Class differences in achievement- pupil subcultures

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  • Class differences in achievement- pupil subcultures
    • Deterministic- assumes pupils labeled have no choice but to fail. Mary Fuller found this is not always true
    • Marxists- ignores the wider structure of power in which labeling occurs. Doesn't explain why teachers label- they work in a system that reproduces class division
    • David Hargreaves- secondary modern school- pupils sought each other out and formed a group within which high status went to those who flouted rules. A delinquent subculture which helped ensure failure was formed
    • Peter Woods- other responses to labeling and streaming:
      • Ingratiation (teacher's pet)
      • Rebellion (outright rejecting school rules)
      • Retreatism- daydreaming and mucking about
      • Ritualism (going through the motions and staying out of trouble)
      • John Furlang- pupils may act differently with different teachers
    • Colin Lacey:
      • Pupil subcultures develop with:
        • Polarisation- pupils respond to streaming by moving towards an opposite extreme
        • Differentiation- teachers categorise pupils according to how they perceive ability attitudes and behaviour. Streaming is one such form- higher streams have more status
      • Studied High town boys' grammar school- streaming polarised into pro and anti school subcultures
        • Anti-school- lower streams, w/c, low self-esteem. Inferior status, inverts the school's values of hard work, obedience and punctuality. Self-fulfilling prophecy of educational failure
        • Pro-school- higher streams, m/c, committed to school values. Gained status through academic success
    • Stephen Ball- studied Beechside (a comprehensive abolishing streaming in favour of teaching mixed ability groups). The basis for pupils to polarise into subcultures was largely removed and the influence of the anti-school subculture fell. BUT differentiation continued- teachers still categorised differently


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