Labelling & Teacher Racism Recap: What is Labelling & who coined the term? Interactionist/ Labelling theory look how teachers label pupils from different ethnic groups differently. Particular focus is on how Black & Asian pupils are labelled negatively……. As such teachers misinterpret behaviour & see Black pupils as anti-authority. This creates conflict between teachers & pupils which reinforce stereotypes & leads to further problems. Becker (1971) Labelling Gillborn & Youdell (2000) ‘Rationing Education’. Teachers were quick to discipline Black pupils than others for similar behaviour. Teachers hold ‘Racialised Expectations’.
Bourne (1994) & Foster (1990): Black boys often get seen as threats and as such labelled negatively lading to more exclusions. They are also more likely to be placed in lower sets & streams. Recap: What does Hargreaves tell us about Setting, Streaming & Anti-School Subcultures? Many Asian pupils are the victims of labelling due to teachers’ ‘Ethnocentric Views’. (Assuming that ‘British Culture’ & Standard English are Superior) This means that many Asian pupils are left out of discussions, have their names mispronounced. This leads to ‘Marginalisation’ (& accordingly underachievement). Link to Methods (Observations) Wright (1992): ‘Early Education’:
Pupil Responses & Subcultures: When a label is attributed to someone, it does not necessarily mean that there is one set-response to it. On the contrary there are many different responses…. Fuller studied a group of black girls in year 11 in a London Comprehensive who were in lower streams yet were achieving highly. These girls did not conform to all the values of school (e.g. respect for teachers) but did value educational success enough to push themselves. Mac an Ghaill discovered similar findings in his study of Black & Asian A-Level pupils. Each of these studies show how labelling does not always follow the same negative pattern. … .There is evidence however that labelling can & does have a negative impact on pupils…… Both of these studies show how can be challenged as long as the pupils are able to produce adequate coping strategies…. Fuller & Mac an Ghaill (1984): ‘Rejection of Labels’:
Mirza highlights how some pupils are not able to develop coping strategies when faced with teacher racism & labelling. Mirza (1992) ‘Failed Strategies for Avoiding Racism’: Mirza found that teachers ‘cooled down’ black pupils when discussing careers & further education plans. 3 types of racism was identified: These girls were selective about which teachers to talk to & chose to get on with their own work rather than joining in class tasks in lessons. This was a poor strategy as it meant the girls fell behind with work & limited their options for help. > The Colour Blind: Believed all pupils are equal but in practice allowed racism to go unchallenged. > The Liberal Chauvinists: Believed Black pupils to be culturally deprived & thus have low-expectations of them. > The Overt Racists: Believe Black pupils are inferior & actively discriminate against them.
Sewell (1998) ‘Loose Cannons’: Examined the different strategies that Black boys used to cope with racism. One of Sewell’s conclusions was that teachers hold a stereotype of ‘Black Machismo’ – seeing Black pupils as rebellious & anti-authority. Sewell argues that there are 4 main responses to teacher racism (Link to Crime & deviance – Merton & Strain Theory): How can labelling theory be criticised? The most influential group but still a minority. These rejected the values of the school & opposed the school by joining a peer group. These reinforced the negative stereotypes of ‘Black Machismo’ . > Rebellion: The majority of Black pupils accepted the values of the school & were eager to succeed. > Conformity: A small minority who isolated & disconnected with peer group subcultures & the school. These kept a low profile. > Retreatism: Second largest group who were pro-education but anti-school (like the girls in Fuller’s study). They distanced themselves from ‘Conformists’ enough to keep credibility with the ‘Rebels’ whilst valuing education success. > Innovation:
The Ethnocentric Curriculum: Ethnocentric: An attitude or policy that gives priority to the culture & viewpoint of one particular ethnic group while disregarding others’ Sociologists such as Troyna & Williams (1986) & David (1993) argue that the National Curriculum is ‘Specifically British’ & focuses only on White culture, ignoring non-European languages, literature & music. Ball (1994) uses the term ‘Little Englandism’ to describe the way the curriculum focuses on White British culture & tries to recreate ‘a mythical age of empire & past-glories while largely ignoring the history of Black & Asian people’. Coard (1975, 2005) highlights how Black culture & history is taught to be primitive & how White people civilised such groups. Furthermore it is often learnt how white is connected to ‘Good’ & ‘Pure’ whilst Black is connected ‘Evil’ . Evaluate these ideas.
Institutional Racism: … results from the prejudice views of individuals. … results from the inbuilt discrimination within institutions such as the police, media & education. Accordingly, the Ethnocentric Curriculum can be seen as an example of Institutional racism. Troyna argues that the lack of provision for teaching Asian languages is a form of institutional racism as it puts certain Asian groups at a disadvantage on a day-to-day basis. > Individual Racism: > Institutional Racism: Hatcher (1996): Racist behaviour is often unchallenged & ignored in many schools. There are a lack of formal strategies in place to deal with such events.
Selection & Segregation: The Marketisation of Education puts ethnic minorities at a disadvantage as schools can be more selective of who they enrol. Moore & Davenport (1990) support this view by suggesting that schools create ethnic segregation. > Racist Bias in Enrolment Interviews. > Lack of information available in minority languages. > Minority parents are often unaware of enrolment procedures. Gillborn (1997): The Commission for Racial Equality (1993) has also identified similar biases in relation to ethnicity & education which is linked to the following: