CLASS DIFFERENCES IN ACHIEVEMENT INTERNAL FACTORS.
NUMBER ONE LABELLING.
this refers to attaching a meaning or definition to a person. Often in schools pupils are labelled based on stereotypical assumptions regardless of the pupils actual ability or attitude. Thus middle class pupils tend to be labelled much more positively than working class pupils.
Becker- did a study based on interviews with 60 high school teachers. He found that the teachers judged pupils according to how closely they fitted an image of the ideal pupil. Key factors influencing teachers judgements were how good the pupils work was, their conduct around school and their appearance. The teachers saw children from middle class backgrounds as the closes to the ideal and working class children as further away from it because they regarded them as badly behaved.
Keddie- did a study and found that both pupils and knowledge can be labeled as a high or low status. The comprehensive school classes she observed were streamed by ability, but all streams followed the same humanities course and covered the same course content. Although teachers believed that they were teaching all pupils the same, in practice they used more abstract, theoretical and high status knowledge with A grade students and more low status knowledge with lower grade students.
However, the labelling theory has been accused of being deterministic. It assumes that pupils who are labelled have no choice but to fulfil the prophecy and will inevitably fail. Marxists also criticise the labelling theory for ignoring the wider structures of power within which labelling takes place. The labelling theory assumes that labels are fixed therefore once labelled in a way there is little a pupil can do to change this.
NUMBER TWO THE SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY.
A self fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that comes true simply of virtue of it having been made.
Step one- the teacher labels a pupil i.e. being clever and on the basis of this label, makes a prediction about them for example, they will make outstanding academic progress.
Step two- the teacher treats the pupil accordingly, acting as if the prediction was true (for example giving more attention and expecting a higher standard of work)