Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

First Advisor

Dr. Denisha Jones

Second Advisor

Jerusha Beckerman


This paper is a testament to the negative impacts that cognitive, intellectual, and social labels have on connections in the classroom, both by way of students’ identities as learners and access to education. Labels pervade schools and exclude children from exploring, wondering, and making due to students’ identities and educators’ perceptions of their social interactions and academic performance. Whether intentional or not, giving students labels based on their cognitive, intellectual, and social abilities and performance creates separation and allows for maltreatment of students based on who does and does not have certain labels. As educators it is essential that we move away from these harmful labels and work towards seeing students as whole children so that we can support them in learning and obtaining tools for future successes.