The Effect of Racial Segregation & Child Development on Academic Success Research Paper

Introduction

There is a common saying that children are the leaders of tomorrow, making it an important task for the parents or guardians to be able to provide necessary support to these children in order to live up to the saying. A lot of children are brought up in hostile environments, in low socio-economic households, and with bad parents. A lot of importance is placed on the academic successes of children, for some families, their children’s development is based on his or her academic performance. Therefore, a child’s development is essential in achieving the desired academic success, the way a child is brought up would go a long way in determining the success of the child, research has shown that early childhood enrollment in educational programs can influence the child’s academic skills (Hauser-Cram, 2014). Furthermore, early childhood care has been shown to significantly improve children’s prospects for academic success as well as reducing the risk of student drop out especially in low-income families (Connor & Morrison, 2014). Due to low-income, most of these children are sent to public schools in which some of these students face racial segregation, many minorities in the United States are been subjected to racial segregation, in workplaces, transport areas, medical institutions and even in schools. Therefore, how is the combination of child development and racial segregation affecting the child or student’s academic success? Is there a negative impact on the child’s academic success or is it propelling the child to even succeed more academically? Several types of research are been proposed to indicate the effect of child development and racial segregation on the student’s academic success. First, we would look at the effect of child development on student’s academic success, then the effect of racial segregation. Child development is in stages, from birth up until adolescence, children develop physically, psychologically, socially and emotionally. According to Churchhill and Lippman (2016), they chose to define early social and emotional development as the emerging ability of child aged zero to five to able to form a close and secure adult peer relationship, explore the environment and learn, be able to experience, regulate and express emotions in socially and culturally acceptable ways. National Institute of health (2010) carried out a study that showed that teens who were in high-quality care settings during early childhood were more likely to perform better in their academics and are unlikely to show acting-out behaviors than their peers from low-quality settings.  Racial segregation can simply be defined as the separation of people based on their ethnicity and racial backgrounds. In schools today, this seems to be a continuing issue and is a massive problem for America. Numerical evidence backs the number of racial segregations, according to the report by Stancil (2018), the percentage of segregated schools between 1996 and 2016 have risen from 59 to 66 percent.

Early childhood represents the critical period in child development when he or she develops an array of pre-academic skills like reading, letter recognition or socio-emotional abilities like regulation of emotions, ability to follow instructions, and focus attention. These prepare them to be able to adapt to the school’s learning experiences.

Bakken, L., Brown, N., & Downing, B. (2017). Early childhood education: The long-term benefits. Journal of Research in Childhood Education31(2), 255-269.

This article is about the long-term benefits of early childhood education. The authors were focused on expanding the positive and long-term outcomes shown by children from low to middle-income who received high-quality and early education. There has been evidence that shows that four-year-olds gain a lot from being in a high-quality learning setting. For birth to age five is known to be the critical period for childhood development. Various studies have shown that children from the economically disadvantaged home are less likely to have access to educational materials, the studies also showed that economic deprivation or socio-economic status especially in preschool years is harmful to children’s development. The number of researches carried out has shown that children who come from low-income homes and attend a high-quality preschool program experience positive long-lasting primary and secondary effects.

The improvements in their intellectual abilities extend through their high school years in areas of learning and higher school achievements. Based on the purpose of the study which was to determine the long-term effects of early childhood education three questions were posed to direct the research; firstly, Do children from the quality preschool program have higher academic skills, in terms of maths than a control group of students during their elementary years, secondly, if children from quality preschool program have higher social skills, and thirdly, if children from quality preschool program have a more positive attitude.

Method

The researchers made use of “The Opportunity Project” (TOP) curriculum consisting of three components, child development, and learning, social and cultural context of the individual child. They made use of children from 12 months to five years of age, of the population of the students, 21 percent were 5 year-olds, 45 percent were 4 year-olds, 20 percent were 3 year-olds, there were 11 percent 2 year-olds, and 3 percent were 1 year-olds, based on ethnicity 41 percent were Hispanic, 25 percent were African-American, 20 percent were White, 11 percent were Multi-racial, and 2 percent were Asian-American. 93 percent of the participants were in lower socio-economic status, this was based on eligibility to free lunches and subsidized prices for lunch. The instrument of study was a questionnaire handed out to the teachers of the participants who were required to fill out the behaviors, academic achievements, social interactions, and emotional maturity of these participants.

Results

The results were divided into three categories for analysis; academics, social skills, and attitudes towards, our concern, however, is based on academic achievements. Indicators for academic achievement was based on maths and reading performance. A standardized test based on maths and reading as they are the basic necessities for children in schools and throughout their lifetime. The participants show a considerable high level of academic performance compared to the control group.

