Inside-school explanations: Teacher Attitudes

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Inside-school explanations
Teacher Attitudes
Ball (1981)
Studied Beachside Comprehensive and found that pupils were put into 3 `bands' on the basis
of information about their ability given by primary schools: band 1 mostly contained pupils
from non-manual backgrounds, band 2 were socially mixed, and band 3 were mostly from
manual backgrounds.
Ball found that students ere effected by teacher attitudes: those in band 1 `warmed to
education' and did well, whereas those in band 2 and 3 typically underachieved.
Some sociologists argue that what is taught in school disadvantages working class pupils.
The knowledge taught in school is different to the cultural experiences of working class
pupils. For example, history deals with the ruling classes- such as kings, queen and
politicians- rather than with the vast majority of ordinary people.
Cultural bias of the hidden curriculum favours middle class pupils- for example; the impact of
the hidden curriculum in relation to school attendance is often disapproving and further
contributes to working class truancy and underachievement.
Marxist, Ramsay (1983) agues that knowledge is used as a form of social control and that
there is a hidden curriculum behind the subjects of maths and English to keep the working
class in their place. Ramsay argues that truancy is a protest against this pressure.


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