Ofsted wants schools to build childrens' cultural capital, leading to criticisms of "white middle class paternalism", writes Warwick Mansell. What does the term actually mean and can it be taught?
'A two-word term, invented in the 1970s by a French sociologist heavily influenced by Karl Marx, makes an unlikely entrance in Ofsted’s new framework [pdf] for the inspection of schools in England this week.
Each institution is now to be judged on the extent to which it builds pupils’ “cultural capital”. What exactly does that mean?
Users of the term, including the schools minister Nick Gibb and the former education secretary Michael Gove, suggest it is about ensuring that disadvantaged children are exposed to cultural experiences and background knowledge that those from better-off homes take for granted.
But its introduction by Ofsted as part of its inspection checklist has triggered a fierce debate, with some suggesting the inspectorate is cementing cultural conservatism and writing off the experience of working-class pupils. Others have criticised its use by Ofsted as ill-defined, or a misunderstanding of what the term even means.' ... Keep reading on The Guardian