Interactionism

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  • Interactionism
    • Micro theory focusing on what happens in schools and classrooms
    • Labeling
      • Process of attaching a definition to an individual group
      • E.g. a teacher may label a student a 'troublemaker'
      • Becker (1971): interviewed 60 Chicago high school teachers.
        • Found they judged pupils on how closely they were to the 'ideal pupil'
      • Can be by appearance: race, gender, age
        • E.g. sixth form students = better behaved
      • Dunne + Gazelely (2008)
        • Interviewed 9 English secondary schools
          • Teachers 'normalized' working class underachievement
            • Led to class differences in how teachers dealt with pupils under-achieving
              • Middle class- setting extension work. Working class- entering for easier exam
      • Rist (1970): found that the 'clowns' were seated further away. 'Tigers' = middle class neat pupils
    • Self- fulfilling prophecy
      • Pupil internalizes the label + conforms to the teacher's prediction
      • Roosenthal + Jacobson (1968)
        • Oak community school told they were given a test to highlight the pupils to 'spurt' ahead
          • 20% picked randomly + then told the school falsely that the test shown these were the ones to ''spurt' ahead
            • Researches returned year later and found 47% of those identified made significant progress
    • Streaming
      • Douglas
        • Children placed in higher streams at 8yrs old had improved their IQ score by age 11
        • Children placed in lower streams at 8yrs old had suffered a decline in their IQ score by age 11
      • Youdell (2004): educational triage
        • Those who will pass anyway
        • Borderline C/D pupils- targeted for extra help
        • Hopeless cases
    • Pupil subcultures
      • A group of pupils who share similar values + behaviour patterns
      • Ball: Beachside comprehensive (1981)
        • Abolished banding
        • Pupils in lower streams developed anti-school subculture
      • Hargreaves (1967)
        • 'Social relations in a secondary school'
          • Students in lower sets = trouble markers
      • Colin Lacey (1970): 'Hightown grammar'
        • Lower streams in grammar schools --> anti-group culture in response to failure
      • Peter Woods: study of 'Lowfield'
        • More complex approach to schools: pupils deal with school life in a variety of was
          • Ingratiation: teacher's pet
          • Ritualism: staying out of trouble
          • Retreatism: daydreaming + mucking about

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