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Labeling as a consequence of Homogenous Student-Sectioning At Iluminada Roxas-

Mendoza Memorial High School

Chapter 1 Introduction

A. Background of the Study


Iluminada Roxas-Mendoza Memorial High School was established in 2008 to render the
growing number of youth at Barangay Sulucan, Bocaue, Bulacan with the formal secondary
education they need. The school formally opened on year 2008 with Mrs. Theresita D. De Martin
as its first principal, together with its first nineteen teachers who were faced to manage more or
less four hundred students. As a new school, IRMMHS experienced scarcity both on
educational/structural facilities and in the number of administrative and technical personnel
(especially teachers). Since then, the school experienced an influx of students coming from
nearby elementary schools every enrolment season, making its student population to rise steadily
over the years, aggravating its condition on resource scarcity.
The researcher arrived at IRMMHS as a freshman student in June, 2010. IRMMHS was
bigger at that time compared to its state in 2008; however, what seemed to “culture shock” her
was the size of the classrooms. To accommodate the large student population, the school
administration decided to divide the usual size of classrooms into halves, with each classroom
containing approximately fifty students in relation to more or less thirty chairs. Hence, making
about half of the students in each section to sit on the floor until their class for the day was over.
Scarcity of chairs and teacher-tables, poor classroom ventilation, and dirty comfort rooms were
just some of the “striking features” of the IRMMHS scenario.
Reminiscing the old IRMMHS would entail the student-sectioning issue. Evident on
those times was how the students were sectioned homogenously (higher sections) and
heterogeneously (lower sections), and how such system of classifying students developed into
stratification of students with consequences on the different levels of access and acquisition of
prestige, power, and material resources (e.g. Star Sections [Section 1] at that time had complete
chairs, bigger rooms, priority rights on elective TLE courses etc., conditions contrary to what
their fellow students were experiencing at the lower sections.
Differences on material conditions were evident at that time; what has been more implied
and implicit, however, was the use of labels connected to sections and, consequently, to students
belonging to those sections (i.e. the labels higher section student and lower section student).
Such preliminary experience motivated the researcher to pursue a study on student
sectioning, even though its trend seems to be diminishing at IRMMHS.
Most educated Filipinos experienced being grouped into sections during their schooling
years. Student-sectioning is a common practice of schools, whether public or private, with
considerably large student population. It is mostly part of every school’s educational-
organizational management strategy to effectively manage the schools limited personnel and
material resources in relation to rendering student services –the allocation of resources, student
teacher ratio, student-book ratio, etc.
Labeling as a consequence of Homogenous Student-Sectioning At Iluminada Roxas-
Mendoza Memorial High School

School Administrators usually decide whether the student-sectioning strategy will be


Homogenous or Heterogeneous, or a mixture of these. Homogenous Student Sectioning, or
Ability Grouping, basically implies the creation of sections with students having most likely
similar mental abilities and capabilities in learning. On the contrary, Heterogeneous Student
Sectioning involves the creation of sections with students having, aside from diverse
backgrounds, varied abilities and capabilities in learning, with different inclinations and interests.
School Administrators usually decide whether the student-sectioning strategy will be
Homogenous or Heterogeneous, or a mixture of these. Homogenous Student Sectioning, or
Ability Grouping, basically implies the creation of sections with students having most likely
similar mental abilities and capabilities in learning. On the contrary, Heterogeneous Student
Sectioning involves the creation of sections with students having, aside from diverse
backgrounds, varied abilities and capabilities in learning, with different inclinations and interests.
It was curiosity which pushed the researcher to pursue the study. Basically, she wanted to
know how true and wide scoping (number of students affected) his theoretical construct is
relative to student sectioning. Reviewing related studies of Rosental and Jacobson in 1968 (as
cited in Ballantine, 1997; Rosenthal, 1997), of Hoge (1979), Labuguen (1968), Doctolero (1995),
and Ceñidoza (2004) further strengthen the need to pursue a study regarding student-sectioning
since most of these researches were not primarily sociological (except for latter); as well as the
need to update the knowledge on the topic. These rationales guided the researcher into believing
that her study is worthy of being pursued in the light of Sociological theories and concepts and
some
3 Schools, on different school-years would vary on how they would define “exceptional”
based on students’ averages. 4 “Traditional” since Homogenous Student Sectioning has been the
traditional methodology of student-sectioning in the Philippines. Since it has become traditional,
or customary, the labels, attributions and expectations produced by it do not easily cease,
especially if a considerable number of schools practice such sectioning type, or are showing
tendencies of it. 5 Several local seemingly related studies were conducted from the 1960’s to the
1980’s. However, the researcher was not able to read them due to an organizational policy
imposed by The National Library on accessing theses and dissertations.
borrowing of terms from other related fields (i.e. motivation and the nature of self-concept in
Psychology). The researcher personally believes that what her study has in contrast to the studies
cited above is the special emphasis on the possible effects of labels, attributions, and
expectations on the self-concepts, aspiration and motivation for academic achievement, and
social interactions of secondary senior students banded into stratified sections.
This does not mean…that as sociologists, we need to divest ourselves of our values;
indeed we could not do this even if we wanted to. The ability to conceptualize values… is one of
the principal features that distinguishes humans as a species. All that is necessary is that we be
prepared to accept what may be surprising and perhaps even displeasing to us if our findings do
not support what we strongly believe or hold dear. -Martin Marger (2000, p.6)
I have tried to be objective: I do not claim to be detached -C. Wright Mills (in Massey,
2000, p.13)
Labeling as a consequence of Homogenous Student-Sectioning At Iluminada Roxas-
Mendoza Memorial High School

Chapter II
Methodology

This study is basically a descriptive research since it describes the characteristics of the
sample population (respondents) on the “what is” basis. The approach of the study is mostly
quantitative. The quantitative design involves statistical treatment of data, and that data will be
presented in numerical forms. Conversely, data obtained through interviewing some school
administrators constitute this research’s qualitative side. As a survey research, the present study
accompanies the perceptions, opinions, and characteristics of the respondents (thus, descriptive)
in a massive sense. The use of percentages and weighted means in summarizing and presenting
the respondents’ descriptions, attitudes, and characteristics puts this research in the quantitative
type. The use of survey is essential in determining the present condition of the target population
at Iluminada Roxas- Mendoza Memorial High School.