Social Sciences

Start Free Trial

Do you agree with research on Differential Education Achievement?

What are researchers saying about Differential Education Achievement, and what are main points relating to the topic that might be highlighted? Can you please say whether you agree or disagree with the research?


Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A study that I can't cite at the moment shows that males reach their cognitive potential in their late teens and twenties while females reach their cognitive potential in their late twenties to thirties. This is a gender difference that is not addressed by the functionalist's meritocratic point of view. It certainly is true that gender differences in development affect learning. This is way a trend for teaching girls Maths and Sciences separately from boys has achieved efficacy in educational results.

Since the above is true, it is not difficult to think that separate educational environments for the privileged and the unprivileged might reasonably be expected to yield the same efficacy in student achievement results. Of course, this would have to be a far cry from anything remotely similar to the "separate but equal" doctrine that was intended to foster oppression. it would have to be identical to the movements to give daughters the same opportunity to excel in Maths and Science that we give sons. I agree with the changes research is indicating for education that would cause education to tend toward the implementation of DEA theory.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The term Differential Education Achievement is used to describe the idea that a person’s success in education is not based on intelligence, but instead on social class and exposure to opportunities.

I would say that success in school is based both on an individual’s potential, including innate intelligence and talent, and an individual’s opportunities.  However, it is definitely true that what chances you have affect what you grow into.

Think about it: even a smart poor kid is not going to have the opportunities that a rich or middle class kid would have.  A poor kid is not going to have access to good schools, lessons, family vacations, museum trips, and households full of books.

One study found that some kids entered school with the same potential, regardless of class and language, but the playing field did not stay level for long.

However, more and regular exposure to learning activities in the home and school, in Spanish as well as English, seemed to be associated with greater educational attainment and achievement. (see third link)

To a certain extent, this is a bit of a nature vs. nurture debate.  What makes us who we are?  Yet we cannot discredit the impact of family and money, as well as cultural knowledge, on success.  Kids with more opportunities have more opportunities, and that is the bottom line.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial