The attachments of labels can be good or bad. This attached label has consequences, as it affects how a person see’s themselves and how others see themselves. In educational performance it could affect a students achievement, as if it is good label then a student is likely to succeed but a negative label could put them down.
One bad aspect of labelling is that it is mostly associated with gender, as most people are labelled according to it. For example, the ethnic group of black Caribbean boys are labelled as troublesome and not keen in education, therefore this could affect them in how they perform in exams, as this stigma is attached to them, and therefore it is hard to remove this over a quick period of time.
To illustrate, say for example a Black Caribbean boy was to come into a new environment where people knew or thought of them in this stereotypical way, then instantly he would be seen this way, and therefore he could be treated or not given much attention in class, as teachers expect him not to be interested in the classroom or his work. However, the label of a Chinese student is vice versa, as the stereotype is that they are clever and perform well in exams and generally more interested in what they learn.
The sociologist, Basil Bernstein, found that students from a working class background used more restricted codes, but however students from middle class background used more elaborated codes within the school when talking to peers, and therefore it is the language of education, so to conclude the education system favours the middle class as the structure of language is set up in a way that supports the elaborated codes, and therefore middle class students do better and achieve(formal curriculum, as it’s the middle class knowledge).
Paul Willis who was a functionalist, and focused on ‘lads’ and the anti school culture. He found that within the school, the boys aim was to ‘have a laff’ and ignore the rules and reject the learning culture. This could be due to maintaining the masculinity. He also found that while at work, these boys had the same attitude and said that real masculine work did not require education. To conclude, Willis is arguing that it is not the processes within the school which makes an impact on student’s achievement but rather on the student’s attitudes.
Another factor which could be used to argue that processes within the school created gendered educational achievement is language and textbooks. What this means is that the use of language of students or maybe teachers is anti-female, for example comments such as girls should be naturally caring and do subjects related to their gender are common, while in textbooks it is found that it is anti female, as books often refer a person to ‘man/men’ and is often anti black.
However, it could be said that in recent years, there has been changes in attitudes to or expectation of people and this is not gendered to males or females, and people do not associate females with the stereotypes of feminine or boys with the stereotype of masculine. In turn it could be said that students are not seen as attaining or achieving in education due to their ability but rather on their on merits and performance.