Quality education is paramount for all youth of Australia as it establishes the foundations for a successful life in an ever-changing society. Studies have demonstrated that a person’s life chances, familial wealth, support and well being shapes their educational outcomes. Youth from low socioeconomic environments have been historically predetermined to achieve an inferior educational experience and outcomes due to the inequality in social and economic factors. A low socioeconomic status impacts on parental structure, extended family, quality of schooling and a neighbourhood environment, which collectively result in inferior learning outcomes for Australian youth.
Socioeconomic status is defined as a “person’s overall social position in education; employment and occupational status and income and wealth”. Various studies have shown that students from high socioeconomic families have access to considerably more substantial educational conditions and familial support enabling them to excel in their adult life. In comparison scholars have demonstrated that students from law socioeconomic families have lower educational success and thus are less likely to achieve a higher economic status in their adult life. The early neo-Marxist approaches suggest that the academic curricula “transfers power, privilege and status of upper class from one generation to the next and conversely the lower class status is passed through the generations. Thus this perpetuating cycle is one that has been traced back through history and unlikely to end as it is impacted on by social factors such as familial structure.
There is an enshrined linkage between socioeconomic status and familial structure as they form the backbone of a student’s values, beliefs, culture, ideologies and goals. Lower class parents are often forced to make ends meet by either extended hours and/or electing for shift work, which will provide more income. Furthermore on average sole-parent families have lower income and also fall in this section of the population. Collectively this over working places a toll on the family and impacts greatly on a child’s behavior, emotional stability and academic success as it elicits reduced parent/child contact time and prevents an ordered structure to a child’s daily routine.
A lack of parental presence in a child’s life infers that they are not able to maintain family cohesion and much needed support to foster a child’s learning. Children require and yearn for basic necessities apart from food water and shelter such as attention discipline, motivation, encouragement and praise and incentives when their hard work pays off. Douglas put forward a Cultural deprivation or Deficit theory, which underpins the notion that the poor populace lacks the values and motivation required for scholastic success. In essence it assumes that a low-class culture “emphasizes immediate gratification” (rewards now) over a “deferred gratification” (rewards later). The latter of which is essential for achieving high educational outcomes and better job prospects. It is undeniable that all parents love and adore their kids however those that are working longer to provide for their family often are unable to offer them the emotional and intellectual support required to succeed academically.
Another reality is that lower class parents are not usually educationally apt themselves, and therefore their kids are predetermined to be of the same cultural wavelength with regard to education. With an ever-changing society these parents find that they are not equipped to adequately support their child ion their homework tasks. Considine and Zapala provided a compelling study that focused on this very issue. They demonstrated that in these parents their…