ERIC Number: ED420629
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Veiled Inequalities: The Hidden Effects of Community Social Class on High School Teachers' Perspectives and Practices.
Metz, Mary Haywood
This paper examines inequalities in education resulting from differences in community social class, using data from a study of high school teachers' work in different communities conducted in the 1980's and repeated in the 1990's. The 1985 study of schools in upper middle class, working class, and lower class neighborhoods indicated that there were enormous discrepancies in students' education. However, differences in functioning of schools in different social class settings were effectively hidden from view by talk of the American high school as a single, unified institution and by sociological analysis that saw students' social class background as the source of their differences in academic achievement. In 1995, a similar study was conducted in five of the original schools, with interviews of teachers and principals, classroom observations, and document collection. Again, the differences between schools in communities that differed in social class was striking. Though all schools shared several features (layout, daily schedule, pattern of classes, curricular scope, and teacher responsibility), there were noticeable differences depending on the socioeconomic status of the neighborhood. The schools differed greatly in resources, custody and control, sorting function, general socialization, and academic education. (Contains 72 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Educational Discrimination, Equal Education, High School Students, High Schools, Minority Group Children, Poverty, Public Schools, Racial Discrimination, Secondary Education, Secondary School Teachers, Social Class, Social Differences, Social Influences, Socioeconomic Status, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Expectations of Students, Urban Schools
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).