School Subcultures

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  • Created by: J.E.C.
  • Created on: 27-04-14 18:37

Selection & Segregation

Using setting and streaming to separate pupils according to ability.

Mixed ability - teaching differentiated so that weaker pupils are engaged and others stretched and challenged. Broader social mix - less conflict in society.

Streaming - grouped by ability for most / all lessons

Setting - placed in ability groups for some subjects

Within-class grouping - teacher makes ability groups within the class

Hallam et al - setting proved more negative than positive - mixed ability groups preferred

Pupils very much aware of their ability group - impacts on motivation / self-esteem

Hallam et al - primary school pupils wished to be in top group - superiority / status. Social attitudes healthier in un-streamed classes.

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Subculture = group within a larger group, that shares apects of that culture, but also has some of its own norms and values.

Purpose of a subculture > Members gain status > Support > Sense of belonging

Mac and Ghaill - membership of a subculture has a direct impact on attainment.

> 'Macho lads' were hostile to school authority and learning.

> Academic achievers - adopt a more traditional upwardly mobile route via academic success.

> New Enterprisers - new, successful pro school subculture who embraced new vocationalism and reject traditional curriculum as a waste of time. Exploit school for industry links to their advantage.

> 'Real Englishmen' - small group who saw what teachers had to offer as inferior to their own culture / knowledge. Aspire to uni/ careers. Achieve academic success - seemed effortless.

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Impact of school subcultures

Howard Becker - 'Ideal pupil' and labelling - hard work, good conduct and appearance. Pupils behaviours were influenced by the way teachers interacted with them. The pupil comes to see themself as predicted by the teacher. Label leads to self-fulfilling prophecy.

Keddie - teachers expectations in different streams also determine interaction / teaching methods and materials. Pupils in lower streams received less attention and knowledge and were seen as trouble-makers, failures and uninterested. Ideal pupil = accept authority + willing to work hard > more successful.

Hargreaves - those labelled as trouble-makers were placed in lower sets. Seek out those in the same situation and award high status to those who break school rules. Non-conformist delinquents.

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