University of Bergen (NORWAY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Page: 3555
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
It is known that social origin affects educational choice, even among students who have received equal grades (Nordli Hansen, 2005). This paper studies the relationship between family back ground, school experiences and educational choice. The data are from the West coast of Norway and include interviews with 25 male workers with low level education working in different enterprises.

The question raised is to what degree teachers with high cultural capital recognize and understand students with low cultural capital, non scholastic thinking, in school. According to the workers “teachers only care about clever students”: In their view teachers experience and evaluate students differently, according to their family and cultural background. The workers told that when they were students, their experiences were not valued or asked for in school.

The theoretical approaches from George Herbert Mead, Pierre Bourdieu are used to understand the process in which the self-understanding (habitus) of teachers and students regarding school and education, are mutual constructed. Further we are supported by the thinking of Niklas Luhman in order to understand the communication processes in the teacher-student relationship.

It is argued that male workers with low level education are absent from further education, because of their family background and earlier negative school-experiences. Negative school-experiences could be said to arise when mutual trust is missing and when teacher’s professional role regarding responsibility and violence is not clearly defined. Teachers easily misread students’ different cultural experiences as lack of motivation and laziness sometimes without the consciousness of this.