Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere, Assess the View That Social Class Differences in Educational Achievement Are the Result of School Processes Such as Labelling

684 Words3 Pages
Question d) Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the view that social class differences in educational achievement are the result of school processes such as labelling. (20 marks) Social class background has a powerful influence on a child's chances of success in the educational system, a child is often labelled from the first year of school based on their class background, in the society there are significant social class, gender and ethnic inequalities of educational achievement. Some explanations of class differences in achievement focus on internal factors within school and the educational system. Labelling is linked to other processes within schools that result in class differences in achievement, these processes include the self-fulfilling prophecy, streaming and the polarisation into anti and pro-school pupil subcultures as stated by Item A. The self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that comes true simply by it being made, which leads to a student’s underachievement. If teachers have low expectations of certain children and they are aware of these expectations, these children may develop a negative self-concept. They may come to see themselves as failures and give up trying, thereby fulfilling their original prophecy and leading to underachievement. Studies show that self-fulfilling prophecy is particularly less likely to occur when children are streamed. Streaming involves separating children into different ability groups or classes called 'streams'. Each ability group is taught separately from the other for all subjects. Howard Becker (1971) carried out a study and found that teachers judged pupils according to how closely they fitted an image of the 'ideal pupil, he found that teachers do not usually see working class children fit in that criteria, they were often labelled as non-academic and ‘difficult’ they tend to see them
Open Document