A. Labelling and self-fulfilling prophecy
- Becker- teachers tend to classify and evaluate students in terms of a standard 'ideal pupil'- students from non-manual jobs are closest to this ideal, those from lower WC origins as furthest from this ideal- concludes that the meaning in terms of which students are assessed and evaluated can have significant effects on interation in the classroom and attainment levels in general.
- In terms of ethnicity- research indicates, teachers have lower expectations of black boys- labelled as trouble makers and seen as disruptive- Gillborn argues that this negative label, leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy in which black students become disruptive and underachieve
- Gender- negative label of boys, has undermined their confidence, both boys and girls where motication is low, attainment is low
- labelling theory deterministic, suggests inevitability of failure for those with negativ labels- Fuller- black girls in her study resisted the attempt to be labelled as failures by devoting themselves to school work in order to be succesful
- Marxists- ignores wider structure of power within which labelling takes place- argue that labels not merely result of teachers indiviidual prejudices, but stem from the fact that teachers work in a system that reproduces class divisions
B. Organisation of schools- banding and streaming
- Ball, Hargreaves and Lacey- found tendancy for MC students to be placed in higher groups and WC students to be placed in lower groups
- Teachers have lower expectations of WC students and deny them access to higher level knowledge and tend to enter them for lower level exams
- Gillborn and Youdell- racism continues to play part in disadvantaging ethnic minoirties in education system- expectations held of black students low and through system of 'educational triage' they were systematically denied access to the sets, grous and exams that would give them the best chance of success
- Stephen Ball- refers to setting as social barbarism- allows well off parents to seperate their children from 'others' whom they consider socially and intellectully inferior, points to overwhelming research evidence that shows that grouping by ability leads to greater inequalities between children
- Marxists- labelling theory is vague in its explanations of the criteria that underpin teacher judgements- Althusser aruge that labelling is part of an 'ideological' process aimed at ensuring the socal reproductiin of class inequality
- Peter Woods- schools are more complex than labelling theory acknowledges. Many students adopt 'work avoidance stratergies' without attracting negative teacher judgements
C- Pupil Sub cultures
C--Class sub cultures
1- Paul Willis- 'learning to labour'
2- Martin, Mac an Ghail- 'the making of men'
D--Gender and sub cultures
E--Ehtnicity and sub cultures
Paul Willis- 'Learning to labour'
- Studied 12 WC boys in last 18 months at school and some time at work
- 'lads' formed a friendship grouping which was part of a 'anti-school culture' opposed to the values espoused by the school
- Is the rejection og schools which prepares the 'lads' for their role in the workforce- WC not forced in manual labour, still able to recognise their own options are limited- know school work will prepare them for the types of occupations they are likely to get
- Lads realise they are being exploited but see little opportunity for changing the situation and ironically, their own choices mean that they become trapped in some of the most exploitative jobs that capitalism has to offer
Evaluation of Willis' study
- Sample too small to form the basis for generalising about WC experiences in education- choose 12 males, his study can't even be seen as representative of schools he studied, let alone all school, pupils
Mairtin Mac an Ghail- 'The Making of Men'
- illistrates the complexity of subcultural responses by examining the relationship between schooling, class, masculinit and sexuality- identifies range of subcultures:
1) 'Macho Lads'- hostile to school authority and learning, not unlike lads in Willis' study
2) Academic achievers- mostly skilled manual WC backgrounds, adopted more traditionall upwards mobile route via acedemic success, would counter acusations of eddeminacy either by confusing those who bullied them, by deliberately behaiving in an eddeminate way or simply having the confidence to cope with the jobes
3) The 'new enerprisers'- pro-school subculture, embraced 'new vocationalism' of 1980s and 1990s, rejected the traditonal academic curriculum, saw as waste of time
Mairtin Mac an Ghail- Evaluation
- Are small-scale ethnographic accounts, therefore they amy provide a detailed picture of those being studied but they are not necesaarily representative of all school studetnts an it is difficult to generalise the finindgs to the rest of the populations. However, it could be argued that the combination of a number of studies produes a number of studies produces a more representative picture
Gender and sub-cultures
- Scott Davies- girls resistance to schooling is less aggressive and confrontational than male anti-school behaviour, where 'lads' display a 'exaggerated masculinity' the girls in Davies's study adopted an 'exaggerated femininity'
- Expressed their oposition to school by focusing on traditional feminine roles, they were overly concerned with 'romance' and prioritised domestic roles such as marriage, child-bearing and household duties over education
- John Abraham's study- english comprehensive school, girls pushed school rules to limite and responded to disipline by suggesting that it prevented them from getting on with their work- teachers objections to their behaviour were rejected as a waste of their time
Ethnicity and sub-cultures
- Tony Sewell- study of African-Caribbean studetns suggests a range of identities are found amongst students:
1) Conformists- accept value of education, see good behviour as key to academic success
2) Innovators- accept value of education, want academic succes but rejected the school system
3) Retreatists- made themselves as invisible as possible
4) Rebels- rejcted school and projected an image of aggressive masculinity
- Study was important beause it showed a range of sub cultures not just an anti schol ome, also suggests that pupil sub-cultures are influenced by what goes on outside of school as well as inside it- e.g. rebels drew heavily on Black Street culture by having patterned hair, despite it being banned in school
- Mirza and Gilborn- in general African-Caribbean girls are ambitious, determined to succeed and have high status aspirations, HOWEVER, girls tend not to identify with their teachers or school- partly due to open racism of minoirty of teachers and rhe clumsy, well meaning but often unhelpful 'help' pffered by many teachers in response to girls ethnicity