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GCSE Sociology AQA

Hey could someone please mark my 12 marker for sociology? Thanks.

Discuss how far sociologists would agree that the way in which students are grouped together within the school can have a significant effect on their educational performance.

This essay will discuss how far sociologists would agree that the way students are grouped in school can have a significant effect on their educational performance (how well they achieve in school).

Sociologists would agree with this statement and would argue that this is applicable especially when students of the same gender and class are grouped together as they have similar norms and values. Therefore, they will form a subculture. This can be backed up by his research where he studied 12 working class boys in the Midlands who would avidly misbehave, showing evidence that their norms and values were not based on doing well in school (especially since they viewed this as effeminate) and instead it was based on the standards of masculinity. This bad behaviour was further amplified when they were together as they would form an anti school subculture, gaining status off each other by misbehaving. For example, they made fun of the ‘ear’oles’ who enjoyed school showing that together they would collaborate to disrupt lessons. They rejected everything the school stood for: their norms and values such as respecting teachers, and focused on ‘having a laff’. This shows Willis would agree with this statement as together they ruined the education of other students by being disruptive; diminishing their performance. This can be evaluated as Willis only studied 12 working class boys. This isnt representative of all working class boys.

However, sociologist Ball would disagree and argue that teachers’ attitudes have a greater effect on educational performance, not how students are grouped. This is backed up by his research where he stayed at Beachside Comprehensive for 3 years and identified 2 grouping techniques used: banding and mixed ability classes. He found that the bands were based on the students’ fathers’ occupation, so therefore students in band 1 were middle class and were labelled positively as they were ‘high ability’ unlike students in band 3 who were labelled negatively such as ‘dumb’, leading to a self fulfilling prophecy were they accepted this label and didn’t try in school. However, with mixed ability classes, middle class students were positively labelled and working class ones weren’t. This shows Ball would disagree as no matter how the students were grouped, the teacher’s attitudes wouldn't change which negatively affected the performance of working class students but positively benefited middle class ones. This can be evaluated as he only researched one school and this demographic may not be prevalent in other schools.

Overall, one may disagree with this statement as regardless of how the students are grouped, labelling and joining a subculture is inevita
Hi, your essay makes a lot of sense and the content is correct and well presented. It may have changed since I did my GCSE in 2021 but I was always told to use 2 points for and 2 for against where possible. Another thing to look at is your intro and conclusion, short is good but the conclusion lacks an explanation behind your argument, also instead of one, the examiners like it when you put sociologists. Your intro could use some signposting so say I will look at subcultures and teacher attitudes to come to a conclusion. (I realise this may sound contradictory to what your teacher has told you, so maybe have a word with them if it’s not similar to what you have been told, but I got a 9 in GCSE, A* at A-level and am now doing a sociology degree so I hope this helps).
Reply 2
Original post by teddybear4444h
Hi, your essay makes a lot of sense and the content is correct and well presented. It may have changed since I did my GCSE in 2021 but I was always told to use 2 points for and 2 for against where possible. Another thing to look at is your intro and conclusion, short is good but the conclusion lacks an explanation behind your argument, also instead of one, the examiners like it when you put sociologists. Your intro could use some signposting so say I will look at subcultures and teacher attitudes to come to a conclusion. (I realise this may sound contradictory to what your teacher has told you, so maybe have a word with them if it’s not similar to what you have been told, but I got a 9 in GCSE, A* at A-level and am now doing a sociology degree so I hope this helps).

Thank you! I was meant to mention Paul Willis in my first paragraph but I forgot to include him while I was typing my essay up
Reply 3
Original post by teddybear4444h
Hi, your essay makes a lot of sense and the content is correct and well presented. It may have changed since I did my GCSE in 2021 but I was always told to use 2 points for and 2 for against where possible. Another thing to look at is your intro and conclusion, short is good but the conclusion lacks an explanation behind your argument, also instead of one, the examiners like it when you put sociologists. Your intro could use some signposting so say I will look at subcultures and teacher attitudes to come to a conclusion. (I realise this may sound contradictory to what your teacher has told you, so maybe have a word with them if it’s not similar to what you have been told, but I got a 9 in GCSE, A* at A-level and am now doing a sociology degree so I hope this helps).

I'll try to add another point aswell the timing for 12 markers is kinda difficult 😭. Our teacher told us to do one for and one against - but add criticism of each paragraph, a brief summary of it and evidence & examples but it would be better to add more points to be safe.
Reply 4
Original post by teddybear4444h
Hi, your essay makes a lot of sense and the content is correct and well presented. It may have changed since I did my GCSE in 2021 but I was always told to use 2 points for and 2 for against where possible. Another thing to look at is your intro and conclusion, short is good but the conclusion lacks an explanation behind your argument, also instead of one, the examiners like it when you put sociologists. Your intro could use some signposting so say I will look at subcultures and teacher attitudes to come to a conclusion. (I realise this may sound contradictory to what your teacher has told you, so maybe have a word with them if it’s not similar to what you have been told, but I got a 9 in GCSE, A* at A-level and am now doing a sociology degree so I hope this helps).
Srry for all the spam, but maybe for the conclusion if I wrote:

Overall one may disagree with this argument, because although grouping can encourage students to join a subculture - if they have similar norms and values (especially if they go against the school ones) which affects educational performance, other internal factors like teacher attitudes can affect educational performance more as it can lead to negative labelling and a self fulfilling prophecy, which can negatively impact educational achievement. Also, persistent negative teacher attitudes can lead to students joining an anti -school subculture aswell.

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