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Lesson 4 Education
Transcript of Lesson 4 Education
Stephen Ball (1981)
A pupil subculture is a group of pupils who share similar values and behavior patterns.
They can emerge as a response to the way in which pupils have been labelled. In particular to streaming.
The variety of pupil responses...
Peter Woods argues there are different response too:
Limitations of labelling theory
Determinism:it assumes that pupils who are labelled have no choice but to fulfil the prophecy and will inevitably fail.
Marxists criticise the theory for ignoring wider structures of power within which labelling takes place. Tends to blames teachers, but fails to explain why they do so.
Not just teacher prejudices - bu stem from the fact that teachers work in a system that reproduces class division.
The pro-school subculture
Pupils in high streams (most m/c) will keep the values of the school. They gain their status in the approved manner, through academic achievement.
The anti-school subculture
Pupils in low streams (mainly w/c) suffer low self esteem. The school has put them in an inferior position.
This then pushes them to gain status in another way.
Such pupils form an anti-school subculture to gain status amongst their friends.
They might speak rudely to the teacher, smoke or steal.
Streaming & the self-fulfilling prophecy
Streaming involves separating children into different ability groups or classes called 'streams'.
Each ability group is then taught separately from the others for all subjects.
Studies show that the self-fulfilling prophecy is particularly likely to occur when children are streamed.
Colin Lacey (1970)
Pupil subcultures may play a part in creating class differences in achievement.
Becker: teachers do not usually see working-class
children as ideal pupils. They tend to see them as lacking ability and have low expectations of them.
As a result, w/c pupils are more likely to find themselves in lower streams.
Once streamed it is usually difficult to move up to a higher stream. Children are more or less locked into their teachers low expectation of them. Children in lower streams 'get the message' that their teachers have no hope for them.
Think about the questions on the hand-out.
How pupil subcultures develop:
1. Differentiation: process of teachers catergorising pupils according to how they perceive their ability.
Streaming = differentiation as pupils are in different classes based on ability.
2. Polarisation: the process in which pupils respond to streaming by moving towards one of two opposite 'poles' or extremes.
In his study of Hightown boys' grammar school. Lacey found that streaming -> polarisation into forming a two subcultures...
Although joining an anti-school subculture may solve the problem of status. It involves further problems for the pupils involved.
The anti-school subculture = becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of educational failure.
Lacey's study is a striking example of the power of labelling and streaming to actually create failure.
The boys had all been successful in primary school and were among an elite of about 15% of the towns pupils who had passed the 11+ to get into a grammar school.
Analysis on a study of Beachside, a comprehensive school that was in process of getting rid of the streaming system.
Wanted more a mixed-ability groups system.
Ball found that when the school abolished streaming - the basis for pupils to polarise was largely removed and anti-school subculture declined.
Differentiation was still present through teachers labelling pupils.
What do you think happpend to education achievement?
Well, as the teachers still labelled m/c students as better able meant they did better in exams
Class inequalities still continue as a result of teachers labelling, even without subcultures.
Ingratiation: being the 'teachers pet'
Ritualism: going through the motions and staying out of trouble
Retreatism: day dreaming and mucking about
Rebellion: outright rejection of everything the school stands for.
You have 3 minutes to come up with a sketch which you think depicts a pro-social or anti-social school subculture .