03 Social Class & Education (Internal Factors)



hello and welcome to this video on social class and educational achievement internal factors so far we have focused on external factors so what is happening outside the education system we must now move on to look at what is happening inside the education system itself and how different factors affect achievement firstly we need to consider labeling to label someone is to attach a meaning or definition to them teachers often label students based on stereotyped assumptions Howard Becker looked at labeling in secondary schools and he interviewed 60 Chicago high school teachers and found that they judged pupils against the image of an ideal pupil so in the teacher's Minds they have an idea of what they think the perfect or ideal pupil is and they're measuring students as they meet them as they interact with them against that ideal work conduct and appearance informed their judgment Becca found that middle class students were closest to the on deal that the teachers had in their mind whereas working class students were further away from the ideal and regarded or well regarded as badly behaved sick around could sue say also looked at this issue and they studied American school counselors and careers advisors and found that labeling can disadvantage working class students counselors claimed to assess students suitability to enter higher education on the basis of their academic ability in reality they were judging their suitability mainly on the grounds of their social class or race this meant that the counselors and quiz advisors were telling white middle class students that they were perfectly capable and able to do well in higher education whereas when they were interacting with say black Asian minority make working class students they would often say have you thought about getting an apprenticeship or going straight into the world of work so what we're seeing there is a sense of discrimination or at least a sense of prejudice against a certain group in primary schools ray wrists looked at an American kindergarten or in the UK what we would refer to as a reception year teachers used information on student homes and backgrounds to separate them into different tables so wrists found that teachers were looking at students or pupils personal files finding out where they lived and in discerning whether or not that was a working-class area or a middle-class area and then based on that information they would then seek the children in on different tables one table was known as the Tigers these were the fastest learners who tended to be middle-class or come from middle-class areas they were often seen as being neat and tidy and they received the most encouragement and support so the teachers spent most of their time with the Tigers two other groups were known as the Cardinals and the Crown's these students tended to be working-class they were often given lower-level work when engaging in reading they read as a group rather than as individuals and will given less opportunities to show their abilities so once again it would appear that working classrooms are being disadvantaged coming back to the UK for a moment sharpened Green studied maple dinging a British primary school where children choose their activities and develop at their own pace it's quite a radical unusual school in that regard it really gives the power to the children allows them to decide what they're going to learn when they're going to learn it middle class children appeared ready to learn quicker and therefore received more attention from teachers and the middle class students were actually governed up to the teacher and saying I want to do some arts I want to do some maths I want to do some reading and it teachers like fantastic and would help them with that whereas working-class children engaged in compensatory playtime until would deemed ready and received less reading time and attention so the working class students or children weren't going up to the teachers perhaps quite as quickly they were playing a little bit more in the sandpit or with the play-doh and then perhaps latterly they would then come and ask to do some reading or some learning without geography or history whatever it may be but by the very nature of putting it off they received less time and attention from their teachers so again perhaps this is going to lead to underachievement and once working class children next we need to be aware of the self-fulfilling prophecy as it links closely to labeling a prophecy is essentially a statement that says something is going to happen when something is a self-fulfilling prophecy this will mean that it's going to come true simply because the statement that it will come true has been made in terms of what this means for education it would work like this it has three stages firstly the teacher might label the pupils the teachers going to say you are a good people or you are a not-so-good people and they may not communicate that straight away but perhaps they've been measuring the student against that idea of the ideal pupil in their mind and found them either meeting the criteria or failing to meet the criteria and so they label them next the teacher treats the pupil according to the label they have placed upon them so if they've decided that this student meets the criteria of being an ideal pupil they start to behave very warmly towards them spend more time with them give them encouragement and support whereas if they measure the students the ideal people find them wanting they may say oh the students going to be lazy is not going to be very academic it's going to be a waste of time and therefore spends less time with them and will probably discipline them more finally the pupil internalizes the label even though the label may not be explicitly stated so the teacher might not say you're a good people you're about pupil they may sort of implicitly make it part of the way they view themselves they internalize the label and they start thinking I'm not very good people oh oh I'm one of the top of the class and so once they begin