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Class Differences in Achievement - Internal Factors


A-Levels Sociology - Education Mind Map on Class Differences in Achievement - Internal Factors, created by orlaghemmett on 05/05/2013.
Mind Map by orlaghemmett, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by orlaghemmett over 9 years ago

Resource summary

Class Differences in Achievement - Internal Factors
  1. Labelling
    1. To label someone is to attach a meaning/definition to them
      1. Studies show that teachers often attach labels regardless of the pupils' actual ability/attitude
        1. Labelling in Secondary Schools
          1. Becker carried out an important interactionist study of labelling
            1. He found that they judged pupils according to how closely the fitted the image of the 'ideal pupil'
              1. Pupils' work, conduct and appearance were key factors influencing teachers' judgements
              2. Cicourel & Kitsuse's study of educational counsellors
                1. Shows how labelling can disadvantage W/C students
                  1. Counsellors play an important role in deciding which students get onto courses that prepare them for higher education
                    1. Found inconsistencies in the way counsellors assessed students' suitability for courses
                2. Labelling in Primary Schools
                  1. Labelling occurs from the outset of a child's educational career
                    1. Rist's study found the teacher used information about the child's home background & appearance to place them in separate groups
                      1. She decided the fast learners, named 'tigers', tended to be M/C, having a neat & clean appearance
                        1. Seated these at the table nearest her, showing them greatest encouragement
                        2. Other 2 groups - the 'cardinals' and 'clowns' - were seated further away
                          1. These groups were more likely to be W/C
                            1. Given lower-level books to read, fewer opportunities to demonstrate their abilites
                          2. Sharp & Green studied Mapledene, a 'child-centred' primary school
                            1. Children were allowed to choose activities for themselves & develop at their own pace
                              1. The teachers believed that children who were not ready to learn should be allowed to engage in 'compensatory play'
                                1. Findings support interactionist view that children from different class backgrounds are labelled differently
                                  1. Argue the negative labelling of W/C children results in inequalities between social classes
                                2. High & Low Status Knowledge
                                  1. Studies show how labelling of W/C pupils puts them at a disadvantage
                                    1. Studies show that labelling can be applied to the knowledge that they are taught also
                                    2. Keddie found both pupils and knowledge can be labelled high or low status
                                      1. Comprehensive school classes that were observed were streamed by ability
                                        1. However, all streams followed the same humanities course & covered the same course content
                                        2. Teachers believed they were teaching all pupils in the same way
                                          1. When teaching A stream, they gave them abstract theoretical, high status & knowledge
                                            1. When teaching C stream pupils, they gave descriptive, common sense, low status knowledge, related to more everyday experience
                                          2. Gillborn & Youdell
                                            1. Found that W/C and black pupils are less likely to be perceived as having ability, and more likely to be placed in lower sets and entered for lower-tier GCSE's
                                              1. Denies them the knowledge and opportunity needed to gain good grades
                                                1. Widening the class gap in achievement
                                        3. Self-fulfilling Prophecy
                                          1. Is a prediction that comes true simply by virtue of having it been made
                                            1. Interactionists argue labelling affects pupils' achievement by creating a self-fulfilling prophecy
                                              1. Step 1: Teacher labels a pupil (e.g. being very intelligent), makes predictions about him/her
                                                1. Step 2: Teacher treats the pupil accordingly, acting like the prediction is already true (e.g. by giving more attention & expecting higher standard of work)
                                                  1. Step 3: Pupil internalises the teacher's expectations which becomes part of their self-concept/self-image, so becomes the kind of pupil the teach believed them to be
                                                    1. The prediction is fulfilled
                                              2. Teachers' Expectations
                                                1. Rosenthal & Jacobson show the self-fulfilling prophecy at work
                                                  1. Told Oak Community School they had a new teset specially designed to identify those pupils who would 'spurt' ahead
                                                    1. This was untrue, because the test was simply a standard IQ test
                                                    2. They suggest that teachers' beliefs about the pupils had been influenced by the suppose test results
                                                      1. Teachers had then conveyed the beliefs to the pupils through how they interacted with them
                                                        1. This demonstrates the self-fulfilling prophecy
                                                          1. Simply by accepting the prediction that some children would spurt ahead
                                                      2. The study findings illustrate an important interactionist principle:
                                                        1. What people believe to be true will have real life effects - even if the belief was not true originally
                                                    3. The self-fulfilling prophecy can also produce under-achievement
                                                      1. Streaming & The Self-fulfilling Prophecy
                                                        1. Streaming involves separating children into different ability groups or classes called 'streams'
                                                          1. Each ability group is then taught separately from the others for all subjects
                                                            1. Becker shows teachers do not usually see W/C children as ideal pupils
                                                              1. They tend to see them as lacking ability and have low expectations of them
                                                                1. As a result W/C children are more likely to find themselves put in a lower stream
                                                              2. Once students are streamed, it is usually difficult to move up to a higher stream
                                                                1. Children are more or less locked into their teachers' low expectations of them
                                                                  1. Children in lower streams 'get the message' that their teachers have written them off as no-hopers
                                                                    1. This creates the self-fulfilling prophecy in which pupils live up to their teachers' low expectations by under-achieving
                                                                    2. By contrast, M/C pupils tend to benefit from streaming
                                                                      1. They are likely to be placed in higher streams, reflecting teachers' view of them as ideal pupils
                                                                        1. As a result they develop a more positive self-concept, gain confidence, work harder and improve their grades
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