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Describe and Assess the Impact of Inside -School Factors on Educational Achievement

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Interactionism looks at society on a micro scale (this means that it looks at society on a small scale). Interationists focus particularly on how individuals react to each other in specific social situations on a daily basis. During this process, people build up pictures of others and apply 'labels'. This theory is concerned with how teachers apply labels and how they effect pupil's achievement.

One of the most important aspects of the interactionist theory of education concerns the ways that teachers make sense of and respond to the behaviour of their pupils. Two interactionists, Nell Keddie and David Hargreaves looked at how teachers arrived at their labels. Keddie found that teachers labeled middle class pupils as 'bright'. They classified pupils in terms of an 'ideal' pupil and middle class children were identified as ideal. Hargreaves also found that to begin with, teachers made their first judgments on their pupils, depending on characteristics associated with social class. Different types of criterions influenced they way teachers saw new pupils. These seven criterions included; appearance, how far the pupils conformed to discipline, their ability and enthusiasm for work, how likeable they were, their relationships with fellow pupils, their personalities and whether they were deviant. Hargreaves argues that initially teachers only speculate in their assessments and they can be changed, but as time passes they bound to become more confident judgments, therefore will judge pupils' actions in terms of the type of pupil they are thought to be.

Interactionists believe that labeling can affect; pupil's self image, the streams or sets they are placed in and thus the way they are taught and the formation of subcultures Labelling and the self-fulfilling prophecy theories suggest ways that teachers' reactions to individual pupils can affect their educational careers. It is also possible, though, that whole group of pupils, not just individuals, can be treated in different ways. Despite the fact that under the comprehensive system all state-educated pupils attend the same type of school, this may not mean that they receive the same type of education. In many comprehensive schools pupils are placed, for at least part of the time, in different classes according to their supposed abilities.

In a study of Beachside Comprehensive Stephen Ball examines the internal organization of a comprehensive school. At Beachside a system of banding was introduced for first year pupils. Pupils were placed in one of three bands on the basis of information supplied by their primary schools. The first band was supposed to contain the most able pupils, and the third band the least able. However, Ball found that factors other than academic criteria were influential in determining the bands in which the children were placed.

Ball admits that not all band two children failed. Some were able to overcome the difficulties



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