Flashcards in Class Differences In Achievement (2) Internal Factors Deck (33)
Attaching a meaning or definition to someone. For example, teachers may label a student as bright or thick, troublemaker or hardworking.
What are interactionist sociologists interested in?
How people attach labels to one another, and the effects this has on those who are labelled.
Briefly outline Becker's study and his findings.
Based on interviews with 60 Chicago high school teachers, he found that they judged pupils according to how closely they fitted an image of the 'ideal pupil'.
- Pupils' work, conduct + appearance informed their judgement.
- M/c students closest to 'ideal'
- W/c furthest away, regarded as badly behaved.
According to Hempel and Jorgensen, how do teachers define the 'ideal pupil' in a middle-class school?
Rowan primary school: Had very few discipline problems therefore 'ideal pupil' was defined in terms of personality and academic ability.
According to Hempel and Jorgensen, how do teachers define the 'ideal pupil' in a working-class school?
Aspen primary school: Discipline was a major problem therefore 'ideal pupil' was defined as quiet, passive and obedient.
Summarise the effects of labelling in secondary school as found by Dunne and Gazeley.
- Found that 'schools persistently produce w/c underachievement because of labelling and assumptions of teachers.'
Interviews in nine English state secondary schools:
- Normalised underachievement of w/c pupils, seemed unconcerned by it + felt there was nothing they could do about it. Felt they could change m/c underachievement.
- Major reason: home background - labelled w/c parents are uninterested in children's education, m/c parents as supportive.
Conclusion: the way teachers explained and dealt with underachievement itself constructed class differences in levels of attainment
Summarise Rist's findings about labelling in primary schools.
Teachers used info on students home background + appearance to separate them into different table groups:
- Tigers: fast learners, m/c, neat + clean appearance. Placed at front + received most encouragement.
- Cardinals + clowns: W/c (mostly), seated further away, given lower-level books to read, had fewer chances to show their abilities, read as a group not as individuals.
What are the three stages of the self-fulfilling prophecy?
Step 1: The teacher labels a pupil and on the basis of this label, makes predictions about them.
Step 2: The teacher treats the pupil accordingly, acting as if the prediction is already true.
Step 3: The pupil internalises the teacher's expectation, which becomes part of their self-image, so that they now become the type of pupil the teacher believed them to be in the first place. The prediction is fulfilled.
Briefly summarise Rosenthal and Jacobson's study.
Oak community school:
- Told the school they have a new test designed to identify those pupils who would 'spurt' ahead.
- Was actually a simple IQ test, however, teachers believed what they'd been told.
- Researchers tested all pupils and picked 20% at random.
- Told the school they'd been identified as 'spurters'.
- Returned 1 yr later and found 47% of 'spurters' made significant progress.
- Demonstrates the self fulfilling prophecy: accepting the prediction lead to the teachers making it reality. Belief that certain children were spurters lead to teachers making them spurters.
Streaming involves separating children into different ability groups or classes. Each group is taught separately from the others for all subjects.
Which pupils are most likely to be placed in lower streams?
Teachers don't see w/c students as ideal pupils, they tend to see them as lacking ability and have low expectations for them. Result: they tend to be placed in lower streams.
Why is it hard for pupils to move to a higher stream?
Children are more or less locked into their teachers' low expectations of them. Children in lower streams 'get the message' that their teachers have written them off as no-hopers.
What evidence does Douglas give to show that streaming affects educational achievement?
Douglas found that children placed in a lower stream at age 8 had suffered a decline in their IQ score by age 11.
Contrast: Children placed in a higher stream at age 8 had improved their IQ score by age 11.
Gillborn and Youdell looked at how teachers use stereotypes to label pupils. They also linked labelling to league tables. What do league tables show?
League tables rank each school according to its exam performance. For example, in terms of the percentage of pupils gaining 5 or more GCSE grades A*-C. Schools need to achieve a good league table if they're to attract pupils and funding.
Explain what Gillborn and Youdell mean by the A-C economy?
This is a system in which schools focus their time, effort and resources on those pupils they see as having the potential to get 5 grade C's and so boost the school's league table position.
Triage literally means 'sorting'. Triage's usually used to describe the process on battlefields whereby medical staff decide who's to be given scarce medical resources:
- The walking wounded: who can be ignored because they'll survive.
- Those who will die anyway, who will also be ignored.
- Those with a chance of survival who are giving treatment in the hopes of saving them.
Which three 'types' do schools categorise pupils into?
- Those who will pass anyway and can be left to get on with it.
- Those with potential, who will be helped to get a grade C or better.
- Hopeless cases, who are doomed to fail.
The process of teachers categorising pupils according to how they perceive their ability, attitudes and/or behaviour. Streaming is a form of differentiation as it categorises pupils into separate classes.
The process in which pupils respond to streaming by moving towards one of two opposite 'poles' or extremes. E.g pro-school or anti-school subcultures.
Define pro-school subculture.
Pupils who're placed in high streams (mainly m/c) tend to remain committed to the values of the school. They gain their status in the approved manner, through academic success.
Define anti-school subculture.
- Pupils placed in low streams (mainly w/c) suffer a loss of self-esteem: the school has undermined their self-worth by placing them in a position of inferior status.
- This pushes them to search for alternative ways of gaining status.
- This usually involves inverting the school's values of hard work, obedience and punctuality.
Define the following concepts used by Woods:
- Ingratiation: being the 'teacher's pet'.
- Ritualism: going through the motions and staying out of trouble.
- Retreatism: daydreaming and mucking about.
- Rebellion: outright rejection of everything the school stands for.
State two criticisms of the labelling theory.
- It's been accused of determinism: It assumes that the pupils who are labelled have no choice but the fulfil the prophecy and will inevitably fail. However, studies such as Fuller's shows this isn't always true.
- It ignores the wider structures of power within which labelling takes place.
- Tends to blame teachers for labelling pupils but fails to explain why they do so.
- Argue labels aren't the result of their individual prejudices but stem from the system they work in which reproduces class divisions.
Habitus refers to the 'dispositions' or learned, taken-for-granted ways of thinking, being and acting that are shared by a particular social class.
Why does the schools habitus disadvantage working-class pupils?
Schools have a m/c habitus therefore the school devalues the w/c habitus. Because of this, w/c tastes (e.g clothing, appearance and accent) are deemed to be tasteless and worthless.
Define symbolic capital.
Because schools have a m/c habitus, pupils who have been socialised at home into m/c tastes and preferences gain 'symbolic capital' or status and recognition from the school and are deemed to have worth or value.
Define symbolic violence.
By defining the w/c and their tastes and lifestyles as inferior, symbolic violence reproduces the class structure and keeps the lower classes 'in their place'.
According to Archer, how do working-class pupils view education?
- W/c pupils felt that to be educationally successful, they would have to change how they talked and presented themselves.
- Thus, for w/c students, educational success is a process of 'losing yourself'.
- They felt unable to access 'posh', m/c spaces (e.g uni + professional careers), which were seen as 'not for the likes of us'.
Why do some working-class pupils need to create a 'Nike' identity?
- Wearing brands was a way of 'being me': without them they would feel inauthentic.
- Style performances were heavily policed by peer groups and not conforming was 'social suicide'.
- The right appearance earned symbolic capital and approval from peer groups and brought safety from bullying.