Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

Abstract

The quality of education in high poverty areas is often blamed on a number of factors - poor teaching, inadequate resources, an environment of hopelessness and mediocrity, lack of perseverance in the learner, lack of social programs and social capital. These factors are often compounded by effects of systemic racism in the student’s surrounding environment and in education system. This study focuses on one aspect of investigation: the impact of increased social capital for teachers on students’ school performance and interventions focused on building social capital between students, parents and teachers in urban, pre-dominantly Latino schools. Improving links between students, parents and teachers has been proven to improve reading and math test results for students, but how do these interventions impact teacher’s expectations of students and their understanding of each student and their family’s situation. Interventions like FAST (Families and Schools Together), a national social capital building initiative, see social capital development as forming relations of trust and shared expectations between schools, parents and students. Most current research focuses on parents and students but do teachers’ attitudes differ between schools that participate in these programs and those that do not. Data will be taken from a school-randomized trial in the cities of San Antonio, TX and Phoenix, AZ which included 52 primary schools being followed for 3 academic years from 2008-2013. A total of 26 comparable and eligible schools in each city were selected, half implemented the FAST interventions while the others acted as a control.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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