Low Status In School Classroom

Status characteristics are agreed-upon social rankings where people believe that it is better to be in the high than in the low state. Status often determines the level of participation in the learning process. Each student has a certain status in a class.

Different kinds of status

Students may be classified as high or low status according to a number of variables:

  • Pupils with a high academic status are pupils who are good at studying, who obtain good results at exams
  • The peer group status denotes the degree of popularity
  • A translation of the status of the social background of the pupil
  • Status can be completely different in other contexts such as the street, home, the sports club etc.
  • The status is usually unvarying within one and the same context unless something is done in order to change it

How do we recognize a status problem?

The following may be indications of a status problem:

  • A student does not have access to the task
  • He cant get his hands on the material,
  • He will frequently be physically separated from the rest of the group
  • He does not talk as much as other students
  • Often when he talks, his ideas are ignored by the rest of the group

Low status students do not get access to the task and the learning process. In addition, teachers may mistakenly see low status students as passive or uninvolved. In fact, the student is simply unable to get access to the material.

What can the teacher do to treat status problems?

The multiple ability strategy:

  • Change the expectation for competence
  • Convince the students of the importance of different abilities (intelligences) to finish the task
  • Convince the students that no one has all the abilities but that everyone has some of the abilities

Assigning competence:

  • Students tend to take seriously the evaluations teachers make of them
  • The teacher publicly evaluates a low status student as being strong on a particular ability
  • To assign competence the teacher must observe when the low status student actually does make intellectual contribution

Also see the following

< < < Back to explore more inter-personal reasons

< < < Back to explore more class management and teaching methods

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