Comparative Educational Biography and Contrasting School Effects Comparative Educational Biography
Your essay should take the form of a comparative analytical educational biography that you base on an interview with someone about your age, but no more than 5 years older than you, not a close friend or family member, who has not attended and is not likely to attend college. We ask that you select someone who did not attend the same high school that you attended.
The data for this paper will come from your interview with your educational informant and your reflective self-interview on your own educational experience. (If you wish to substitute an interview with another college going person for your self-interview, you are free to do so, but let your reader and me know. Please assure your informant that you will protect his or her privacy by not using his or her name in your work and be sure to promise to honor any confidential information that your informant shares with you.)
The goal of your paper is to highlight the different ways high schools work and produce socially consequential results for students, who may come from different social and educational backgrounds and whose families may follow different strategies for the educational development of their offspring. How do the same institutions produce college-going ?success? stories along with more ambiguous results in the situations of non-college-going young people, seeking employment and advancement without formal post-secondary education and certification in a technological sophisticated, post-industrial society?
The governing question for your interview work and your paper follows: how do high schools and identifiable features of the experience of schooling influence students so that some have aspired to higher education, learned how to pursue it, qualified for admission, applied to colleges and universities, and have been able to attend a four-year school, and others have pursued different goals and followed different strategies?
Your interview should explore how the formal schooling has been implicated in different ways in these two kinds of post-high school transitions.
Attention to SOCIOLOGICAL FACTORS. The paper should show remind us that schools are located in communities which have a demographic profile (seen in levels of educational attainment, occupational distribution, income profile, and racial profile). Moreover, students are located in families which themselves have an educational and a racial/cultural profile that may shape the goals they construct for their offspring and the strategies they follow to realize them. Thus, your paper should compare and contrast the schooling available in different social and economic community contexts, and compare and contrast the ways the schools make their resources available to and work with students with different family profiles, who may pose different goals for their children and follow different strategies to realize them.