The Strengths and Limitations of Experiments for the Study of Labelling in Schools. (20 Marks) Essay

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According to material in item A, sociologists such as Becker claim that teachers label different groups of pupils and treat them unequally. Labelling in education means attaching a meaning to a student i.e. calling them hard working or mischievious. Researchers want to know whether labelling actually happens and how much it affects people's self-esteem and achievement. There are various types of experiments that are used to research this, however comparitive experiments should not be used as we are only studying a group of people in education, not the whole population. When conducting a lab experiment the researcher must look at parental issues (e.g. time, cost, skills) and theoretical issues. Teachers have various characteristics within the school; this can impact the researcher. in lab experiments the participant has the right to withdraw. e.g. the teacher has free will and therefore can walk away from the researcher whenever they like. Also teachers want to remain anonymous as they're not allowed to label student, so if their caught labelling they dont want others to know as it will put a bad name on the school. Whn using lab experiments to study labelling in education, it is done in a school. Possitivists will say this is generelizable as it is representative of the target population. this is because they are more objective and scientific and they study everyone as a group. In conclusion, maybe a triangulation should be used to study labelling. this is because lab experiments are good at controlling variables, keeping it reliable and representative. However its weak points such as validity is a strong subject for field experiments. However the comparative method should certainly not be used as it lacks control over variables reliability and validity as its not certain whether the experiment had actually discovered the cause of

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