens 2001).

However according to tough (1976) his research shows he supports Bernstein theory that elaborated speech and restricted speech codes do have significance consequences. There is enough evidence to back up Bernstein's theory even though its validity has been questioned. Tough (1976) agrees with Bernstein's theory that working class children don't have their action explained to them in more detail or offered explanation to questions they ask, This was agreed with the research of Barbara Tizard and Hughes (1984). As this essay has shown Bernstein's ideas help us recognize that those from socioeconomic backgrounds have a tendency to be underachievers in school these traits have been connected to hold back the Childs educational probability.