Social Class in Classroom

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ocial class has a large effect on the lifestyles of all Americans. But what does it really mean to be a part of the lower, middle or upper class? These divisions of social class are defined by aspects such as family income and lifestyle; however, education plays a large role in determining ones social class. That does not mean that it will determine success in ones life but to interpret, many people with a further education usually have a higher income as well. Those of the upper class have higher standards for education and career aspirations in contrast to those of the lower and middle class. Besides the differentiation of aspirations of the individuals of each social class, it is also used to determine who will go to college, depending on who can afford it or have no other priorities that can get in the way. There are approximately “20 percent of Americans in the lower class” (Long, Social Class Stratification, 18). In contrast with these 20% of Americans a long with the other 80% are a lot of differences when it comes to learning in the classroom. According to Lee Warren of Harvard University, “In many parts of the country, class differences are sharply defined by accent: people talk like the neighborhood they came from”(Class in the Classroom, 2) where as someone from a more “run-down” neighborhood might have a less sophisticated vocabulary, just because they do not speak that way on a daily basis. However, that is all stereotypical. People “wrongly anticipate the knowledge or potential of specific classes of children” and as a result “children from high-class families are sometimes viewed as being more intelligent than those from lower social classes” (Social Class-Effects 1), which is not right at all. The amount of money one has, should not define how educated they are. “Education is based on learning specific skills, forming lifelong work habits and developing mature coping skills according to each students unique abilities” (FISD Career and Technical Education Center Handbook Addendum 4) not income and socioeconomic status. Not only is it stereotypical that students who come from a lower class family, have a weaker vocabulary, but some tend to believe that their level of academic readiness can not measure up to those from a higher social class. As quoted from Lee Warren, “differing levels of preparation and academic sophistication can sometimes be attributed to class background and the quality of previous schooling” (Class in the Classroom 2). While the type of previous schooling and preparation for school can demonstrate a student’s socioeconomic class background; In contrast, author Richard Rothstein argues in his article, “The Social and Economic Realities That Challenge All Schools” that: “the success of some lower class students proves nothing about the power of schools …between low-income and middle-class children…on average, the achievement of low-income students is below that of middle-class students, but there are always some middle-class students who achieve below typical low-income levels; similarly, some low-income students achieve above typical middle-class levels.” Which demonstrates that the type of school a student attends can be effective towards their education, however, it is up to the student to take advantage of the education they are receiving. Just because an upper class student attends a school that has very high academic standards does not mean that they are smart. It just represents the type of school he or she went to. The student can be failing every single class, because it is so hard, while a lower income class student can be a valedictorian of his/her school. To conclude, the type of school might display the student’s family income, however, grades are a different story. Anyone can be rich and quite blunt. Social class has a large effect on the students’ academic interests as well. In regards to that, it is also believed that those who come from the lower social class would have...
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