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Labelling Theory (Education)

Labelling theory was developed by Howard Becker and is most associated with the sociology of deviance. It is applied to education in relation to teachers applying labels on their pupils in terms of their ability, potential or behaviour. These labels can be positive or negative and can result in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Labelling is seen as an internal factor that could explain differential achievement in schools by class, ethnicity or gender.

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