Tag Archives: grouping children

The construction of student worth in policy enactments – past and present

Meg Maguirepost by MEG MAGUIRE
Professor of Sociology of Education, King’s College London

In the long-standing policies that have centred on grouping children, selecting some for ‘special treatment’ either because they have ‘learning difficulties’ or because they are ‘high ability’ or some such rhetoric of inclusion/exclusion, there is a pattern of continuity, albeit one that shifts its form and some of its practices. Let me start with some examples of these policy workings from the past to illustrate these practices. Jackson and Marsden’s study of eighty-eight working class children demonstrated powerfully ‘how savagely and sadly a school system can become a tenacious self-fulfilling prophecy, cutting talent down in the search for the chosen few’. Continue reading The construction of student worth in policy enactments – past and present