Class differences in learning

A new study shows clear cultural differences between middle class and working class students in how actively they participate in their own learning.

In a paper that will be published in the October edition of the American Sociological Review, Indiana University sociologist Jessica McCrory Calarco writes about what she saw when she observed a bunch of third-through-fifth-graders in a public school. Crucially, she only studied white kids — she wanted to isolate the effects of socioeconomic class. What she found, as McCrory put it in the study’s press release, is that “Middle-class parents tell their children to reach out to the teacher and ask questions. Working-class parents see asking for help as disrespectful to teachers, so they teach their children to work out problems themselves.”

 

Read more about this at NY Mag.

This provides further evidence for these cultural differences discussed in Irv Peckham’s excellent and informative Going North Thinking West: The Intersections of Social Class, Critical Thinking, and Politicized Writing Instruction.

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