ERIC Number: ED237216
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Social Background and Educational Opportunity. Occasional Papers Sociology and Social Work, No. 5, 1982.
An investigation was made to determine whether family environmental factors influence the educational performance of New Zealand children to an extent similar to that found in other countries. School records of all 1970 third-form entrants at two schools in the greater Wellington area were examined, and a questionnaire was administered to all pupils from forms 4, 5, and 6 within the same schools. Results indicated that, as they are in other advanced industrial countries, educational aspirations of secondary school pupils were closely associated with social class. Neither the school system nor the school social climate appeared capable of overcoming this condition. Differences in the achievement of children from different social groups were even more significant than their differences in aspirations. Almost three times more children from homes where parents held professional positions gained three or more School Certificate passes, as compared with children from homes where parents were employed in manual labor. This disparity was not due to a proportionate difference in educational aspirations. Although most of the home background variables investigated were to some degree related to educational performance, few were constant in this relationship. Only parental education and family literacy were found to be independent of social class influences; these factors appeared to have the same effect on pupils' educational performance, regardless of the parents' work situations. (RH)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Aspiration, Cultural Differences, Educational Attainment, Employment Level, Equal Education, Family Environment, Family Influence, Foreign Countries, High School Students, Literacy, Parents, Secondary Education, Sex Differences, Social Bias, Social Class, Sociolinguistics, Subcultures
Department of Sociology & Social Work, Victoria University of Wellington, Private Bag, Wellington, New Zealand ($3.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Victoria Univ. of Wellington (New Zealand).; New Zealand Council for Educational Research, Wellington.
Identifiers: New Zealand