ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

for Christians working in education

Does labelling in education help?

Does labelling in education help?

'I loathe the idea of being labelled. To me, it feels limiting, as if whoever has labelled me can only see one facet, ignoring everything else that makes me ‘me’. It’s bad enough if the label appears accurate, it still fails to consider all the elements which make me unique, and if that label is an oversimplification, my discomfort would lead me to rally against it. Yet in education, we label all the time and, many teachers would argue, with good reason. Labels allow us to better provide for the needs of particular students, but do they really help us to focus on those individual needs? Can they encourage assumptions which ultimately force students into categories which aren’t specifically individualised for them? Worse still, how often do labels disadvantage students by focusing on their weaknesses, rather than their strengths?'

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