Masters Thesis

Facilitating Positive Academic Achievement among Low-SES Students

Students who are of Low-Socioeconomic status continue to achieve at a lower rate than their classmates. There are many factors that contribute to this achievement gap. Contributing factors can be found in the students’ home, school or neighborhood. For example, the student’s home may not have many educational resources, or a school may have less funding. While much research has been done focusing on the achievement gap, little has been done to improve it. The researcher focused on one elementary school in southern California to conduct research to find in what ways school systems and families can work together to facilitate positive achievement for Low-SES students. A qualitative research study was used to survey teachers and interview families of Low-SES students. Data was coded and analyzed to determine ways in which the positive achievement can be facilitated. The researcher found three consistent ideas throughout the research: teacher efficacy, afterschool programs, and social-emotional lessons. Creating positive change for this subgroup of students is crucial to changing the trajectory of their lives, and ending the poverty cycle. This research is merely one example of the changes that can be made within a specific school system, however can be replicated to fit the needs of other individual schools.

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