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Educational Trajectory For Students

Educational Trajectory of 12 Year-Old Pupils

Paper Masters believe in helping students be the best they can be. Our topic suggestions, like the one you see here on Educational Trajectory of 12 Year-Old Pupils, help point you in the right direction with your research paper. We suggest starting out your paper discussing how much has structure and agency been influencing the educational trajectory of 12 years old pupils in Singapore?

  • Bourdieu's definition of cultural capital and social reproduction, focusing on 'embodied cultural capital' [an embodied state. This is where cultural capital is embodied in the individual. It is both the inherited and acquired properties of one's self. Inherited not in the genetic sense, but more in the sense of time, culture, and traditions which bestow elements of the embodied state to another usually by the family through socialization. It is not transmittable instantaneously like a gift. It is strongly linked to one's habits - a person's character and way of thinking.]Also linguistic capital (the advantage of English-speaking families as English is used to teach Maths and Science in school)
  • Compare and contrast two 12 year old male students' data (gathered from participant observation and an interview) -contrast the influence of cultural capital in order to explain where these two students are at.
  • Recommended readings given by lecturer for this paper: Reay, Diane "Cultural Reproduction: Mothers' Involvement in Their Children's Primary Schooling," in Bourdieu and education: acts of practical theory, Michael Grenfell et al., eds, London: Falmer Press, 1998, chapter 4.
  • See if data shows that maybe Bourdieu is giving too much weight on the influence of structures on agency. (most probably data does not show that there is much agency)
  • Provide a perspective that critics the overemphasis of cultural capital, but argue essay in a way that favors Bourdieu's perspective, in that cultural capital indeed limits one's chances right from the beginning of one's education. (e.g. parents' education, family financial ability, home environment)

EMPIRICAL RESEARCH DATA (to be incorporated into essay whenever needed as examples):

Student 1:

  • 3 children household
  • Lives in a 4-room flat
  • Studies in a neighborhood school
  • Both parents only have secondary school education
  • Father is a machine operator, mother is a part-time factory worker (combined yearly income approx. USD21000)
  • Most frequent language spoken at home: Mandarin & a little bit of dialect (with grandma)
  • After school, child goes back home to be looked after by grandmother, sometimes child does not go back home immediately, but loiters in school or outside school with friends
  • Child only has tuition for his weakest subject: maths
  • Both parents say that they're mostly unable to coach child in his school work
  • Mother does not buy assessment books for child to practice on, as she says her son will not do them anyway
  • Child is addicted to computer games child's most recent grades:

English C
Math D
Science C
Chinese B

Student 2:

  • 2 children household
  • Lives in a 2-story terrace house off killiney road
  • Studies in one of the autonomous top boys' schools, in which his father is a former student
  • Both parents are university graduates
  • Father is a businessman, mother is an ex primary school teacher, currently a homemaker (family yearly income approx. USD75000)
  • Most frequent language spoken at home: English
  • After school, child is driven home by mother
  • Child attends tuition for all four subjects: english, maths, science, chinese
  • Child also attends piano lessons weekly
  • Mother usually coaches child while he does his daily school work
  • Child has at least 4 assessment books per subject, and he practices on them at home regularly
  • Child loves to watch the National Geographic Channel
  • Child's most recent grades:

English A
Math A
Science B
Chinese A

  • Please centre essay along this line (gotten off from other sources):
    ''Education achieves its purpose by maintaining the status quo, where lower
  • Class children become lower class adults, and middle and upper class children become middle and upper-class adults. This cycle occurs because the dominant group has, over time, closely aligned education with middle class values and aims, thus alienating people of other classes.
  • Many teachers assume that students will have particular middle class experiences at home, and for some children this assumption isn't necessarily true.
  • Anti-school values displayed by these children are often derived from their consciousness of their real interests. Sargent believes that for working class students, striving to succeed and absorbing the school's middle class values, is accepting their inferior social position as much as if they were determined to fail.
  • Fitzgerald states that "irrespective of their academic ability or desire to learn, students from poor families have relatively little chance of securing success".
  • On the other hand, for middle and especially upper-class children, maintaining their superior position in society requires little effort. With this 'good education', rich children perform better, achieve higher and obtain greater rewards. In this way, the continuation of privilege and wealth for the elite is made possible.

This perspective has been criticized as deterministic, pessimistic and allowing no room for the agency of individuals to improve their situation.''

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