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The Influence of Children's Socioeconomic Status and Summer Experiences on Their Achievement Progress in the Summer
Researchers with functionalist and conflict perspectives have very different views about the role of public schools in enhancing equality of educational opportunities. Alexander, Entwisle and Olson’s longitudinal study on Baltimore children provided alternative point of view for understanding public education and equality issues. They found that test scores of children declined after summer vacations (summer loss), and the variation observed was highly related to children’s socioeconomic status (SES) and background factors. This study implied that the seemingly low effects of schooling were due to some other factors (e.g., SES), and the achievement gaps were mainly enlarged during summer breaks. This study examined the summer activities and achievement progress of elementary school children in Taiwan during summer. Academic progress of children with different SES backgrounds and summer experiences were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The results show that students of different backgrounds differ in their summer cultural and social capital. The impact of SES on progress in the summer can be explained by summer cultural capital, but not social capital. Implications and limitations of the study are discussed. Suggestions for future research are provided.
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