to act that way it comes true and so the self-fulfilling prophecy is complete teachers can create self-fulfilling prophecies studies show what teachers believe students achieve and that's nice little phrase you may want to remember could be quite useful in an exam scenario streaming is an extreme and institutionalized form of labeling and you may well have been streamed yourself in secret school this is putting all pupils of similar ability into the same class or string so for example bright or clever or intelligent pupils will be in the top streams whereas the thick or unintelligent or less clever pupils may be placed in the bottom strings and often in particular in secular schools and year seven when students first arrive students will engage in a set of exams that tests and the streams will be decide based on those sometimes students move up and down streams over the space of the five years they're at school but often many will stay in the stream that they are setting from here seven other schools might use SATs results in order to stream Colin Lacey stated this a way of separating sheep from goats and educating them separately this was his description of streaming Douglass found that IQ of those in the bottom stream actually fell over time whilst in the top set it increased so an IQ test is supposed to be a test of innate intelligence so intelligence that you're born with if ever you've had the opportunity to undertake the eleven plus xi plus is an IQ test what's interesting in terms of what doctors has found here is that once a student is streamed their IQ seems to change based on whether or not they've been placed in the top or bottom stream those in low streams were denied access to the same curriculum so for example they're not put in for the high level exams even today that's dil an issue we think about how GCSEs work some papers such as the science and maths papers there are higher papers intermediate papers and foundation papers and depending on what stream you are in you may be placed in one of those paid if you are in say the foundation paper you may find that that highest grade you can achieve is a grade C where it's for intermediate maybe a grade B so you are being limited in a sense next we think about pupil subcultures this is a group of pupils who share similar values often pupil subcultures form as a response to teacher labeling and streaming the question for us is how two subcultures develop well first thing we need to think out the process of differentiation the process by which a teacher categorizes pupils so again measuring students against the idea a teacher has in in mind of what an ideal pupa is and in thinking about is the student able not and if they're able they'll be considered high status if they're not able they may be considered low status this could lead to polarization I process by which students respond to streaming moving towards a poll so we think about the North Pole in the South Pole how they're the complete opposites of each other or extreme and this leads to the creation of pro school or anti school subcultures so once the students have been differentiated placed in different streams they may begin to form two subcultures in the top streams that's those are suppose most liked to be pro school subcultures in the box chains those are more like to be anti school subcultures sociologists identify two people's subcultures prevalence goals once again the pro school subculture and the anti school subculture you may want to pause the video for a moment now and complete this task and to consider before you turn the slide what constitutes the pro school and anti school subculture so think about this what type of student would fit a niche how did this just behave do you think how might they gain status within that subculture and how might teachers view these students you may want to draw out these columns have a go this task give yourself about five minutes before continuing with the video in the protocol subculture students are in the highest streams they tend to be middle class they're more committed to the values of the school they gain status in the subculture through acting in an approved manner and through academic achievement by getting the top grades in the anti school subculture however students tend to be from the lower streams they are often working-class they tend to have low self-esteem and low self-worth and so their confidence is often very low the label of failure pushes the student or students to find alternative methods to gain status so they don't feel they can gain status in their subculture simply by getting the top grades and so they've got to find a different way and so they may turn upside down or engage in value inversion this schools values so if the school's values are being punctual working hard and being obedient they may purposely be late they may purposely not do their work they may purposely defy their teachers students seek to gain approval from their anti school peer peers so whereas in a pro school subculture yes they want their friends to like them but they also want to prove it from the teachers in an anti school subculture they want to gain approval from their peers and then they do this by being cheeky by truanting ie not turning up school by not doing homework by being disruptive perhaps even by engaging in anti-social behaviors such as smoking drinking taking drugs and stealing amongst other things this solves the status issue but turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure the behavior pattern is a commitment to educational failure so it solves the status issue the students want to gain status somehow can't do it the legitimate way so they do it in an illegitimate way but it leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy of educational failure we find examples of studies by Laci in Hargreaves students who have performed well in primary school up to the 11th class where there was no streaming they often joined anti school subcultures and fails when its second with school they were streamed so in a primary school wasn't it streaming these students