Outline and evaluate the process of Labelling and self-fulfilling prophecy As factors in the under achievement of Some pupils in school.
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Outline and evaluate the process of Labelling and self-fulfilling prophecy As factors in the under achievement of Some pupils in school. Labelling and self-fulfilling prophecies are main factors in the educational system and therefore have a profound effect on the individuals self-concept and behaviour. Throughout I will outline and examine some socialists arguments. Labels can be applied to individuals from people who have a position of authority, I.E. Teachers, parents, etc...Teachers have been a prevalent force of labelling and self-fulfilling prophecy throughout the centuries, they generally come from a middle class background and the identify more with the middle class student. Their judgements against pupils are influenced by factors other than ability to achieve but issues arising from speech, dress and social background. One socialist, Talcott Parsons argued that schools take over from the family as a primary source of socialisation. He believed that the schools were meritocracy regardless of class, those who had ability would achieve in school and later progress in adult life, whereas those without ability would do less and have a more menial level of achievement.
This is known as the concept of labelling theory and self-fulfilling prophecy. Rosenthal and Jacobson performed an experiment where they selected 20 students at random to take an I.Q. test and told their teachers that they could expect to show significant intellectual development, a year later the same students were re-tested and their theory was proved. Rosenthal and Jacobson concluded that this was a result of not only intellectual development but the children were labelled in such in a way the teachers would have high expectations of them, which they believed and here a self-fulfilling prophecy took place. Rosenthal and Jacobson indicated that children classified as being of higher ability, performed better throughout their academic years. This suggesting that because of labelling and self-fulfilling prophecy used by teachers meant the working class children had a distinctive throughout their academic years. Streaming is another problem still found in schools, this system is used to separate children into different groups according to their predicted ability. Comprehensive schools continue to use the streaming /banding system and this has been shown to be an unfair system and harmful to the self esteem and educational performance of the bottom stream pupils.
The implications again were clear when we think about the consequences for future achievement of each group. According to Hargreaves the assumptions made and conclusions drawn by the teachers will in the long run pay affect to the children. He noted that once the labelling process was defined that two things happened: * Firstly, the teacher used the pupil category as a reference point to interpret the child's behaviour. * Secondly, because pupils needed to refer to the behaviour of others towards them so they know how successful/unsuccessful they are. The child relies on the teacher to provide for them a self-concept to let the child know how good or badly they are playing their role of labelling. Hargreaves study indicates much of the same as Becker observed 30 years earlier. As we can see Labelling and self-fulfilling prophecy has go on through education throughout the centuries and through the studies and perspectives we have considered, it is undoubtedly the case that class division does exist within education, and even functionalists would not disagree that schools serve to reinforce such inequalities.
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