SOCIAL RESOURCES IN THE CLASSROOM: AN EXAMINATION OF CLASSROOM CHARACTERISTICS THAT PROMOTE EQUITY
Previous research has shown that low-status students (i.e., low achievers, unpopular, and/or lower socioeconomic status) seek help and express their opinion less often than their high-status classmates. Because these social interactions are positively associated with learning and achievement, a classroom in which only the high-status students engage in these social interactions is troubling. Advantaged students dominate and garner important social resources that afford them further advantage for future achievement. Disadvantaged students are on the periphery, less involved in important social interactions, putting them at further disadvantage for future achievement. Although high-status students tend to dominate “air” time in classrooms, there is some variability in this general pattern.
During her Center appointment, Professor Ryan will conduct a research project to explore what can be done in classrooms to encourage all students to seek help and voice their opinions. She aims to identify classroom characteristics that are associated with more equitable help-seeking and opinion-expression by all students, regardless of their status. Her results will inform research and policy about how we can create classrooms to foster social interactions that will help all adolescents to reach their academic potential.