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Different Family Cultural Expectations And Poverty Education Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 1607 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The text highlights the different aspects that will affect a childs performance in school and how the school is supposed to help the children cope with the difficulties they might have. There are a number of factors that will affect a child’s life in school; like their cultural backgrounds, level of poverty and ethnic diversity, the child’s gender, those that have special needs and those that are talented. We will dwell on a few; poverty, cultural backgrounds and ethnic diversity.

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Different family cultural expectations

In this article we see people that have different experiences at school that is affected by varying factors. For the first student, despite being brought up in a country that English was supposed to be his first language he does not know, the other student has problems concentrating and despite all this, the teacher has to cope with all the students,

We are in a position to know culture, social and linguistic factors that teachers are supposed to comprehend when in a classroom setting. There are different things that will affect how a student will behave like, social status and also their education background they could either, be strengths or weaknesses depending on how the students are affected. In that, a student will not be in school because maybe their parents want them to go for a holiday while another will not be in school because they have to grief the death of a close relative for two weeks because it is customary to grief for that long. It is therefore very important for a teacher to deal with their narrow-mindedness away from the classroom setting. Once we reflect, we are able to see and understand the beliefs and concept that determine our decisions.

In school teachers get to meet parents that will have different perceptions of learning while other parents will get involved so much with child’s school work and will make sure that the needs of their child are being met, there are others that will not be self-assured to air any concerns while others will participate in giving monetary funds only. Sometimes the reactions are triggered by the memories of the schooling experience and others will view the teacher as the best and will never question them while others will be willing to work with the teacher and spend time by maybe working in groups there are those that will not get close to the classroom.

Once we read a book by (Heath 1983) it clearly shows that all parents wanted their children to be good in school work because it will contribute to shaping chances in life, We also get to know of three different sub cultural groups namely,’Trackton’,’Roadville’ and ‘Maintown’.The children that lived in Trackton were mostly black, and had jobs. They were absorbed in a culture that was self reliant on oral tradition. Their parents were able to read and write and telling of stories was valued, the children knew that issues to do with reading and writing were very necessary. While in Roadville, although they were not passionate readers themselves ,the large number was whites and had jobs, in which they believed it was important for their children and they would read to them and teach them the alphabet and their children also watched TV programs. In this group, imaginative story telling was regarded as being deceptive. The course to literacy dwelt more on functionality and reading and writing practices were not for enjoyment.

In distinction, people from Maintown engaged their children in an array of reading and writing practices along with oral storying .These children developed a broader understanding of the many ways of reading and writing and its importance. While children from the three groups began school with excitement and high-expectations, it was those from Maintown whose socialisation and orientations had them better prepared for formal education, and learning was a continuation of the many cultural practices that they were familiar with. The children from Trackton excelled at telling of stories and creative duties and those from Roadville were primed for decoding reading texts by the end of their primary school but many at his stage had decided not to continue with schooling.

In a research by Geoff Williams (1995) mothers from different levels of income across Sydney were analysed and it was discovered tat mothers from well-educated prepared their children for reading practices that would be part of their schooling. They often linked their children’s life with the story and asked them questions heartening them to show their own understanding about the story. While the less fortunate reading to their children before bedtime because they knew it was an important thing to do, there was minimal questioning and when it came to schooling reading was greatly affected.

Basil Bernstein (1971, 1990) worked on different codes which are useful in understanding the cultural and language differences that have a great impact on a child’s experience in school. The work seeks to dwell on the difference rather than the deficit. Most families will develop ways of knowing, speaking and also understanding that are special to them and therefore not easy for an outsider to interprete.For example children’s early attempt at words like dada for daddy and this could become absorbed by the family. But in less familiar areas, the language needs to be formal for everyone to understand, children that are exposed to different codes learn to understand the different purposes that language is used and use them appropriately, while those that are not experienced will misuse certain words that could be considered offensive like swearing in class.

It is however unfortunate that teacher’s will fail to recognize those ways of speaking and knowing if they are not similar to theirs. Sarah Michaels’s (1986) transcripts of the class showed that the narrative styles of disadvantaged black children were regarded as inferior when compared with those of the white and middle-class counterparts. In Australia, Marlin’s work (1990) showed how quickly the immediate responses of one teacher negatively affected the enthusiasm and learning aspirations of three children in one short term therefore, all about knowing what dialect or language to use where and when.


Children that are from disadvantaged families will be less expected to gain success compared with their advantaged peers. National statistics have also shown that students in low social incomes schools are half as likely to finish Year 12 compared to the others. Those will also be reflected in their future lives because they will not earn as much and are likely to remain jobless for a period of time. It is, however, not to regard the poor as a divergent social group.

Children whose parents have little income may not have money to buy uniforms; they could also be mal-nourished and could also suffer from ill health. In most cases such children are harder to motivate and are often alienated from the classroom and playgrounds.

It is therefore important for principals and teachers to work closely with such a community to build its capacity.

Ethnic Diversity

One of the core cultural differences is ethnicity; Australia is diverse when it comes to ethnicity. Teachers therefore need to understand backgrounds, knowledge and skills of their students’ ethnicities; this will help in interaction with children of different genders and social class. A school is where there are multiple cultures and explicit or positive messages are exchanged. In other times those that are not used to different ethnic communities can be quite fanatical while those that are from the same ethnic community live together. It is important for a school to bring people together and give them the sense of respect and purpose.

Children may arrive in school with different ways of thinking and learning different from those valued by their teachers. They also fail to understand certain concepts or the knowledge that the teacher expects them to have. They might not be in a position to know the same traditional games, rhymes and tales.

Since the Second World War there has been a huge growth in ethnic and linguistic diversity of the Australian population with almost a quarter migrating from 232 countries. Around 17per cent will speak English at home although the proportion will vary from place being highest in the capitals cities, Murray and MurrumbridgeeValleys, Ovens Valley and northern Queensland.

In conclusion we are able to see that school will either make or break a person in that, teachers are supposed to encourage students regardless of their little knowledge or background and what they know should be shared with the students instead of devaluing what the children know and concentrating on what they know.

Teachers ought to be properly trained to handle children from various ethnic groups and different backgrounds. They should also not neglect a certain gender simply because of their perception, whereby females will be regarded as stupid because women will read bedtime stories al though an increasing number of men have started to read bedtime stories to their children.

But it is difficult for teachers to help all the students utilise and access dominant societal norms and therefore parents will be highly recommended to be involved with their child’s performance and monitor their progress in school.


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