Assess the View That Factors Within a School Are the Main Cause for Social Class Differences in Educational Achievement (20 Marks)

1622 WordsNov 12, 20147 Pages
Over the board, middle class students generally do better than working class students in educational achievement. Some sociologists argue that this is due to three key factors. Labelling, subcultures and marketisation. This focuses on things that occur internally. One of these key factors is labelling. To label someone is to attach a meaning or definition to someone. An example of this would be that teachers often apply labels to students on the basis of their behaviour or appearance. Becker found some evidence behind this after he did some research on high school teachers. He found they would label students according to how closely they fitted the image of the, “ideal pupil.” Pupils work conduct and appearance were the key factors in…show more content…
Polarisation is the pupil’s response to the streaming. Lacey found that pupils would respond in one of two ways to streaming. This formed two different subcultures which are opposites in terms of their values and attitudes to school and education in general. One of these subcultures is the pro-school subculture. Pupils placed in high streams tend to remain committed to the values of the school. They gain their status in the approved manner, through academic success. Their values are those of the schools. Developing on from this, Woods follows on from Lacey’s theory and suggests there are more than just two responses to labelling and streaming, as in fact there are four. Ingratiation (being teacher’s pet), ritualism (going through motions, staying out of trouble), retreatism (day dreaming and mucking about) and rebellion (outright rebel, nothing the school stands for). It could be argued that retreatism and rebellion type of students form what is called an anti-school subculture. This is a group of pupils who don’t share the school’s values and is limited out academically, so they gain their status is more social ways, e.g, fooling about. In contrast to this, it’s all well saying that students will fall into these subcultures due to labelling and streaming, but this theory can be accused of determinism. Not all teachers label pupils nor do all pupils follow this self-fulfilling prophecy guidance. Some students may refuse to live
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