Differences and Diversity in The Classroom

When anticipating what my future teaching career will be like, I can expect that I will be encountering a lot of diversity and differences among not only my students, but also their parents and my colleagues. Whether it be race or socioeconomic status, every family has their differences which can have a huge impact on the children’s academic careers. In class we talked a lot about “life opportunities” and whether all children have equal ones. We came to the conclusion that this is not the case, there are many factors that can either increase or decrease a child’s likelihood of succeeding.



In Lareau’s interview she talked about how in her studies she found that parents of middle class families tend to be more involved in their children’s’ school. They volunteer for events, enroll them in extracurricular activities, help them with their homework, and overall have an active role in their academics. While parents of low income families tend to be disconnected from their children’s school. They leave the responsibility up to the teachers to ensure their children are passing, they don’t help with homework, and their kids usually just hang out around the house and neighborhood in their free time.


These differences don’t mean that the middle class parents love their children more than the low income parents, it’s just all about the time, energy, ability, and opportunities they can afford to give their children. What this means in terms of the classroom is that, not all of our students are going to come in at an equal standing. For example, some children will have better vocabulary and spelling than others based on how educated their parents are and what they are used to hearing around the house. Overall, life is unfair and children who have high potential may not get the opportunities they deserve solely because of family income. It’s our job to try to level the playing field for all of our students and to do our best to bring up the students to the level of the rest, while still allowing those who are ahead to advance on. Most of all, it’s important for us to understand the differences in our students and not just assume that the child is not as smart as the rest.


An article that I found from the American Psychological Association, talks about how there is such a strong correlation between socioeconomic status and academic achievement, and the reasons why poverty, poor health, negative home environment and so much more, can significantly set back a student from their middle-class peers. Not only is social class a difference to be aware of in the class room, but also race. Race can play a huge role in how well a student does in school. Unfortunately, stereotypes exist, and they can mess with the still-developing minds of adolescents and cause them to believe they must be a certain way and do not have a choice in the matter. It’s our job as educators to ensure that all of our students are living up to their full potential, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or any other difference they may have.

Sources Cited:

American Psychological Association (n.d.). Education and socioeconomic status. Retrieved April 05, 2017, from http://www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/publications/education.aspx

Elliot, J. (2013, June 22). Jane Elliott Brown Eyes vs Blue Eyes 1. Retrieved April 05, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CtrpLh6TKk

Gachuzo, M. Racism destroyed in one minute‼️. (2016, July 18). Retrieved April 05, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdgSvJ5CFto

Norton Sociology. (2013, March 26). Do parenting strategies affect the long term outcomes for children? An interview with Annette Lareau. Retrieved April 05, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1ortYT4TW

1 Comment »

  1. Edward Petrak Said,

    May 3, 2017 @ 5:33 pm

    Great post! I thought you had a lot of very important information about how big of an impact someones family life has on their education. You did a great job of explaining a lot of advantages that most students take for granite. One thing I would have liked to see you expand on is ways we as teachers can level the playing field for students who dont have the proper resources at home? It would have been interesting to see what strategies you could come up with on how to give extra support to a student who isn’t receiving enough or any at home.

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