ERIC Number: ED223128
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Students' Understandings of the Concept of Social Class.
Taylor, Elizabeth; And Others
Students' understandings of the concept of social class before and after taking the Social Science Foundation course (D101) at Great Britain's Open University were investigated in 1980. Among the students' conceptions before the course was that people are middle class or working class according to their job. Other conceptions were that social class is connected with the amount of money earned, how much education or training is required for one's job, personal characteristics (e.g., intelligence and appearance), one's background or upbringing, attitudes toward life and values, and the value that society places on one's job. Most students described one or two sorts of conceptions and talked about things they saw as associated with class rather than describing the construct of social class. The second interview after the course elicited the same conceptions, except that no mention was made of the value of the job to society or the characteristics of the person. Additionally, after the course, reference was made to class as a historical classification or myth, as a measure of social mobility, and as a power position in society. Over all, half of the students gained a better understanding of the concept of social class, while the remainder appeared not to have changed their understandings. It is suggested that the course specifically focus on the concept of social class, and that students' initial understanding of the concept should be determined. (SW)
Descriptors: College Students, Course Objectives, Educational Objectives, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Introductory Courses, Knowledge Level, Pretests Posttests, Program Effectiveness, Social Class, Social Differences, Sociology, Student Attitudes, Student Evaluation
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, England MK7 6AA.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Open Univ., Walton, Bletchley, Bucks (England). Inst. of Educational Technology.
Identifiers: Open University (Great Britain)