Implication

In addressing the topic of this research, the study shows that early childhood development has a significant impact on the academic success of the students. Children from low socio-economic standing without the opportunity of being enrolled in a high-quality preschool program are likely to possess low intellectual abilities which could lead to poor academic achievements.

Shala, M. (2013). The impact of preschool social-emotional development on the academic success of elementary school students. Psychology4(11), 787.

A child academic performance can be influenced by his or her socio-emotional skills, a child’s school readiness is often defined in terms of the child’s cognitive skills but emotions and the child’s capability to regulate them as well as show positive interaction and co-operation in classes have also been found to be of importance (Shala, 2013). Social-emotional development has to do with how the child sees his or herself, how they feel, how they behave, and how they behave with others. It involves the emergence of emotional regulation, positive social interaction, and social independence. Children learn their social behaviors from parents, caregivers, peers, and siblings, however, it is more vital if these behaviors are gotten from the parents. social-economic development helps the child to acquire social skills that enable bonding with friends and teachers, this is known to improve the children’s school engagement and, therefore academic success (Shala, 2013). Children who are delayed in socio-emotional development are prone to have academic and behavioral problems.

Methodology

A total of ninety-six primary school students participated in this study. During the past four years, the participants attended a public preschool program, 28 completed the first grade, 32 completed the second grade, 15 the third grade, and 21 students had completed the fourth grade in 2012. The instruments used to measure the performance was an evaluation form given to the teachers to fill out based on five factors, differentiation between known and unknown people, interaction with people around, experience, recognize, and properly express emotions,  demonstrates that he or she knows the concept of themselves, ability of self-regulation of emotions.  Academic grades from first to fourth grades were also used to assess the children’s academic success. The method of linear regression was used in order to determine how well the child developed socially and emotionally.

Results

A series of multiple regression was used to determine the relationship between social and emotional development and student academic success from preschool through to the fourth grade. There was a significant positive effect of social and emotional development on the student’s academic success

Implication

Children need intellectual skills, motivational qualities, and socio-economic skills to succeed in school and these learning processes start early in life. Therefore, this is another study that answers my research question. There is a positive outcome with proper early childhood development compared to the control groups who did not have the required support from their parents and therefore, lack the intellectual skills as well as the socio-emotional skills to succeed in school.

National Institutes of Health (2011). Link Between Child Care and Academic Achievement and Behavior Persists Into Adolescence. Retrieved on 20 November 2018 from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/link-between-child-care-academic-achievement-behavior-persists-into-adolescence

Teens who were placed in childcare for the first four and a half years of their life have been known to be slightly impulsive and are susceptible to taking risks at age 15 than those who spent less time in child care.

Methodology

1,364 youths that were analyzed have been evaluated since they were one month old. The families that participated in the study were from diverse family backgrounds and ethnicity. The children were evaluated annually to test their cognitive and academic progress. Furthermore, the researchers queried the parents regularly, in order to note the type, quantity, and quality of care the children are receiving (National Institutes of Health, 2011). The researchers also requested that teachers at the school evaluate the children’s behavior at four and a half years and subsequent two years after that. When the students were fifteen-years-old, the researchers used a questionnaire to test the students’ academic achievements, by having them evaluate their behaviors.

Results

Using a scale of one to four, the researchers rated the quality of child-care and discovered that more than forty percent who had been offered quality care showed a high level of academic success. The results were consistent in both boys and girls. The researchers further went on to involve children from low-income families to take part in the child care program and found the same results.

Implication

Child care helps children development, which in turn boosts their academic performance. Child development plays a significant role in a student’s academic success as shown in the various studies exhibited throughout this paper.

Flores, R. M. V., & da Silva Scorzafave, L. G. D. (2014). Effect of racial segregation on the proficiency of Brazilian elementary school students. Economia15(1), 20-29.

Over the years, it is understood that there is a wage gap between the blacks and the whites, this partly due to the fact that the whites get higher paying jobs than the blacks or it is just discrimination towards the black community. Researchers, however, have traced it to the fact that blacks are earning low due to the quality of education that they received and can be attributed to racial segregations in schools (Flores & Scorzafave, 2014). Two mechanisms were put forward to try and explain the reasons behind poor academic performance due to racial segregation. First, black students do not expect anything from themselves because they believe they are not going to get paid well enough when they graduate. They are expected to perform less than their white counterparts.

The second mechanism is that blacks enroll in schools with lesser resources, this cuts across their early preschool years and elementary school years leading to poor intellectual skills, and socio-emotional skills. The aim of this study is to show the effect of racial segregation on the performances of black and white students.

Methodology

The researchers used a complex method in order to generate the data required to answer their research question. They used the proficiencies of students from the fifth grade in the state of Sao-Paulo that participated in the state competition. They then used a questionnaire to generate variables, demographic and socio-economic data.

