Another aspect I wanted to touchupon is streaming, a prime example experienced was in secondary school, thecore subjects of mathematics, English and Science were all streamed; theallocation of children to groups on the grounds of a fixed ability label. My weak subject was Mathematics, where I was streamed into the third set, outof a possible five groups. We were streamed in Year 7 and once streamed; it wasdifficult to move into a higher stream- I felt as though I was locked into myteacher’s low expectations of me. For the first two years of secondary school,I had internalised this label of ‘average ability’ to a point where there wasno progress. However, in Year 10 when I realised I was about to head into myGCSE examinations, that is when I started attending tuition and realised that Ienjoy challenging myself with higher levels of tasks and was determined toachieve the best for myself.
I started to reject this label and worked hardenough and bought in my own work from home to show the teacher that I amcapable of higher levels of work, and this is when I finally moved into ahigher stream. In this higher stream, the teachers were more attentive and hadmany more resources to widen my understanding. Gillborn and Youdell link this streaming to thepublishing of exam league tables which rank the school based on its examsuccess, the higher a school is in the table, the more students and funding theyreceive. The requirement to gain a good league table result drives theeducational triage in which a school invests their resources to assist a childin passing; this is the basis of streaming and the ‘A-to-C’ economy. A goodexample of pupils responding negatively by rejecting labels is Mary Fuller’s(1984) study of a group of black girls where instead of accepting negativestereotypes, the girls conveyed their anger about being labelled into theireducation. This study shows that negative labelling does not always lead tofailure and does not inevitably produce a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Thisexperience has shaped me into the person I am today as I try to constantly trymy best to achieve what I want.