Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere Assess 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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There are social class, gender and ethnic differences in how pupils succeed in education. There has been debate about the reason for these differences. I will assess the views that factors and processes within schools is the main reason for the differences. A self fulfilling prophecy would cause achievement differences between the two social classes, as teachers would label middle class children as smart, will do well etc and working class kids as unruly, lazy etc. then the teacher treats the pupil accordingly eg gives them more attention and work, ignores them. And the pupil internalises teachers expectation eg is a good pupil, gains confidence, works hard and achieves and the prophecy is fulfilled. Rosenthal and Jacobson studied a Californian primary school, they said they were carrying out a special test to spot pupils who would spurt ahead. They carried out an id test, ignoring the results, selected 20% of pupils who they then told staff were spurters. Returning a year later 47% of spurters had made significant progress. Teachers beliefs about pupils were influenced by the test results, the teacher conveyed these beliefs to the pupils through interactions like body language, attention and encouragement. By accepting the prediction that some pupils would spurt ahead teachers bought this about, the fact that the spurters were selected at random and not based on the iq test shows that if a teacher believes a pupil is a certain type, they can make them that way. Rosenthal and Jacobsons findings show an important interactionist principle that what people believe to be true, will have real effects- even if not true origionally. We know that if a teacher has low expectations of a child and communicates these in interactions, this could lead to a negative self concept. Studies show that a self fulfilling prophecy is likely to occur when children are streamed.as

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