Social Mobility Myth - hgunn.uk
 

        There is ever increasing evidence that, as with all our other human traits, that children's educational potential is strongly influenced by genes and that the raw learning potential of all children will never be equal, but children's early years development will have a profound impact on developing their innate learning potential. The boundaries between the two will always be blurred.

    There has never been a running speed defined in National Curriculum, because no one would expect children to run at the same speed.  It has been said of children's height that genes sets the parameters of their development of it, but nutrition dictates the actual height children grow to. This is why children are becoming taller in modern society.

          Children can be trained as athletes in sport to run at their personal maximum efficiency. which may exceeded a child who has higher running potential, but they will not be able to develop it beyond a given point of development. Time is an important factor in develop fluency. The B.B.C. "School Swap, South Korean Style" featured children devoting excessive hours to their mathematical learning, but differences in their level of attainment still remained.

 The issue of socially deprived children is much more complicated than it appears on the surface. This reflects the fact that there are whole range of factors, what may be described as vicious circles, that will influence it. Research with identical twins indicates that hereditary is a strong factor in determining intelligence. It appears reasonable to suggest that intelligent people will be more inclined to obtain more skilled and well paid employment opportunities.

  Working memory is another factor that appears to hereditary determined, which will have profound influence on children's learning attainment. The fact that there is a seven year spread in children's working memory at the age of seven illustrates that children's learning potential will never be equal. 

 The distribution of  working memory conforms to standard distribution curve.  The fact that  there  is range of children with working memory capacities above average means all socially advantaged children do not develop high working memory capacity.  This suggests amongst claimed under performing children will be some who possess low working memory, generally retarded learning potential.

  Children with lower intelligence and working memory capacity will be more inclined to obtain well paid future employment. The spread of working memory increases as children grow older. This means that parents with similar working memory problems to their children will be less inclined to get well paid employment.

      The Sutton Trust found in its research into reading retardation of  socially deprived children in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and United States.  The United Kingdom was found to be eight months and United States, a year behind the other two countries. It was found that there was a correlation, a relationship between  low income and low educational attainment of the parents in all the countries .

      The low education of parents may reflect the fact the parents have had poor education or low learning potential, but it means that they will be less equipped to support their children's development. There are a myriad of other factors that can contribute to the problem. There is evidence social deprived children's brains are under developed.

            The problem with the social mobility myth is that it has been hijacked by politicians to mean that all social deprived children are capable of attaining the same level as socially advantaged children. It relates a delusional dream, which can lead to unrealistic expectations, unattainable expectations, arising. 


How Should Social Mobility be Offered Children

            Learning is a process of cognitive growth, the growing of synapses in the brain.   If learning is viewed as a growing tree, then it is evident that it is vital that the formative roots of future learning success are grown in children's early learning, which will ope nthe door of opportunity to them,  but as they grow older there is need to ensure that their education will be suited to their individual learning needs. It has been said in Harvard University School of Education that many deprived children do not view their education as being suited to their needs.

  There are risks if social deprived children education becomes one of increasingly failing to achieve.  Dylan Wiliam, educationalist, visited  a school in Hertfordshire, where he advised the class teacher to write children's names on lolipop like sticks, so she could randomly chose which child to answer questions.
It was found that the star of class, the girl who tended to answer most questions correctly, had secretly taken her stick from the tin containing. When challenged she claimed it was because she did not know all the answers!

  Drew Povey, who was head of Harrop Fold school, which was featured on the Channel 4 "Educating Drew", which was described as the worst school in England, was shown stating that "There was not such thing as average" in his school corridor, but in private in his book he claimed that English education was failing social disadvantage children. He raised the issue what was the point of children obtaining a "D" in G.C.S.E. French, when he, they could obtain a good pass in sports science.


Plenary

   There are no simple answer to problem social mobility, but all children should be given the opportunity to reach their full learning potential and those socially deprived children with high learning potential should be entitled to reach theirs and enjoy all the opportunities that should arise from it.