College Potentials

 College Potentials

Class stratification is defined as a hierarchical arrangement of people by some characteristic considered important to a society or social group.

In our society your social class is first seen through the education system. As young as preschool, based on your social class, if you are in the higher class structure your child has all ready began receiving better education through attending preschool, learning how to count, say the alphabet or spell their name. In elementary school, children are in certain reading groups, children from a higher social class are generally in the more advanced groups because of their parents taking the time to read with them every night, instilling the value of how important education is. While the child from a lower class might be in the under average class because their parents are working two jobs and do not have the time to invest in their child’s reading skills and teaching them that education is not as important as working. In high school, the tracking system determines what type of classes you will be enrolled in, vocational, standard or honor classes. Based on your social class, you were most likely to be in vocational classes if you were from a lower class family, standard classes if you were from middle class, and in honor classes if you were from high class family. Tracking is a formalized sorting system that places students on “tracks” (advanced versus low achievers) that bring about inequality. While educators may believe that students do better in tracked classes because they are with students of similar ability and may have access to more individual attention from teachers, conflict theorists feel that tracking leads to self-fulfilling prophecies in which students live up (or down) to teacher and societal expectations (Education Week 2004).

Students produce what a teacher expects. If a child is in standard classes they are not given the teachers that instill what is needed to succeed in college and the student is not be able to do college level work and will most likely not attend college or be able to afford to go. On the other hand, the student in honor classes have the opportunities to have teachers that are giving them the tools and expectations of what is needed to be accepted and to be successful in college and they will most likely go to college and they can afford to go too.

5 thoughts on “College Potentials

  1. I never really thought about that, but thinking of my years going through the school system it is so true. By putting these kids in certain groups and naming them could really effect a child. They might think they are stupid or worth less. The school system doesn’t really make you think about how its going to be like in college. At my school I wasn’t expected to see the things I did when looking at school’s. For example how much it will be but also that some college have co-ed dorms and non co-ed dorms.

  2. I don’t really think that your class would determine wheather you’re in honors classes or standard classes. I think they determine that based more on you’re grades and in high school you choose wheather you want to take honors classes or standard classes. I do agree with you that education effects the rest of your life and what type of jobs you can get. That would then effect you’re income and which class you are in.

    1. I somewhat disagree, I think that teachers may be more inclined to help and/or push a student in a higher class. Thinking that because of their class or where they came from they will have so many opportunities, therfor they may put forward more effort to help them. Whereas they may just see a child with less as a lost cause. Your grades are greatly affected by how hard you are pushed, the values and ethics that are instilled.

  3. I grew up in a lower middle class family. We were always scrapping by financially, but we had a roof over our heads. My father always encouraged us to get good grades in school and to think about going to college. I really didn’t equate our financial class status with my ability to go to college. I was always on the Dean’s List. When it was time for me to prepare to go to college (senior year), my parents split and were involved in a bitter divorce. I was pretty much abandoned by both of them (didn’t see my father for 9 years after that). I pulled it all together and took out loans on my own and financial aid filled in the rest. I went for a 2 year degree because it was so overwhelming financially to go for 4 years. Now I am almost 50 and starting again to reach my goal. But for now, I will get a 2 year degree in Occupational Therapy Assisting, and continue to take classes as I work for my 4 year degree in a health related field. I believe there are external factors that shape one’s decisions, but it it important to never give up no matter what is going on around you, and to not buy into messages that seem to undermine who you are or what you want to do. Patience and persistence is my motto.

  4. I also grew up in the working class family, with divorce and single mom raising my brothers and I. We all got through school ok, but I remember one day in high school waiting to talk to my guidance counselor about college and he spent the whole time chatting with one of his jock students and did not give me the time of day. The time for the appointment was over and I had to get back to class, I was so discouraged that I never went back. As you can see I am still in college earning my Bachelors at 41 years old. I didn’t make college a priority until later in life. I am also deans list and I am sure my guidance counselor would have never thought that would happen. I feel that I was being judged based on my situation and the fact that I was not an A student or a jock.

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