Attaching a meaning or definition to a pupil,
e.g. hardworking or troublemaker.
Becker (1971) - Conducted interviews
with 60 teachers within secondary
education and found that students
were labelled based on how close they
were to the 'ideal pupil'.
Keddie (1971) - Found that teachers subconsciously
withheld 'higher status' and more abstract
knowledge from the lower streams within the
A prediction that comes true
simply by virtue of it being made.
Interactionists argue that
labelling can affect a child's
achievement through a
Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968) - Gave children within
primary school a standard IQ test, but told their
teachers' that it would highlight students destined for
success. 20% of the students were picked at random
(high and low scorers) and after a year later 47% of the
20% had shown significant progress.
Proves the self-fulfilling prophesy, if a teacher
believes a student will be successful, they can
make that happen by showing encouragement,
patience and giving higher graded work.
Gillborn and Youdell (2004) - Publication of league
tables creates the A-to-C economy - a system in which
schools ration their time, effort and resources,
concentrating them on those pupils they perceive as
having the potential to get five grade C's at GCSE and
so boost the school's league table position. patiance
Meant the students
were sorted through the
Those who will pass
Borderline C grade who will be targeted with help
The increase in marketisation has
created an increase in competition
Popular schools can screen out less able students
meaning that unpopular schools have to take them -
creating a larger gap between schools.
Will Barlett (1995) - Because of marketisation, popular schools:
Cream skimming - Select higher
ability pupils who cost less to teach
Silt-shifting - off load pupils with learning
difficulties who are expensive to teach
and get poor grades
A group of pupils who share similar values
and behaviour patterns, often an effect of
labelling, particularly streaming.
Pro-school subcultures share that same
values as school and gain higher status
through academic success.
Anti-school subcultures are formed between
those with a loss of self-esteem because the
school has undermined their self-worth by
placing them in a position of inferior status.