Beliefs and Qualities of Families of Low-Socioeconomic Status that Promote Student Success in School

Kuba, Reid
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2015]
There is a high probability that growing up having a low socioeconomic status (SES) leads to academic struggles and the continuance of the cycle of poverty. It is imperative to close the achievement gap of students of low SES. Schools need to understand the impact that the home environment has on the academic success of its students. The purpose of this qualitative study was to focus on low SES students who have shown academic success in school and to determine how the home environment impacted that success. Ten families from a low-income housing development adjacent to an elementary school were chosen to be interviewed. Student academic success was defined in two ways: 1. Eight of the ten parents were chosen based on how well their child performed on state assessment tests and the high level of their grades in math and reading. 2. Two of the ten parents were chosen based on the high improvements their child made on state assessment tests. Teachers from the elementary school also filled out a questionnaire to determine their understandings and beliefs about student success. The results from the study showed that many of the things low SES families did to positively affect their child's learning closely aligned to the things done by middle and upper SES families. The importance of education and belief in education was as high a priority for these low SES families as it is for most middle and upper SES families. The results give other low SES families concrete strategies that they can apply to their own families that increase the probability of student successs. The results also challenge schools to not only build a culture of learning during the school day, but to also extend that culture to the families they serve.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
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