Sociology and Pupils

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Nazeefah Nazir Ali
Outline some of the ways in which labelling process may lead to educational under-achievement for some people The explanations of differential educational achievement that have been examined so far suggest that pupils’ progress is influenced by factors over which they have little control. Yet the most obvious place to look for explanations is within the education system. Schools play an important role in determining the success of failure of an individual’s education. There are many factors which lead to the under achievement for some people, these fall under three main categories Genetic, External and Internal. The focus of my essay will be to outline factors leading to under achievement through internal factors. Interactionists have researched the day to day life in schools. They do not think individuals are influenced by things outside their control, but according to Interactionists you need to look at how teachers and pupils interact and how this affects the pupils self concept. Teachers are seen as very significant as they make initial judgments of pupils, labelling them which consequently leads to pupils acquiring an identity for themselves. Hence internal factors are seen as crucial in determining the educational attainment of pupils and the inequalities between them. The internal factors include Labelling, The self-fulfilling prophecy, Pupil subcultures and Marketisation and Selection policies. All these factors can be seen as having a knock-on effect on each other. To label someone is to attach a meaning and definition to them. Teachers may label a pupil as bright or thick, hardworking or troublemaker. Studies show that teachers often attach such labels regardless of pupil’s actual ability or attitude. Labels are attached on the basis of stereotyped assumptions about their class background. Working class pupils are labelled negatively and middle class positively. Interactionists’ sociologists have carried out studies of labelling....