Title

Cultural Capital in our Schools

Presenter Information

Stavroula Athan
Brittney Duval

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Room 201

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Cultural Capital, Pre-K education, social learning

Abstract

There are many explanations offered to understand the differential academic outcomes of students from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. One of the more intriguing is the notion of Cultural Capital. Cultural Capital argues that the academic outcomes of students are not a reflection of their innate intelligence or study habits, but rather of the social class basis of their knowledge. The notion of Cultural Capital argues that children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are at a severe disadvantage in our public schools, as we conjecture that these school favor upper class forms of knowledge. Our presentation seeks to understand that social barriers that prevent these children from succeeding, as well as ways the public school system can break through Cultural Capital learning barriers. We focus on preschoolers and kindergarteners because we feel that this age group has not been studied in terms of Cultural Capital. We seek to investigate whether Cultural Capital accounts for the differential academic outcomes of students in the same learning environment. Cultural Capital refers to the social norms and forms of knowledge that are not necessarily taught in schools; this knowledge base would be more learned from home and the surrounding environment, whether that be affluent or struggling. Our primary question was: “Are schools treating all children from all socioeconomic backgrounds equally? If not, is Cultural Capital the factor that could lead to the failing student’s success?”

Faculty Mentor(s)

Pichardo, Nelson

Additional Mentoring Department

Sociology

Additional Mentoring Department

Ethnic Studies

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May 15th, 8:30 AM May 15th, 8:50 AM

Cultural Capital in our Schools

SURC Room 201

There are many explanations offered to understand the differential academic outcomes of students from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. One of the more intriguing is the notion of Cultural Capital. Cultural Capital argues that the academic outcomes of students are not a reflection of their innate intelligence or study habits, but rather of the social class basis of their knowledge. The notion of Cultural Capital argues that children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are at a severe disadvantage in our public schools, as we conjecture that these school favor upper class forms of knowledge. Our presentation seeks to understand that social barriers that prevent these children from succeeding, as well as ways the public school system can break through Cultural Capital learning barriers. We focus on preschoolers and kindergarteners because we feel that this age group has not been studied in terms of Cultural Capital. We seek to investigate whether Cultural Capital accounts for the differential academic outcomes of students in the same learning environment. Cultural Capital refers to the social norms and forms of knowledge that are not necessarily taught in schools; this knowledge base would be more learned from home and the surrounding environment, whether that be affluent or struggling. Our primary question was: “Are schools treating all children from all socioeconomic backgrounds equally? If not, is Cultural Capital the factor that could lead to the failing student’s success?”