2 Asses The View That That Social Clas Essay

Submitted By laura989
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Pages: 4

Using material from Item A and elsewhere, asses the view that social class differences in educational achievement are the result of school processes such as labelling. It is thought that working class children are treated differently in school to what middle class children are, this is because teachers tend to favour students that are going to do well in their studies and due to cultural and material deprivation working class children tend to under achieve. Teachers tend to label students very quickly after meeting them, these labels can include being called; bright, talented, dumb and stupid. These labels are not obtained through their own ability or attitude but through their class background, working positively in middle class children's favour, but not quite in working class children. Internationalists such as Becker carried out a study in 1971, which entailed him interviewing 60 Chicago high school teachers and finding out that they judged their pupils according to if they fitted in to their image of the "ideal pupil." Students with a middle class back ground were more closely fitted to the image of an ideal pupil and working class students were further away from them. Factors such as their work, conduct and appearance where taken into consideration but they were not the overriding factor of whether they were the perfect pupil or not. Labelling does not only occur in secondary schools, it starts as early on as Primary school, for example Ray Rist done a study of an American Kindergarten and found that back ground information on the child was what put the children into their separate groups at different tables. The fast learners where called the "tigers" who where middle classed neat looking children. Then there were the "cardinals" and the "clowns;" more specifically they were working class and were put on work of a lower grade to the "tigers." This hindered the children as the "tigers" were sat closer to the teachers desk in order for the to get praised for their work completed, this was an encouragement for them to keep up the good work. Whereas, the "cardinals" and the "clowns" were put onto learning things that were of a less high level, just due to their background. Meaning that even if a child was particularly bright but was in the "clowns" table they wouldn't be noticed because the teacher is too busy with the middle class children. That then results in the child realising that their hard work isn't getting noticed so they will soon just think well why should I bother with this if it's just going to get ignored, so then they do stop working. That links in to the self-fulfilling prophecy, which is a prediction that will come true simply by the virtue of it having been made. Internationalists will argue that labelling can affect pupils achievement by creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if a student is labelled as intelligent, the prediction made for them is that they are going to do well. That student is then favoured by the teacher that they are going to succeed, being set higher levels of work and paying more attention to them. Therefore the student now becomes this image that the teacher has because he enjoys it and internalises the teachers expectations. Rosenthal and Jacobson carried out a study in Oak community school in California. They told the teachers that the smarter children would be doing a new test specially designed for them, they then selected 20% of the students at random and they were…