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Table Of Contents

SCHOOLS IN CRISIS
Perplexing Problems in American Schooling
THE NEED FOR EDUCATIONALSOCIOLOGY
APPLYING SOCIOLOGICALTHEORY TO EDUCATION
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN SCHOOLING
DOES SCHOOLING REALLY MATTER?
THE PROBLEM OF UNEQUALACHIEVEMENT
Explaining Unequal Achievement
THREE EXPLANATIONS OF UNEQUALACHIEVEMENT
CONCLUSIONS
THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY BACKGROUND
Explaining Unequal Achievement: The Family
THE CONCEPT OF CULTURALCAPITAL
THE CONCEPT OF SOCIALCAPITAL
FAMILY CHARACTERISTICS AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
PARENTALINVOLVEMENT AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
THE FUNDAMENTALBELIEF IN AMERICAN SCHOOLING
Exploring Unequal Achievement: Differences Between Schools
THE CHALLENGE TO EXCELLENCE AND ACCESS
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WITHIN-SCHOOLDIFFERENCES
Explaining Unequal Achievement: Within-School Differences
TRACKING: APRIME FACTOR IN UNEQUALACHIEVEMENT
TRACKING OUTCOMES
THE LEGALITY OF TRACKING
PREVIOUS EXPLANATIONS OF UNEQUALACHIEVEMENT
THE SOCIALCONSTRUCTION OF REALITY
LABELING THEORY
TEACHER EXPECTATIONS
THE PROCESS OF BECOMING AN UNDERACHIEVER
SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF UNEQUALACHIEVEMENT
WHAT CAN SCHOOLS DO? EFFECTIVE SCHOOLS RESEARCH
WHAT CAN FAMILIES DO?
WHAT CAN GOVERNMENTS DO?
CONCLUSION
Glossary
Bibliography
Index
P. 1
Exploring Unequal Achievement in the Schools: The Social Construction of Failure

Exploring Unequal Achievement in the Schools: The Social Construction of Failure

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Published by RowmanLittlefield
One of the most disturbing problems in American education today is the unequal achievement of children in schools. Few problems have sparked greater concern than the issue of why students from different social origins differ so significantly in their academic performance. This book explores the role played by families and schools in this troubling problem. It employs a social constructionist approach in considering how ascribed characteristics (race, gender, and class) intersect with the daily interactions of teachers and students in classrooms and with the educational practices and structures within schools (tracking, testing, and teacher expectations) to play an exacting role in the construction of success or failure. It suggests that the new student identity that begins to emerge as a result of these processes provides a self-fulfilling prophesy of expectation and belief, which defines how students see themselves as learners and achievers. Through these practices, schooling becomes a crucial factor in the social construction of academic success. The author's final conclusion is inescapable: unequal achievement in school is largely a social construction. But it is a social construction facilitated both by student attributes including gender, race, and class and by the educational structures and policies some schools employ. Because of this undeniable fact, parents, educational practitioners, and policy makers must continue to investigate social policies and practices relative to student abilities and make every effort to understand how they may be related to achievement. Informed by research, they must endeavor to see this power inherent in schooling and the need to effect change.
One of the most disturbing problems in American education today is the unequal achievement of children in schools. Few problems have sparked greater concern than the issue of why students from different social origins differ so significantly in their academic performance. This book explores the role played by families and schools in this troubling problem. It employs a social constructionist approach in considering how ascribed characteristics (race, gender, and class) intersect with the daily interactions of teachers and students in classrooms and with the educational practices and structures within schools (tracking, testing, and teacher expectations) to play an exacting role in the construction of success or failure. It suggests that the new student identity that begins to emerge as a result of these processes provides a self-fulfilling prophesy of expectation and belief, which defines how students see themselves as learners and achievers. Through these practices, schooling becomes a crucial factor in the social construction of academic success. The author's final conclusion is inescapable: unequal achievement in school is largely a social construction. But it is a social construction facilitated both by student attributes including gender, race, and class and by the educational structures and policies some schools employ. Because of this undeniable fact, parents, educational practitioners, and policy makers must continue to investigate social policies and practices relative to student abilities and make every effort to understand how they may be related to achievement. Informed by research, they must endeavor to see this power inherent in schooling and the need to effect change.

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Publish date: 2009
Added to Scribd: Feb 07, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780739135150
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