Title

Non-School Activities and the Hispanic/White Achievement Gap

Presenter Information

Darla Davey Medina

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Room 137A

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Hispanic, Education, Stratification

Abstract

This research returns to the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) to study the inequalities in educational achievement. The majority of research on stratification in early childhood education and cognitive development has focused on race and social class as predictors of educational development. A plethora of research has been devoted to the educational stratification that exists between Black and white children. A look at Hispanic high school students have been included in recent research, though their inclusion in early cognitive development studies remains largely ignored. This research seeks to ascertain whether the well-documented patterns of educational stratification between Hispanics and white students at the secondary school level, actually gains its foothold in the first few years of formal schooling. I focus on the cognitive development of Hispanic and white children as they begin their formal learning in kindergarten through the completion of the first grade. I test three possible explanatory variables that are specific to the Hispanic community: nativity, assimilation, and first language spoken at home. I also address the impact that non-school factors have on the cognitive development of Hispanic and white children. If schools help to level the playing field for its students, then what happens to the children when they are away from the equalizing impact of the school? Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in our country right now, yet have received insufficient attention in research on inequalities in early childhood learning. This article addresses this gap in the literature on cognitive development.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Mucahly, Michael

Additional Mentoring Department

Sociology

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May 15th, 11:40 AM May 15th, 12:00 PM

Non-School Activities and the Hispanic/White Achievement Gap

SURC Room 137A

This research returns to the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) to study the inequalities in educational achievement. The majority of research on stratification in early childhood education and cognitive development has focused on race and social class as predictors of educational development. A plethora of research has been devoted to the educational stratification that exists between Black and white children. A look at Hispanic high school students have been included in recent research, though their inclusion in early cognitive development studies remains largely ignored. This research seeks to ascertain whether the well-documented patterns of educational stratification between Hispanics and white students at the secondary school level, actually gains its foothold in the first few years of formal schooling. I focus on the cognitive development of Hispanic and white children as they begin their formal learning in kindergarten through the completion of the first grade. I test three possible explanatory variables that are specific to the Hispanic community: nativity, assimilation, and first language spoken at home. I also address the impact that non-school factors have on the cognitive development of Hispanic and white children. If schools help to level the playing field for its students, then what happens to the children when they are away from the equalizing impact of the school? Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in our country right now, yet have received insufficient attention in research on inequalities in early childhood learning. This article addresses this gap in the literature on cognitive development.