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Outline some of the reasons why different pupil subcultures exist in schools. (12 marks)

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Introduction

´╗┐Outline some of the reasons why different pupil subcultures exist in schools. (12 marks) A pupil subculture is a group of pupils who share similar values and behaviour patterns. Pupil subcultures often emerge from as a response to the way pupils have been labelled and in particular as a reaction to streaming. Research shows that pupils respond to negative labelling and racism in different ways. For example they may respond by becoming disruptive or withdrawn. Alternatively, pupils may refuse to accept label and even decide to work harder, to prove it wrong. A good example of pupils responding by rejecting negative labels is Mary Fuller?s study of a group of black girls in year 11 of a London comprehensive school. ...read more.

Middle

Differentiation is the process of teachers categorising pupils according to how pupils according to how they perceive their ability, attitude and/or behaviour. Streaming is a form of differentiation, since it categorises pupils into separate classes. Polarisation, on the other hand, is the process in which pupils respond to streaming by moving towards one of two opposite ?poles? or extremes. Polarisation can cause different subcultures. One contributing reason for the existence of different subcultures in schools today is that, streaming still exists. Streaming, many comprehensives were streamed into ability groups, with middle-class pupils placed in higher streams and working-class pupils in lower streams. Streaming and creating bands, makes it easier for pupils to form subcultures from those above/ below them, the above making the below feel inferior, developing a stronger below subculture group. ...read more.

Conclusion

Usually this involves inverting the schools values of hard work, punctuality and obedience. Such pupil forms an anti-school subculture as a means of gaining status among peers. So, pupil anti-school subcultures exist still as a result of streaming, dividing pupils out may influence them more to spread out and form subcultures. Pro- and anti-school subcultures are two possible responses to labelling and streaming. However Peter woods argues other responses are also possible, such as ingration; becoming the ?teacher ?s pet?, retreatism; daydreaming and mucking about and there is also Rebellion; outright rejection of everything the school stands for. Moreover, as John Furlong observes, pupils are not committed permanently to any one response, but may move between different types of response, acting differently in lessons with different teachers, alternating between different subcultures. This may be another contributing factor why different subcultures exist, because they are all responses of labelling a streaming. ...read more.

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