Angel4life
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Are covert participant observations good for investigating pupil exclusions? 20 mark CAN SOMEONE PLS MARK MY ESSAY

Interpretivists favour this method because it produces qualitative data so therefore we are able to do an in depth study of the reasons why ‘’Boys, pupils with special educational needs, poorer pupils and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils are much more likely to be excluded ’’ as stated by Item B. However positivists reject this view as it lacks reliability and representativeness.
A practical strength is that covert participant observations are flexible which allows researchers to go into study with an open mind and able to observe the teachers interactions with certain groups of pupils without a fixed hypothesis. As Becker argues teachers have their own fixed image of the ideal pupils which includes mainly white, m/c boys therefore they are more likely to label those groups more positively than other disadvantaged groups. These students therefore as Archer argues only receive symbolic violence from teachers so are more likely to join anti-school subcultures which reject the school values and gain acceptance and recognition through their friends via nike identities. As wearing branded shoes and clothes goes against schools uniform regulations these pupils are more likely to be excluded.
If covert observation is carried out, data will also be more valid as behaviour will be natural and not manufactured. As during overt observation teachers can hold impression management in presence of researchers in order to give a positive impression of the school. So to carry out this investigation researcher would need to apply for a job as a mentor in the school using a fake cv to be able to go to meetings, staff rooms to observe and even speak with other teachers and members of staff on their private thoughts of pupils and why they exclude certain groups more than others . As this method is flexible we are also able to change the direction of the research towards the pupils as we can establish a rapport over a long period of time with students which will allow them to open up more and be able to have more enriching conversations on the experiences in school and interactions they have with teachers and the reasons why they ‘’ self-exclude by truanting or simply by ‘switching off’ in class’’ as stated by Item B.
However researchers require training to develop their interpersonal and observational skills.That can often take time and creating a rapport may cause the researcher to lose objectivity which in turn could make the data invalid. Also this is a sensitive issue because the school has a high number of pupil expulsion ‘’ 1 pupil in 20 ‘’ as stated by Item B showing behavioural issues in the school which creates a negative reputation for the school. Therefore parents are less likely to send their children to that school.
An ethical advantage is that Anonymity of the school and the participants can be kept by using pseudonyms - fake names. However we did not get the consent from teachers to expose their private thoughts about students which could lead to them losing their job e.g in a smoke room or staff room ,areas outside of the classroom.
This method gathers qualitative data which gives data validity since the researcher gets to experience the events for themselves as well as gain an insight into the meanings the teachers attach to decisions about exclusions. As they tend to label those from travelling backgrounds and learning disabilities as incompetent so they tend to pay less attention on them in class compared to m/c pupils. This makes these pupils feel inferior to their peers which makes them feel that they really are incompetent so they stop trying and give up leading them to self- exclude themselves more from class.
However this research is unreliable and thus data cannot be replicated in any other school as behavioural policies between different schools may differ so therefore certain offences in one school may be seen as minor in another school e.g kissing teeth. Not to mention data is unrepresentative because the sample size is small as the researcher can only observe one group of students or teachers at a time and is unable to observe every single classroom.
In conclusion covert participant observations are flexible which allows us to shift our focus to two different groups to investigate pupil exclusions. Teachers tend to exclude certain groups of pupils more frequently because they differ from their image of the ideal pupil as argued by Becker. These students then tend to self-exclude themselves from class as they join anti-school subcultures. Through working as a mentor we are able to get a deeper insight on why pupils may self-exclude and the meanings teachers attach to decisions about exclusions. However this method is unreliable and data is unrepresentative. However whether this method is useful for studying pupil exclusions is dependent on the methodological perspective one agrees with.
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agnos987
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I think this is a very good essay - It's packed with a lot of detail.
I think the essay is a little bit too long for a 20 mark question? Around 3 paragraphs should be enough but I guess it really depends on you. This amount is probably enough for a 30 mark question. You should probably try and combine some of the paragraphs (where you can) to make it into a few very detailed and through paragraphs.
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Angel4life
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(Original post by Bbubble061)
I think this is a very good essay - It's packed with a lot of detail.
I think the essay is a little bit too long for a 20 mark question? Around 3 paragraphs should be enough but I guess it really depends on you. This amount is probably enough for a 30 mark question. You should probably try and combine some of the paragraphs (where you can) to make it into a few very detailed and through paragraphs.
Thank you for the feedback I didnt do the essay in time limit thats why it is very long in the real exam this much for 20 marker is probably not the best idea lol how many marks would you give it out of 20
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Angel4life
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Thank you for the feedback I didnt do the essay in time limit thats why it is very long in the real exam this much for 20 marker is probably not the best idea lol how many marks would you give it out of 20

(Original post by Bbubble061)
I think this is a very good essay - It's packed with a lot of detail.
I think the essay is a little bit too long for a 20 mark question? Around 3 paragraphs should be enough but I guess it really depends on you. This amount is probably enough for a 30 mark question. You should probably try and combine some of the paragraphs (where you can) to make it into a few very detailed and through paragraphs.
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agnos987
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(Original post by Angel4life)
Thank you for the feedback I didnt do the essay in time limit thats why it is very long in the real exam this much for 20 marker is probably not the best idea lol how many marks would you give it out of 20
I'm no teacher but I'd personally give it about 18 or 19 out of 20 - the only thing I'd say is to prpbably just make your essay structure clearer and easier to read (?). For some of the paragraphs, I'm not quite sure whether it's a new point you're making or if it's a continuation of the previous one.

Also maybe (don't have to) put a brief definition of covert observation in your introduction - it shows you clearly know what the question is about .
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Angel4life
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(Original post by Bbubble061)
I'm no teacher but I'd personally give it about 18 or 19 out of 20 - the only thing I'd say is to prpbably just make your essay structure clearer and easier to read (?). For some of the paragraphs, I'm not quite sure whether it's a new point you're making or if it's a continuation of the previous one.

Also maybe (don't have to) put a brief definition of covert observation in your introduction - it shows you clearly know what the question is about .
I hope you pass all your exams and live a happy life THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME
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agnos987
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(Original post by Angel4life)
I hope you pass all your exams and live a happy life THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME
Your welcome
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