In-School Factors


Some teachers label students as bright or thick/trouble maker or hardworking. Teachers attach labels regardless of of ability or attitude but due to social class.

Labelling in secondary schools

Howard Becker (1971)

60 interviews with Chicago High School teachers.

Pupils work and appearance were key factors for infulencing teachers judgements.

Middle Class= Close to ideal students.......Lower Class= Furthest away from ideal

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Self-Fulfilling prophecy

Step 1- Teacher labels the student and makes predictions on them.

Step 2- The teacher treats the pupil accordingly, acting on their predictions.

Step 3- The pupil starts to become what his/her label is becoming part of their self-concept.

Robert Rosenthal and Leonora Jacobson (1968) Oak Community School in California. Students were labelled based upon 'test results'. The teacher chages they way they reacted wit those 'smarter' pupils which led to them showing progress.

Negative view= no sucesssion.

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Schools are run like businesses that have to attract customers which leads to the formation of an education market

Schools with success in exams with thrive whilst schools that don't will go out of business.

Private schools= market- charges fees and cometes to get customers.

Creation of of the education market= Education Reform act 1988.

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Children are either put in all the same groups (top, middle, lower set) being all high or all low.

They are 'locked' in their stream and cannot get out. 

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Children are put in sets according to their ability within each individual subject.

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