Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere, Asses the View That Factors and Processes Within the School Are the Main Cause of Differences in the Educational Achievement of Different Social Groups.

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Using material from Item A and elsewhere, asses the view that factors and processes within the school are the main cause of differences in the educational achievement of different social groups. Class differences can play a significant role in educational achievement be it under or over-achievement. Underachievement is associated with working-class children, as when they are young they are identified as W/C and then labelled. This view was put forward by Becker (1971) who identified in his study that teachers did not view W/C children as ideal pupils. Their work, appearance and conduct were all factors the teachers based their label around. These teachers saw M/C children as being the closest to the ideal pupil and therefore treated them in a more supportive manner. As explained in Item A, this positive or negative labelling can have important effects on the child’s performance. A factor that was closely related to this would be streaming, when children of different abilities were separated into different groups or classes. These ‘streams’ would then depict how the child would learn; higher streams would be higher status knowledge and lower streams lower status knowledge (Keddie 1971). The way the children reacted to this streaming then affected the way they performed. M/C benefitted, becoming the pupil the teachers idolised, and W/C became ‘locked in’ to their stream and ‘got the message’ that they were written-off and weren’t to achieve good grades. Streaming is an element of the Self Fulfilling Prophecy, put forward by Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968), where by labelling these pupils and treating the pupil according to the label then the pupil would internalise this idea and become it. The Self Fulfilling Prophecy is relative to over-achievement and under-achievement, just as one pupil can become the ideal pupil and succeed, another can slip into the prediction
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