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EducationEducation Process through which academic, social, and cultural ideas and tools are developed Latent Functions Social and cultural ideas and tools Functional Illiteracy Did not have a basic functional set of reading skills Inability to read or write well enough to function in society 14% of population Innumeracy Having insufficient math skills to function in society 22% of population Human Capital Knowledge and skills that make someone more productive and bankable Bachelor’s Degree Basically just a qualification Doesn’t make you a master in the subject Usually need higher education if you want a job in your field Socialization Hidden Curriculum Non-academic and less overt functions of education Raise your hand to ask a question Helps social cohesion, but has also been used to impose dominant cultural values on outsiders or minorities Marxist Theories Schools are pawns of capitalism Teaching skills that maintain dominant/subordinate workforce positions Sorokin Schools are sorting machines Tests for ability, talent, character Promote best students, eliminate worst Critics argue sorting is not based only on merit Ultimately reproduces social inequality Coleman Report (1966) School resources had no effect on student achievement Family background and peers did More Recent Findings Students in small (13-17) classes had fewer disciplinary problems, higher test scores Test score rankings by school type Catholic Private School (social capital) Secular Private School Public School Tracking Dividing students into different classes according to ability or future plans Low performing, dropout prevention Dark Side of Tracking Does not help students on the general track Privileged students more likely to be in college tracksEducationEducational Inequality Cultural Capital Symbolic and interactional resources that people inherit and use to their advantage Forms of Cultural Capital Embodied Cultural abilities or skills Playing a musical instrument Objectified Cultural objects you own or can access Having a musical instrument Institutionalized Educational credentials Minor in German Not mutually exclusive categories IQ Test Runner: Marathon Envoy: Embassy Oarsman: Regatta Martyr: Massacre Referee: Tournament Only would know the answer if you had been exposed to open sea boating Cultural/social class aspect Race/Ethnicity African Americans and Hispanics Score lower on cognitive achievement tests, SATs Have higher rates of being left back, suspended, and expelled Asian Americans Have higher GPA’s, math scores, and college attendance Black/White Achievement Gap Explanations Differences in socioeconomic status (SES) by race Fear of being accused of “acting white” Genetic differences in intelligence Much evidence against genetic explanation Stereotype Threat When members of a stigmatized group are placed in a situation where they fear they may confirm those stereotypes Test was the same, only thing that mattered was the three words said at the beginning Tell a group “high status group,” they will perform better Opposite is true, as well Always going to be someone who proves the stereotype, doesn’t mean it’s always true SAT (ACT) Predicts college outcomes, but only for white students Scores associated with race, ethnicity, and SES Predictive power of SAT comes from correlation with family background Admissions Equation High school GPA * effect + SAT score * effect = Probability of graduating college Adding other factors make the significance of the SAT score lower (SES effect)EducationFamily background matters significantly, but not in the moral way that people think A lot of other factors that determine Family puts a lot of effort into what you’re going to do Many individuals bypass their families Everyone has the ability to analyze information in daily life and make your own conclusions Can ask critical questions of yourself and of the institution you’re involved

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LSU SOCL 2001 - Education

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