UC Berkeley And Upbringing In A Middle Class

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Personal History Reflection My path towards UC Berkeley and upbringing in a middle class family is a clear indication that social background can affect educational success. Having attended an elementary school in a nice neighborhood and then transferring to a private high school, my background has definitely worked in my favor. The formal schooling I received was not only excellent but also matched by a privileged life at home. While some of my success can be attributed to economic capital: the money that my parents spent on me, my accrued cultural capital (the non-financial assets that promoted upward mobility) also influenced me. My middle-class family upbringing and degree of formal schooling put me on a steady path towards higher education; …show more content…

While both my parents were immigrants from China, they had both earned university degrees before coming to North America. As Rothstein wrote, there is an immense “influence of families’ social and economic conditions on children’s achievement.” (Rothstein, 2004: 17) My parents’ higher socioeconomic status was indicative in the way they pushed me to do well in school and provided me with adequate support. The cultural capital I cultivated from my parents motivated me to continue not only work hard but also acknowledge just how hard they also worked for me to be where I was today. At the time, I did not understand the basic educational foundation my parents were solidifying for me in terms of wanting to do well in school and participating in organized activities. However, this pattern was only amplified in high school so that when it came time to apply to universities, I was accepted into ten out of the fifteen schools I applied to, including UC Berkeley, which I eventually enrolled …show more content…

I attended a prestigious university preparatory school, which offered small class sizes, advanced placement courses, excellent faculty, and brand new buildings. Classes were stimulating and thought provoking and our professors encouraged us engage in challenging discussions. The fact that the quality of education was of substantial help in pushing me towards higher education contradicts the Coleman Report in which he described that the “quality of schools… has little influence on the difference in average achievement” (Rothstein, 2004: 15). In defending schools and putting more responsibility on socioeconomic status, Coleman disregards the positive influence of good education. My school provided a variety of resources that would help us with the university application process including monthly visits from university representatives, college courses and personalized appointments with in-school university counselors. Although I cannot directly claim that my acceptance into universities was due to the quality of schooling I received, I can acknowledge the immense advantage that I had over other college

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