To understand our perceptions of ‘pupils’

Aim

To understand our perceptions of ‘pupils’.

Evidence and reflection

First, without referring to the register or any lists, write down the names of the pupils in your class or tutor group. Note which order you have listed them in and which names you found hard to remember. What does the order tell you about which students are more memorable than others, and for what reasons?

Second, use your complete class list to generate the ‘personal constructs’ which you employ. To do this, look at each adjacent pair of names and write down the word that you think indicates how those two pupils are most alike. Then write down another word which shows how they are most different.

When you have done this with each pair, review the characteristics that you have identified. What does this suggest to you about the concepts through which you distinguish children? What additional qualities do the children have which these constructs do not seem to reflect and which perhaps you do not use?

Extension

Consider, perhaps with a colleague, the results of this activity and note any patterns that might exist: for example whether some of your ideas relate more to boys than girls, or to children from different class, ethnicity or religious backgrounds. There may be some constructs that relate to such things as academic ability, physical attributes or behaviour towards teachers or other children. How might this be problematic for the identities of those pupils within your class, or for your expectations of them as learners?