"Coached for the Classroom: Parents' Cultural Transition and Children's Reproduction of Educational Inequalities"
Parents are less likely to encourage their children to reach out for help in class if their own school experiences were frustrating, according to a forthcoming article in the October American Sociological Review.
University of Pennsylvania sociologist Jessica McCrory Calarco observed and interviewed students and parents from working-class and middle-class families and their teachers from 3rd through 5th grades. They found that students' behavior in the classroom was often the result of parents' direct instructions at home.
"Working-class parents stressed 'no excuses' problem-solving, encouraging children to respect teachers' authority by not seeking help," Ms. Calarco writes. "Middle-class parents instead taught 'by any means' problem-solving, urging children to negotiate with teachers for assistance."
Ms. Calarco said teachers generally were not aware of how parents were coaching students' help-seeking behavior at home. She said schools could do more to bring both working- and middle-class parents into the conversation around help at school.
Vol. 34, Issue 03, Page 5Published in Print: September 10, 2014, as Student Help-Seeking