Socioeconomic Factors Affecting Education

Written by kristin jennifer
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Socioeconomic Factors Affecting Education
Formal education is not available to girls and women in some parts of the world. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Education provides individual children with the knowledge and skills necessary to advance themselves and their nation economically. Socioeconomic factors, such as family income level, parents' level of education, race and gender, all influence the quality and availability of education as well as the ability of education to improve life circumstances.

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Family Income Level

A family's financial status influences a number of factors that can help or hinder a child in gaining an education. Wealthy families have the financial resources to send a son or daughter to high-quality schools, hire tutors and obtain supplemental education sources. Students from low-income families may not be able to attend school because no school is available. Where school is available, the teachers may have insufficient education or training. Financial stress on the parents can cause a child to leave school early to work. Worries about the financial lack at home can negatively affect low-income children's ability to learn.

Socioeconomic Factors Affecting Education
Children more worried about their next meal than learning may suffer in school. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Parents' Level of Education

Parents' education level directly correlates to the importance and influence of education in their children's lives. Educated parents can assess a son or daughter's academic strengths and weaknesses to help that child improve overall academic performance. The educated parent also sets expectations of academic performance that propel students forward in their achievement levels. However, even if educated, parents who struggled academically and do not think highly of formalised education may have negative attitudes toward education that can still hinder the child academically.

Gender

The availability of education to girls and women varies by country. Restrictions on education for girls and women are based on gender bias prevalent with the culture. Some cultures will allow education for girls and women but limit the content of the education or skew the education to prepare for certain few social roles. In the United States, the availability of education to girls and women expanded to become coeducational in most schools within the 20th century.

Socioeconomic Factors Affecting Education
Education for women in some parts of the world is limited to preparation for lives as wives, nurses or teachers. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Race

While race is not a predictor of how a student will perform in school, African American students have trailed behind European American students in reading and mathematics. This phenomenon may occur less because of race and more as a result of family income level. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 sought to improve academic performance for students in predominantly African American or Hispanic schools by placing an emphasis on teacher quality and performance.

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