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Lecture 7

Lecture 7.docx

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Julian Tanner

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Lecture 7 Ray Risk  Study at an all black school in St. Louis, Missouri. Did an ethnography (able to observe in a classroom setting, the interactions between black kindergarten students and black teachers)  Had the class been mixed, the findings would have been affected.  Differently located in the classroom.  Teacher identified group of students who she believed to be very promising students. She had these kids sit in the first rows in the class. Kids that were deemed not very promising were placed at the back of the classroom. Another bunch of kids in the middle who were perceived as neither particularly troublesome nor promising. Categorizing was done early on in the school term.  What was the basis for early differentiation?  Risks the observer saw: o These kids in the front tended to be the ones who showed up to school every morning wearing clean clothes o These kids who appeared in the classroom with neat hair, these kids were most respectful of the teacher o These kids skin color were significantly lighter than those in the back of the classroom (in the African community, skin color is a source of stratification)  Other kids were: o Unclean o Scruffy o Smelled o Poor oral skills o Darker skins  Kids who were judged as lacking promise early on: o Came from single parent families o Had parents who were on welfare  Teachers in the school were making judgments about the academic promise of very young kids using characteristics that were related to socioeconomic status of the kids  Using markers of social class, socioeconomic status for judging students capability to do work  Kids were then treated very differently in the classroom  Findings: kids in the front row were frequently praised by the teacher, a situation that compared to kids in the back who were the subject of criticism and complaint by the teacher, the kids in the front received must more of the teachers instruction, kids at the back were seen less instruction and teaching, seen as acquiring close attention and control and were regarded as slow learners.  Argument: kids are being labeled very early on. Class basis to the labeling (some being promising, others not).  Another thing he found: in the course of this first year kindergarten, once they were assigned their slots in the classroom there wasn’t much transfer. In order words, there wasn’t much mobility. Once exposed to difference kids of teaching, it wasn’t changed. Little mobility between these groups.  Finding: as school year progressed, risk noted that the educational attainment and performance of kids from 3 groups were wider and wider.  Kids in the front had their performance moving and the kids in the back had lower performance levels.  End of the academic year. Kids were back in school in September for grade 1. Findings (2 things). In the elementary school kids are more formally assigned to be ranked. Kids are more categorized as top, middle or low group. Basis of allocation that started is based on where they were sitting throughout kindergarten years. Those who were in the front rows in the few days of kindergarten found themselves at the front rows in grade 1 and vise versa for those in the back rows.  At the end of grade 1, at the beginning of grade 2 we find a repeat of the existing pattern. Kids who were in the top ability group in grade 2 were also the kids who in kindergarten and grade 1 were placed in the front row.  Strong predictor ability groups and how the teacher initially responded to kids when they initially entered kindergarten. Educational inequality among students  Sociology of education involved degree to which schools provide equal opportunity for everyone, regardless of social backgrounds of the kids.  Do poor kids have the same opportunity as richer kids? Functionalists and conflict theorists would answer this differently. o Functionalists would say schools are fairly successful in delivering equality of opportunity conflicts would say schools struggle to provide equality of opportunity  Over the last 50-60 years, educational attainments have increased. If you compare 2012 with 1950, you would find a significantly larger number/proportions of young people completing universities, much larger numbers of people completing high school. Kids from affluent and poor backgrounds, black, brown, white students.  Overall level of education level has increased across the boards because of ratcheting up of education.  One of the things we persistently/stubbornly find is that educational attainment is strongly linked to SES of students.  That pattern exists overtime. You would have found pattern in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 2012. You find it in most societies not just in Canada; you also find it in USA, UK, France, Germany, etc. Table 12.2 Probability of having a university degree in 2003…  Fathers with different levels of education.  In statistical terms, the highest probability of graduating from university if 100% or as expressed in this diagram 1.0. Example: in a group of 10 people where everyone graduated would be 100 or 1.0. By that kind of benchmark, for the year 2003 the probability of Canadian 30+ years possessing a university degree was 23% or 0.23
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