This essay will investigate some of the factors present in secondary schools that have a negative impact on educational achievement. In order to determine how and why some children succeed where others don’t, this essay will discuss sociological research on the consequences of labeling and self-fulfilling prophecy within the school environment and how these aspects affect academic achievement.
Factors within schools, such as labeling, can affect educational achievement; a label is sometimes used as an excuse for teachers to stop pushing children to achieve their potential. In the case of setting and streaming lower sets are designed to cater to the needs of children who develop at different rates, the children are often treated as though they aren’t as intelligent as those in middle and higher sets because they have been labelled as ‘low achievers’ and have limited expectations. Although labeling is sometimes necessary in order to give pupils the support they need to achieve to the best of their ability, they can become destructive when teachers begin to teach the label rather than the child – this happens when stereotypes are applied to groups and the teacher stops seeing each child as an individual. In addition to this, other children in higher sets may treat them differently, putting further emphasis on the label.
Once a teacher starts to treat pupils in the way, they take away the child’s expectation of success, causing them to stay at a level of learning which may be too slow for them which will in turn cause them to become disinterested in learning and therefore unable to fulfill their academic potential. This is an example of self-fulfilling prophecy.
A child who is labelled as ‘bright’ or ‘academic’, does their homework on time and has a fixed routine may assume that through the absence of labels such as ‘creative’ or ‘sporty’ they shouldn’t take part the activities that correspond to those labels because they believe they are something else and...