Effects of Socio-Economic Environment on A Child’s Education

Effects of Socio-Economic Environment on A Child’s Education

Thesis Statement

Various studies have been conducted to determine how the education of children is affected by their socio-economic environments. I intend to add to this subject in research. The thesis will explore the impacts of socio-economic status on the performance of children. Jensen (2009), for instance, reports that children from poor backgrounds may behave differently because of circumstances that they face in life. Most of those circumstances can be handled quite well by children from more affluent backgrounds and may negatively affect the children’s academic performance. For instance, such students experience persistent emotional and social challenges, have to cope with chronic stressors and cognitive lags, as well as face safety and health problem that affect their concentration on learning. Numerous issues have been previously mentioned regarding the impacts of socio-economic environments on the children’s performance warranting studies on the same.

Other studies have also focused on the impacts of such socio-economic status on brain development, which ultimately leads to poor academic performance in schools. Raizada and Kishiyama (2010) conducted a study to determine how the socio-economic status resulted in poor brain development and reported that such studies could form the basis of neuro-imaging for the purposes of understanding how the brain works. While this and other studies mainly used literature review methodologies, I intend to use a combined observation and interview methodology. I believe this will be helpful in obtaining the desired information for the purpose of the study thesis. In terms of observation, I intend to carry out a comparative observational study in at least two different school settings. The two schools must support children from different SE backgrounds. My observation will be permission based and will take a maximum of two hours in each school. The two hours will most probably be accumulated in approximately three days and conducted during breaks. The main reason for this is to help me determine the divergences in behavior across different socio-economic statuses and the probable effects this has on the performance of the children.

Besides the observations, interviews will also be conducted on 2 people. In each school, one teacher will be interviewed, probably the guidance and counseling department head. The interview session will involve asking questions such as: how do you relate with the children? Do you think the children are well behaved? How does the children’s performance differ between those from wealthier backgrounds and those from the ‘not-so-wealthy’ backgrounds? Do you have issues with behaviors? From the interviews, the past examination reports will also be reviewed to determine how the children performed. The information from the two schools will then be compared to determine the impacts of the socio-economic environments on the children’s education.

Personal Statement

The subject of study is of interest to me because of various reasons. The first is that I went to an all-black school which was commonly associated with poor performance and negative social behaviors. Most of the students in the school felt this was biasness and failed to understand why they were hated by the teachers and the society at large. After my school years’ and through further education, I realized that my school presented so many differences between conventional societal behaviors and the behaviors of the children therein. Consequently, I came to understand that the behaviors observed were not solely due to the choice of the students but due to the day-to-day challenges (Beidinger, 2011). This study will therefore help me to answer some of the personal questions I have held through the years concerning my school environment.

The first concern that I have, has to do with the impacts of socio-economic environments on the behaviors of the students. In my case, I recognized the fact that most of the students I went to school with experienced several challenges which made it difficult to deal with even the slightest stressors in school. I believe this study will help me to understand the exact challenges faced in terms of social behaviors. For instance, some came from troubled families where fights were common hence took the aggressive nature to school. For others, lack of resources was a constant hindrance to positive behavior as they took to defensiveness. Yet for others, the challenges lay in the desire to make things better for their families hence they took to petty crime and drug abuse and sale. While the society views these as negative social behaviors, they forget that the circumstances are not created by the children themselves and their behaviors may not be by choice.

Furthermore, I realized that we would be jeered for failing to compete favorably in terms of academic performance in comparison to children from other schools. While at times it was assumed that it was due to our unwillingness to learn, I realized that this may not have been the case. This study will help me identify exactly how the socio-economic factors influence academic performance. Through negative behaviors as identified above, such children lose focus of the academic goals and hence, the negative performance. I, therefore, believe that understanding, rather than judging such children could form a strong foundation for helping them address their issues.




Biedinger, N. (2011). The influence of education and home environment on the cognitive outcomes of preschool children in Germany. Child Development Research Journal. Retrieved from www.hindawi.com/journals/cdr/2011/916303/

Jensen, E. (2009). Teaching with poverty in mind: What being poor does to kids’ brains and what schools can do about it. ASCD Books. Retrieved from www.ascd.org/publications/books/109074/chapters/How-Poverty-Affects-Behavior-and-Academic-Performance.aspx

Raizada, R.D. and Kishiyama, M. (2010). Effects of socioeconomic status on brain development, and how cognitive neuroscience may contribute to leveling the playing field. Frontiers of Human Neuro-science, 4(3). Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2820392/