Inequality Essay

1230 words - 5 pages

There are quite a few causes of educational inequalities and one is, teachers. A way in which they do this is by using the labeling theory. According to Howard Becker, learning the acts of the individual is unimportant because deviance is simply rule breaking behavior that is labeled deviant by persons in positions of power (Becker, H 1963). What is meant by this is that language use is discriminatory when it negatively labels individuals and by having teachers who are patronizing and use demeaning terminology towards students because they have the authority in doing so are what causes inequality; it trivializes and denigrates others and their experiences, which suggests that another individual is of a lower status or causes inferiority amongst students. This in-turn discourages students in participating in class activities as they are made to feel less than others, this is called the self-fulfilling prophecy, where a student takes on a label that a teacher has given them, due to the belief that they simply cannot go beyond that role. Therefore, the students do not see themselves outside of the label and stay inside that cycle of conforming to what the teachers expect of them which is obtaining low grades. Furthermore, Ethnicity still poses as an inequality in education today. Teachers are often found as the culprits, as evidence show that teachers continue to have low expectations of pupils who are from certain ethnic minorities which can be found in hidden day to day classes. Furthermore, evidence from school inspectors are suggesting that schools that emphasize tight settings such as higher or lower sets, find that those students who learn English as an additional language often are put in low sets (OFSTED 1999). Moreover, Gillborn (2002) argues that schools are institutions that are racists, since teachers interpret policies in a way that would disadvantage minorities such as black pupils. In fact, Bernard Coard (1971) claimed the British education system but in actuality made black children become educationally subnormal by making them feel ‘inferior in every way’. In his report he felt that the content used in the curriculum ignored black people. For example, schemes for gifted and talented students were put in place whereas, vocational schemes were set up for the less academic which underrated the capabilities of black children. This was done so by, putting them down in low ability groups, having restricted curriculum or even having them enter lower level exams. This led to the increase of marketization of schools, meaning teachers are forced to prioritize the students who have the potential of achieving a grade above C thus, neglecting those who have no hope, and so are left to their own devices. Many of the ethnic minority pupils are judged and often tend to be subjugated.
Another example of educational inequality is the geographical factors or inequalities present in other geographic locations. Where the student lives can play a...

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