The Relationship Between Social Class and Education

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The Relationship Between Social Class and Education

By | June 2006
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The Relationship Between Social Class and Education

Schooling affects both education and income since most of the better paying jobs require a college degree or other advanced study. Jobs that offer lower income and social prestige demand less schooling. Most people consider schooling crucial to personal success. Just as students are treated differently within schools, schools themselves differ in fundamental ways.

In the United States, for education purposes, we believe that the more affluent the community, the better the schools. Suburban school districts offer better schooling than the less-well-funded systems in central cities. To advance educational equality some communities have initiated busing, so that students will receive a greater social mix. However, some feel that busing advocates claim that minority children in poor neighborhoods will have quality schools only if white children from richer neighborhoods attend them. It was determined that money alone does not magically bolster academic quality. Even more important are the cooperative efforts and enthusiasm of teachers, parents, and students themselves. Basically this is saying that if school funding was the same everywhere, the students whose families value and encourage education would still learn more than others. Schools alone cannot be expected to overcome the effects of marked social inequality.

We have been trained to typically expect the children coming form upper class families to have an edge on those coming from the middle or lower classes. We expect these children to be somewhat above average, and they will hold this status throughout their educational career. Children whose roots fall in the middle class are expected to only be average, below those from the upper class and slightly above those from the lower class. Lower class children are those that we expect not to succeed in their educational career. These students are below average and need extra help in order to stay in...
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