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As stated in my rationale I am going to look at labelling based on gender in Primary schools.

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Context As stated in my rationale I am going to look at labelling based on gender in Primary schools. Sociologist Howard Becker came up with the labelling theory. He came up with this theory in relation to the study of deviance. In this study he interviewed 60 Chicago teachers and found that they tended to share a picture of the ideal pupil. They believed that the ideal pupil was highly motivated, intelligent and well behaved and they used this picture as a benchmark to judge the pupils they taught. The pupils they judged to be closest to this ideal were likely to come from a middle class background and those furthest from it were from lower working class backgrounds. As a result the latter were often labelled as discipline problems, as unmotivated and as unlikely to succeed. These labels may well have a significant effect on their educational careers. In his 1977 study 'Class and Pedagogies visible and invisible' sociologist B. Bernstein says that judgements were being made based on class, but it is not unreasonable to expect judgements to be made based on gender. ...read more.


Spender and others suggest that many teachers often have a negative view of boys and they can frequently name all the boys in the class but see the girls as an undifferentiated mass. It is as if the girls are 'invisible' in the classroom as individuals, being treated merely as a group and an inferior one at that. She argues that schools reinforce gender inequality in wider society. Social relations in the classroom, the content of the curriculum, the attitudes and expectations of teachers, all prepare girls for male domination and control. Spender tape recorded lessons given by teachers and her and found that boys received over 60% of the teachers' time, but in her case boys received 62% of her time. Even though she tried to divide he time equally. Also teachers usually allowed boys to get away with insulting and abusive comments to girls. When the boys questioned or challenged a teacher they were often met with respect and a serious response whereas girls tended to be rebuked or fobbed off. ...read more.


This links very well into my rationale because I want to find out if this sort of thing goes on in Primary school classrooms. It has been shown that even in primary schools, where girls are more successful than boys, the excellence of their work may be attributed by teachers to a desire to please rather than to creativity or intellectual promise (Clarricoates, 1980). Expectations - because they involve ideas about what, 'such pupils' are 'really like' - enable ideologies about ethnic groups, social classes, and genders to shape relations between pupils and teachers in the classroom. This links to my rationale because this shows that the relationship between the teacher and the pupil can decipher what label if any they are given. Most of the studies mentioned are from the 1980s so they are a little out of date. Examples of equal opportunity initiatives are: ideas like numeracy and literacy hours in primary schools as well as ideas like the wise bus in secondary schools. Laura Rogers 13.5 ...read more.

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