Results

The results showed that racial segregation had a negative impact on the students’ academic success, more the blacks than the whites and the researches concluded that it is one of the main reasons why there is a proficiency gap between the races in the schools in Sao Paulo (Flores & Scorzafave, 2014).

Implication

This answers the question of my research question on the effect of racial segregation on student academic success. Interestingly, in this study, the effect is one-sided, more so affecting the minorities than the whites. This is an increasing trend in the United States, but by using this study, I took all the attention away from the common studies carried out in American colleges. It shows that America is not the only country with a high percentage of racial segregation in schools and neighborhoods. It is difficult, however, to find a research that focuses on both the minorities and the whites. Many of the researches show that racial segregation impacts negatively of the racial minorities.

Owens, J., & Massey, D. S. (2011). Stereotype Threat and College Academic Performance: A Latent Variables Approach. Social science research40(1), 150-166.

In this study, I categorized racial segregation as stereotypes threat and this has shown to have a major impact on the performance of minorities in colleges and Universities. Earlier, I pointed out the difficulty in finding a research that shows the negative effect of racial segregation on the whites, this is another reason why it is difficult to find. Although, this article referred to it as stereotype threat. It is a theory that states that “minorities underperform because of pressures created by negative stereotypes about their racial group” (Owen, & Massey, 2011, p. 150). Minority students, especially the blacks and Hispanics perform less in exams, graduate at lower rates, and earn lower grades than their white counterparts. 

Methodology

The researchers obtained their data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen (NLSF), they used a total of 3,924 college students from twenty-eight colleges throughout the United States. The interviewed the freshmen and carried out their study on Blacks and Hispanics as they are the ones that are most affected (Owen, & Madsey, 2011). The variable is academic performance.

Results

The study showed that internalization and externalization of negative stereotypes affect the performance of minorities negatively (Owen & Massey, 2011). The study supports laboratory research that has been carried out over the years theoretically.

Implication

There is certainly a problem in the American educational system, with racial segregation, there is going to be a large wage gap in the economy as shown the previous study. Racial segregation has a negative impact on the academic success of minorities in America.

Conclusion

The effect of racial segregation and child development both have contrasting impacts on the academic achievements of students. Proper child development has a positive effect on the academic success of the students and it is mainly associated with high socio-economic status. In all of the three articles that talked about child development, more focus was placed on the early preschool development as the key to building a child towards academic excellence. Another common theme in these articles was the importance of social and emotional development. Socio-emotional development is known to be the key to the children’s motivation towards learning, therefore, the path to academic excellence.

Racial segregation is another one which is becoming a major issue in the United States, it is alarming to think that something of this nature could hinder the success of a student. In the article by Owen and Massey, they showed that some of the Blacks and Hispanics affected by these stereotype threats come from high-income families (2010). In Brazil, the researchers concluded that the reason for their huge wage gap is because of racial segregation in schools, classrooms, and the neighborhoods. If all of these five articles are studied cross-sectionally, there would be no divide in all of the studies, racial segregation leads to poor academic performance due to the low quality of schools attended by the blacks. Bakken, Brown, & Downing has shown that high-quality early education has a long-term impact on the academic success of the children (2017). The National Institutes of Health (2011) also carried out a study based on the effect high-quality education has on the success of the students academically. The articles also reflected on the effect of low socioeconomic status on the child’s development and the significant effect it has on the academic success of the students.

References

Bakken, L., Brown, N., & Downing, B. (2017). Early childhood education: The long-term benefits. Journal of Research in Childhood Education31(2), 255-269.

Connor, C. M., & Morrison, F. J. (2006). Services or programs that influence young children’s academic success and school completion. Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. Montreal, QC: Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development, 1-12.

Darling-Churchill, K. E., & Lippman, L. (2016). Early childhood social and emotional development: Advancing the field of measurement. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology45, 1-7.

Flores, R. M. V., & da Silva Scorzafave, L. G. D. (2014). Effect of racial segregation on proficiency of Brazilian elementary school students. Economia15(1), 20-29.

National Institutes of Health (2011). Link Between Child Care and Academic Achievement and Behavior Persists Into Adolescence. Retrieved on 20 November 2018 from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/link-between-child-care-academic-achievement-behavior-persists-into-adolescence

Owens, J., & Massey, D. S. (2011). Stereotype Threat and College Academic Performance: A Latent Variables Approach. Social science research40(1), 150-166

Hauser-Cram, P. (2014). Services or programs that influence young children (0-5) and their school completion/academic achievement. Retrieved on 20 November 2018 from http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/school-success/according-experts/services-or-programs-influence-young-children-0-5-and-their-school

Shala, M. (2013). The impact of preschool social-emotional development on academic success of elementary school students. Psychology4(11), 787.

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