Assess the View That Social Class Differences in Educational Achievement Are the Result of School Processes Such as Labeling.

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Assess the view that social class differences in educational achievement are the result of school processes such as labeling. (20 marks) Labelling refers to meanings or definitions we attach to someone or something to make sense of them and these could be negative or positive labels. For example, in schools teachers are likely to label middle-class pupils as bright and more able to achieve in education whereas, they would see working class pupils as less able. Teacher labels can affect a pupil’s educational achievement as it will influence how they perform educationally. However, there are other school factors which cause underachievement and these are, the self-fulfilling prophecy, streaming and pupil subculture. There have been a…show more content…
For example, teachers may give a negative label to a working class pupil and see them as badly behaved as a result, the pupil would accept that label and live up to it. Therefore, pupils given negative labels may see themselves as failures and give up trying consequently, fulfilling the original prophecy. Some sociologists would argue that streaming can affect a pupil’s educational achievement. Streaming refers to separating children into different ability groups or classes called ‘streams’. Each group is then taught separately, according to their ability for all subjects. In Becker’s study, teachers did not see working-class children as ideal pupils and were seen as lacking ability therefore, they were placed in a lower stream. This leads to self-fulfilling prophecy as pupils except their teachers’ low expectations by under-achieving. For example, Douglas found that children placed in a lower stream at the age of 8 suffered a decline in their IQ score by the age of 11. In addition, sociologists would argue that pupil subcultures affect the pupils’ educational achievement. For example, the pro-school subculture contains pupils who have been placed in higher streams and are committed to school values. Theses pupils are more likely to be middle-class therefore they tend to achieve in education. However, the anti-school subculture contains

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