might do very well they get to secondary school they get streamed and now if they're placed in the bottom group they don't do so well Stephen Ball was interested in the abolition of streaming he looked at a convert comprehensive school known as bitch side which was abolishing streaming or going through the process of doing so and instead it introduced mixed ability groups as a result pupil polarization and so student subcultures also disappeared which appears to be a positive however teacher labeling persisted leading to self occurring prophesies whereby the middle class students outperformed the work in costume so very little changed interestingly the trend in the UK has been towards more streaming it's actually a very popular policy many schools follow it many parents who believe that their children are hard-working good students often think that streaming is a good thing and in particular often lessons their children are in the top streams whereas the parents of children who are in the lower streams often feel that they have the power to challenge it to this very little they can do so nothing changes we also see that there's been a increase in the variety of school types and therefore curriculums where the middle classes often take on more academic studies what's in school and the working classes take on more vocational hands on manual studies Peter woods identified a variety of pupil responses to streaming and labeling the Pro and anti school subculture type is not the only student response he argued and labeling streaming can provoke can produce a range of different reactions because human beings are very varied creatures once again you may want to pause the video and consider this question how else might students react besides joining the extremes of the pro school and anti school subculture so think about your time in secondary school were you one apart of one of these subcultures perhaps you didn't realize you were but now you look back on it and you realize that that was the case or did you engage in some other response to teacher labeling and streaming were you aware of any teachers engaging in labeling were you aware of the effects of streaming did you have friends in other streams who may have responded differently take a moment now Peter would suggested a range of different responses firstly he identified in his study ingratiating this is where students would seek to be the teacher's pet so they might look to talk to the teachers before and after lessons and make them buy them presents at Christmas and this sort of thing with a view to try and become friendly with the teachers in the hope that that will mean they get better grades or that they're treated more favorably next ritualism going through the motions staying out of trouble these are the students who sort of very quietly turn up school do what's asked of them hand in their homework they never work supremely hard they never completely underachieve they're very middling and often quietly ignored so for them education is a ritual something just to be endured next retreat ISM this is where students often retreat into themselves they may engage in daydreaming rather rather than engaging in the actual activities in the classes or in the homeworks and they may sometimes simply just muck around in lessons once again as a way of almost distracting themselves and retreating into themselves or into their peer group rather than engaging in the activities finally rebellion this is outright rejection of everything school stands for these students may actively go out their way to disrupt lessons to upset teachers drop set other students to prevent learning and often these are the students which are identified and disciplined quite harshly what Peter woods found interesting was that there was no commitment to any of these responses necessary by the students that is to say that students may move between different responses so in some lessons they may engage in ingratiating because they really like the teacher where it's another lesson students may engage in rebellion because they really dislike the teacher or because they enjoy the actual learning they may quietly go through it while disliking the teacher whereas another lesson because they hate the learning but they enjoy the teacher they may engage in I don't know retreat ism who knows there are however some problems with labeling theory in so much as that the overarching aim or claim here is that underachievement is caused by teacher labeling leading to a self-fulfilling prophecy leads to students joining anti school student subcultures and thus guaranteeing failure there's also the argument that schools perpetuate class inequalities and that schools are not neutral there are some problems with this theory and you may want to pause again now consider what problems might there be well arguably this theory is too deterministic it sort of seems to state that students of destinies are written the moment they turn up in school and teachers label them they can't change it they can't overcome problems when in reality we know that's the case no one is necessarily destined to fail some indeed turn it around there are situations we have students who start off very poorly but then work much harder towards the end of the year towards the end of their time in a institution and get really good grades but also the opposite is true you get some students who perhaps do really well at BIOS and try really hard but for whatever reason get turned off and no longer enjoy and no longer engage and then they might fail later on monsters would also argue that there is a failure here to account for wider structures of power and they blame teachers without asking why the teachers label and we need to think about reality that most teachers are probably going to be middle class they're going to be university educated and they're going to use the elaborated code and perhaps in many ways they are part of a establishment or machine which is seeking to uphold the status quo that's it thank you very much




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