Absenteeism and Inequality in Childrens Cognitive Development Influenced by Their Social-Economic Status – Assignment Example

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The paper “ Absenteeism and Inequality in Children’ s’ Cognitive Development Influenced by Their Social-Economic Status” is an engrossing variant of an essay on sociology. Over the years, school psychologists have had a great problem while dealing with student absenteeism involving individual and school level. The increasing rate of students being absent from school has caused a great impact on the student's attainment of being weak. This has also been attributed to the social-economic gap that exists between high and low-status groups (Entwisle, Alexander & Oslon. 1997). Over the past years, research conducted indicates that there is a strong relationship that exists between children's cognitive abilities and the social class.

This is usually noted at the early stages of school life and as a child progresses in school, their academic development starts to decline due to their frequent absenteeism. Absenteeism can be termed as a situation in which a student is absent from school due to both reasonable and unreasonable cases. In this literature review, we are going to sample the reasons and effects of absence in class and examine the relationship between links associated with children’ s social class, absenteeism in class, and whether it affects the overall academic growth of a child (Ready, 2010).

In this review we will take a broad look at the way National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests is applied in Perth primary schools and in this we are going to make a comparison on the absenteeism rates in the low social economic and high social-economic primary schools (Entwisle, Alexander & Oslon. 1997) The article concludes by considering how various authors take absenteeism rates according to the research conducted in various schools in dealing with absenteeism problems.

In all this the aim is to know the applicability of NAPLAN as a testing procedure and if it is proving to be successful as a tool for teachers. DiscussionFrom the literature provided, it is evident that there are differences between the attendances of school during tests (NAPLAN) based on the socio-economic background of the pupil. Causes of school absenteeism in Perth during testsThe major cause of absenteeism is the socioeconomic background of the pupil. It is observed that those learners who come from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds have a tending of skipping school during the examination time (Entwisle, Alexander & Olson, 1997).

Though such a cohort of learners is associated with high literacy levels as compared to their counterparts with high socioeconomic backgrounds, they fail to sit for the test due to a number of facts. The most outing cause is the fact that due to the repeated absenteeism from school during normal learning days, pupils gradually lose their literacy levels. Due to this, they are either willingly or unwilling made to skip the tests so as to avoid pulling down the average results for other students.

Nevertheless, not all the parents of such pupils concur with such proposals. The reason for this “ compulsory” skipping of test mostly the NAPLAN test is because; the NAPLAN is used to grade all the schools within Perth during the year. Therefore, if teachers feel that some students are not performing well in some of the subject (like math); they send a letter to the pupil’ s parent/guardian requesting him or her to allow the student to sit for test for the subjects that the pupil is proficient with (Klenowski, Wyat & Smith, 2011).

By so doing, the teachers make sure that the results published by My School website are not low. Though not every parent/guardian concur with the proposal, the majority of them agree. These practices are mostly exercised by private and Catholic schools in Perth; a clear difference between the low and high socioeconomic backgrounds.    


Carroll. H.(2010).The Effect of Pupil Absenteeism on Literacy and Numeracy in the Primary School School Psychology International 31: 115

Entwisle, D. R.., Alexander, K. L. & Olson, S.L. (1997). Children, Schools, and Inequality. Boulder, CO: West view Press.

Ferrari, J. (2011, April). School urges students to skip tests, The Australian, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/education/school-urges-students-to-skip-tests/story-fn59nlz9-1226036879991

Klonowski, V., Wyat, C & Smith. T, (2011) .The impact of high stakes testing: the Australian story, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, pp. 1-15

Ready, D. (2010) Socioeconomic Disadvantage, School Attendance, and Early Cognitive Development: The Differential Effects of School Exposure Sociology of Education83(4): 271–286

Wagner J (1997) The Unavoidable Intervention of Educational Research: A framework for reconsidering researcher-practitioner cooperation. Educational Researcher 26/7 pp 13-22.

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