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Teaching Sociological Skills: Analysis (2)

This post is the second by the Secret Examiner looking at the exam skill of analysis. Here, they provide an example using the concept of 'labelling':

  • Response 1 – Labelling

Students from working class backgrounds are more likely to be labelled. Rist conducted a study where teachers placed working class students furthest away from them and middle- class students closest to them. The working-class students were labelled as ‘clowns’ whereas the middle-class where labelled as ‘tigers’. 

  • Response 2 - Labelling

Labelling is one internal factor that impacts on students from different social classes. Rist’s study into American kindergartens shows that teachers often make assumptions about students based upon their appearance and label them accordingly. This can then impact not only on the way the teacher treats them, but also on their belief in their own ability as a negative can label can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy should the student internalise the label and deem themselves to be a ‘failure’.

Both paragraphs use the same study to explain the concept of labelling, but the first paragraph is very descriptive. It tells us what Rist found and would be seen as AO1 – knowledge and understanding. The second not only shows that the student has a knowledge of Rist’s study, but is also aware of the impact of it and the study itself is being used to present an argument that labelling has a detrimental effect on working class students.

Teaching students the skill of analysis is difficult but there are many simple ways in which this can be achieved. Over the next series of posts, I will be looking at some tried and trusted methods to enable students to analyse effectively and get into those higher bands. 

As always, we at Tutor2u will be looking at resources and teaching methods that can help you get the best out of your students.

Psychology & Sociology Secret Examiner

The Secret Examiner is an experienced teacher and examiner for A-Level Psychology & Sociology

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