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Curricular Differentiation and Its Impact on Different Status Groups Including Immigrants and Students with Disabilities

Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Abstract

Schools organize students’ learning through informal and formal curricular differentiation, which refers to systematic differences in the experiences, processes, and exposure of curricular content. Research has long found that students have unequal access to learning opportunities based on status group factors, and that these inequalities lead to gaps in educational, occupational, and health outcomes. This chapter outlines the history of curricular differentiation in U.S. schools, key findings on disparities in course-taking by race/ethnicity, family background, gender, disability status and immigrant status, and the effects of curricular differentiation on school and non-school outcomes. We additionally note measurement issues within curriculum research and implications for policy, practice, and social inequality.

Keywords

  • Tracking
  • Hidden curriculum
  • Inequality
  • Opportunity to learn

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Fig. 11.1
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Fig. 11.4

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Carroll, J.M., Muller, C. (2018). Curricular Differentiation and Its Impact on Different Status Groups Including Immigrants and Students with Disabilities. In: Schneider, B. (eds) Handbook of the Sociology of Education in the 21st Century. Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76694-2_11

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