chapter  5
17 Pages

The Importance of Classroom Studies

After this introductory section, a few selected classroom studies — those of Becker, Rist, Hargreaves and Werthman — are utilized to focus upon the implicit assumptions of teachers, and how these affect the organization of the material, and the treatment of pupils. The third section continues the main theme: the defining processes that occur within the school itself; how teachers observe, classify and react to class-type differences in the behaviour of children. In other words, how, through the process of teachers' classification, the 'labelling' of pupils into different categories, the school creates failure. In the fourth section some limitations of the 'labelling' approach are discussed. The study 'Classroom Knowledge' by Keddie is examined in the fifth section. In contrast, the chapter concludes with an assessment of a study which is explicitly critical of the phenomenological approach in sociology. The authors of this study, Sharp and Green, regard 'progressivism' in education as utopian, a mode of social control, an ideology.