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Title: The influence of sociocultural environment upon the educational progress of children at the secondary school level
Author: Campbell, William J.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1951
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The research plan of this thesis was primarily designed to test the widely-accepted hypothesis that the home backgrounds of children affect their educational progress at the secondary schools and can be held responsible for many of the misplacements that occur in these schools. "The influence of the home" [so writes the Essex Education Committee] is the phrase which throughout our discussions we have most often heard and ourselves quoted. Children who are not essentially unsuitable [for grammar schools] can be made unsuitable by bad home conditions. Even when the conditions cannot be called bad, the lack of any cultural background or of any understanding of the meaning of an educated outlook insidiously cramps the mind of the pupil and retards his progress. 1 .Generally speaking, it has been the influence of an unfavourable environment that has received most attention, but Sir Cyril Burt suggests that the effects of a good environment should also be considered: When one studies the failures among those who were selected [for grammar and central schools] and the oversights among those who were not selected, not a few mistakes, it is seen, might have been avoided had the child's social environment been taken into account. 2. Both in this country and on the other side of the Atlantic, it has become fashionable nowadays for psychologists, sociologists and educationists to make pronouncements upon the importance of the social and cultural background in determining school progress- However, objective demonstration of this importance is lacking, and it was for this reason that the inquiry was taken up. Groups of the "failures" and "oversights" to whom Burt refers will be studied in detail and compared with control groups in an attempt to test: (1) the hypothesis that certain aspects of the home background affect the educational progress of children at the secondary school level; and (2) the further hypothesis that the introduction of a home background assessment into the allocation procedures would reduce the number of children placed in educational courses for which they later appear to be unsuited. If both of these hypotheses are substantiated, the question of whether or not home backgrounds should be considered when allocating children to secondary schools then arises. However, this is a separate problem that concerns the politician and the social philosopher as well as the educational-psychologist, and, as this thesis is intended to report only a scientific inquiry concerned with one of the administrative problems that arise when children are being selected for secondary schools, it has been thought desirable to express no opinion on such broader educational issues.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Educational Sociology