Class differences in achievement (internal factors)

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  • Class differences in achievement (internal factors)
    • Labelling
      • labelling in secondary schools
        • teachers judged pupils according to how closely they fitted an image of the "ideal pupil"
          • this includes appearance, conduct and quality of work
          • mostly middle-class pupils were ideal as they worked hard and behaved, mostly working class misbehaved
      • labelling in primary schools
        • teachers were influenced by the known background of the students and seated each group on different tables
        • teachers gave working class students less opportunities to express themselves
    • Self-fulfilling prophecy
      • a prediction that comes true because the person expects it; they think they'll fail and will because they will not try
      • Labelled by a teacher, the pupil will meet the expectations, be it bad or good
      • middle class pupils placed in higher sets benefit because they develop a more positive self-concept, gain confidence and work harder
    • Pupil sub-cultures
      • Lacey 2 concepts that explain how sub-cultures develop
        • Differentiation
          • teachers categorise pupils according on their intelligence, attitude or behaviour. Higher set means the pupils think of themselves as superior and those below inferior
        • Polarisation
          • the process in which pupils respond to streaming by moving towards one of the two polar-opposites
      • pro-school
        • largely the middle class as the school placed them higher sets, aiding self-confidence
          • look for the approval of both peers and school
      • anti-school
        • largely working class as the school has undermined their self-worth and they suffer a loss of self-etseem
          • rather than gaining approval of teachers, they seek the approval of their peers by misbehaving
        • Ball found that abolishing sets and streaming, sub-cultures were mostly destroyed but Differentiation was still maintained
          • Differentiation continued because teachers instinctively label on attitudes and behaviour within the class room
      • Marxists believe that the blame of labelling doesn't lie with the teachers but with the schooling system that reproduces class division causing teachers to label
    • Marketisation and selection policies
      • Gillborn and Youdell found that the publishing of league tables creates the A-to-C economy
        • school system invests all their time, resources and concentrates all this on the pupils predicted to do well
          • the school helps those who will pass, the ones of the border of D/C but not the ones who will ultimately fail
            • helps create the self-fulfilling prophecy
      • an image to attract middle class parents
        • some schools have focused on marketing their school to seem traditional, an attractive image to receive middle class pupils


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