Background or Foreground? Home, Social Class and Ethnicity

  • Fiona Walls


This chapter examines the effects of social factors in children’s participation and achievement in mathematics. It creates links between children’s family life, their social positioning by “class,” their ethnic origins and mathematics. It was found that the patterns of mathematical achievement as demonstrated in international research were replicated for the most part in the experiences of the children in this study, although some children were continuing to study at school for longer than their parents and were contemplating tertiary study. The pull of what was considered by the children and their families to be socially appropriate was a stronger influence than other factors.


Stereotype Threat Mathematics Achievement Literacy Score Competency Score Educational Disadvantage 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.James Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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