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Family Diversity

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According to Item B teachers expectations of pupils are based upon stereotypes about the pupils gender, ethnicity, and social class. However this is only a problem if pupils takes the label on, and continues to live up to the teachers expectations. Evidence suggests that they can “exert a powerful influence over pupils achievements.” Ray Rist did a study of a kindergarten. He found that the teacher looked into each individual children’s background and then placed them in separate groups dependant upon their social class. The middle-class children were labelled as ‘tigers’ they had a neat and clean appearance, and sat at the front of the classroom, where the teacher encouraged their learning, meanwhile the working-class children were grouped together at the back of the classroom  and labelled ‘clowns’ showing their lack of attention and naughty behaviour. In result of this they were given lower level work so they couldn’t prove their ability. This was the main reason for underachievement and failure amongst the working-class.

However if pupils don’t take on the label this wont effect their learning capability and achievements. Margaret Fuller’s study of black girls in a London comprehensive school found the girls resented being labelled by negative stereotypes associated with both their ethnicity and gender and got on with their work and put effort into their education to prove the negative labels wrong.

Another criticism of the labelling theory is that it is very unlikely that all teachers would label the same students in the same way.

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