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Examine the role of processes in schools in producing educational achievement
among pupils from different social groups? (20 marks)
One particular group concentrates solely on the processes within schools, this group is
referred as interactionalist. Interactionalists are concerned with processes which occur inside
schools.A lot of interactionalist thinking is based around concerns on how teachers
The Labelling Theory is where the teacher examines the behaviour and identity of individual
students and makes a judgement about them based on this. Basically it is like a teacher
attaching mental labels to students. Hargraves, Hunter and Mellor done a lot of work on this
topic and found there are three stages to a every label. Firstly, speculation teachers make a
guess about their students based on appearance, enthusiasm and relationships with others.
Secondly, elaboration, this is where teachers test their hypothesis and they will tend to
confirm if their hypothesis is right or wrong. Thirdly, Stabilisation, the teacher solidifies their
hypothesis and then attaches label to the child. At the end the teacher will feel that they
know the student and be will be equipped to label them. Teachers would argue labelling
helpful as it helps form a sense of what their pupils and classes are like. Once a label is
attached it becomes very difficult to lose and can have real consequences and problems for
a student's education. Firstly the student might not be allowed to go on school trips, also
the tier of assignment they are set and their reputation in the staff room with other
teachers. The most damaging problem with the labelling theory is students will start to
believe the label and make it part of their identity. This is known as self-fulfilling prophecy.
This is where labels attached to students become true. Negative Labelling is one of the main
reason why anti-school subcultures exist. It is also important to remember positive labelling
can help drive a student towards to success and labelling is also one of the main reasons
why pro-school subcultures exist.
Anti-School subcultures are pupils who reject some or all of the values and norms set down
in the school rules and the school ethos. Many sociologists agree that most sub-cultures
are formed as a response by pupils to being labelled by teachers. Hargraves argues that
anti-school subcultures are formed as a result of negative labelling, these pupils accepted
their label and tried to change its negativity into something positive for themselves. these
students would attempt to achieve higher status within the group and the school by
deliberately trying to break school rules by cheating, smoking, truancy, disrupting lessons
etc. Hargraves also pointed to the fact that pupils who were labelled seek out the company
of other pupils with similar labels as a means of fighting back. Hargraves also pointed to the
fact that pupils who actually followed and respected school rules sought out each other's
company and formed their own pro sub groups within the school. Paul Willis took this a step
further by saying that young men in particular would react to negative labelling by forming
and identifying with what he called a counter school subcultural grouping. There is another
side to Willis's argument he believe these young delinquents were prepared for future jobs
in unskilled and semi-skilled work and he also argued that they were accepting this fate.
Peter Woods argues that the division between pro and anti school subcultures is simplistic.
Woods identifies 8 different categories in which subcultures are formed. This ranges from
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In between there are a number of categories such as opportunism
which means you conform to school values and norms but don't argree with them an
example would be only going to school to receive EMA.
There is also many arguments that state that the curriculum affects educational
underachievement within certain social groups. Arguments have been made that the official
curriculum creates a cultural bias as it seems to be aimed at white middle class students.…read more
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Outline The cultural differences between the classes that may explain the differences in
There are many reasons why there are differences in the classes when it comes to
educational underachievement firstly material deprivation. Material Deprivation is the
technical name for poverty and its effects on educational achievement. Adults mightn't be
able to provide their children with educational toys such as computers and books.…read more
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Also middle class children would more likely to go to museums and
other cultural experiences whereas middle class children are more likely to sit in the house
and watch the t.v
Suggest 3 reasons in which Marxists see school as being similar to the world of work?
Bowles and gintis found out that the school and the work place on strict obedience and
power, each share the same values such as punctuality and appropriate dress.…read more
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Explain what is meant by material deprivation?
Material Deprivation is the technical name for poverty and its effects on educational