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FACE Conference 2009. Cultural capital as an explanation of variation in participation in higher education John Noble and Peter Davies Institute for Access.

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Presentation on theme: "FACE Conference 2009. Cultural capital as an explanation of variation in participation in higher education John Noble and Peter Davies Institute for Access."— Presentation transcript:

1 FACE Conference 2009

2 Cultural capital as an explanation of variation in participation in higher education John Noble and Peter Davies Institute for Access Studies, Staffordshire University

3 Cultural Capital Bourdieu’s Three forms of Cultural Capital: Bourdieu’s Three forms of Cultural Capital: Embodied state – directly linked to and incorporated within the individual and represents what they know and can do. Embodied state – directly linked to and incorporated within the individual and represents what they know and can do. Objectified state – represented by objects and goods such as books, paintings, music, instruments and machines. Objectified state – represented by objects and goods such as books, paintings, music, instruments and machines. Institutionalized capital – represented by a world of certificates and qualifications – a world of credentials. Institutionalized capital – represented by a world of certificates and qualifications – a world of credentials.

4 The Cultural Capital Questionnaire Previous work: Sullivan (2001); Bennett et al., (2005) : long questionnaires Previous work: Sullivan (2001); Bennett et al., (2005) : long questionnaires In this questionnaire: Maximum of 15 mins to complete Maximum of 15 mins to complete Measure of students’ and parents’ cultural capital Measure of students’ and parents’ cultural capital Parents’ educational qualifications and occupation Parents’ educational qualifications and occupation Predicted A level grades Predicted A level grades

5 Sample DeepdaleHillsideTownhead Number of Year 13 (17-18 year-old) students on roll Number of returned questionnaires Number likely to or definitely entering higher education Percentage with reporting parents’ occupation as professional or managerial 61%34%47% Percentage reporting parents with degree 43%30%31% Local area Semi- rural UrbanTown

6 Robustness and Factor Analysis Cronbach Alphas: 0.75 (Students) 0.83 (Parents) Cronbach Alphas: 0.75 (Students) 0.83 (Parents) Bartlett and Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin OK. Bartlett and Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin OK. Maximum likelihood extraction under oblique rotation. Maximum likelihood extraction under oblique rotation. 2/3 Factor solutions: Current Affairs; High Art; Music. 2/3 Factor solutions: Current Affairs; High Art; Music.

7 Models Tested (Model 1) Is = f(PO s, PE s, D s, H s ) (Model 1) Is = f(PO s, PE s, D s, H s ) (Model 2) Is = f(A s, PO s, PE s, D s, H s ) (Model 2) Is = f(A s, PO s, PE s, D s, H s ) (Model 3) Is = f(A s, C s, PO s, PE s, D s, H s ) (Model 3) Is = f(A s, C s, PO s, PE s, D s, H s ) (Model 4) Is = f(A s, Current affairs s, Music s, High art s, PO s, PE s, D s, H s ) (Model 4) Is = f(A s, Current affairs s, Music s, High art s, PO s, PE s, D s, H s )

8 Results (1) Model 1 (p) Model 2(p) Model 3(p) Model 4(p) Constant<.001 PO.135 PE.212 D.156 H.629 A CC CA M HA n386

9 Results Model 1 (p) Model 2(p) Model 3(p) Model 4(p) Constant<.001<.001 PO PE D H A<.001 CC CA M HA n386350

10 Results Model 1 (p) Model 2(p) Model 3(p) Model 4(p) Constant<.001<.001<.001 PO PE D H A<.001<.001 CC.025 CA M HA n

11 Results Model 1 (p) Model 2(p) Model 3(p) Model 4(p) Constant<.001<.001<.001<.001 PO PE D H A<.001<.001<.001 CC.025 CA.013 M.042 HA.246 n

12 The policy issue Current guidance from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (2007 para. 8) suggests that background data should be collected on parents’ occupations and educational qualifications. Higher Education Funding Council for England (2007) Further Guidance on Evaluation Planning (Bristol: Higher Education Funding Council) available online at https://admin.hero.ac.uk/sites/practitioner/resources/Furth er%20Guidance%20on%20Evaluation%20Planning%20(Apr il%202008).DOC

13 Summary Parents’ education and occupation are unrelated to the likelihood that a student will participate in HE – once examination grades are taken into account. Parents’ education and occupation are unrelated to the likelihood that a student will participate in HE – once examination grades are taken into account. This challenges the WP agenda and the cultural capital account of differences in likelihood of participation. This challenges the WP agenda and the cultural capital account of differences in likelihood of participation. Cultural capital has not been measured separately in previous studies. Cultural capital has not been measured separately in previous studies. When a robust measure of cultural capital is included in the analysis it is shown to have a significant effect after allowing for examination grades. When a robust measure of cultural capital is included in the analysis it is shown to have a significant effect after allowing for examination grades.

14 From retention to engagement

15 Engagement and Student Choice There is a relationship between student levels of cultural capital and the methods used to research and select a university place. There is a relationship between student levels of cultural capital and the methods used to research and select a university place. “Everyone in my family has been to university. I just picked up on that”. “Everyone in my family has been to university. I just picked up on that”. “I found that I started to choose where to go on how nice it looked in the prospectus”. “I found that I started to choose where to go on how nice it looked in the prospectus”.

16 Engaging with Staff “They are way up there. I am not sure how comfortable I am going to be talking to them”. “They are way up there. I am not sure how comfortable I am going to be talking to them”. “Not a problem. It’ll just be different”. “Not a problem. It’ll just be different”.

17 Engaging with Staff through “ is a very good way of seeking advice. You can think about what you want to ask in advance and take your time over it”. “ is a very good way of seeking advice. You can think about what you want to ask in advance and take your time over it”. “I am not very comfortable seeking advice because I am not on a one-to-one basis with my lecturers. I am more comfortable ing my lecturers”. “I am not very comfortable seeking advice because I am not on a one-to-one basis with my lecturers. I am more comfortable ing my lecturers”.

18 Engagement and Teaching and Learning approaches No cultural capital affect apparent here. Both groups recognised the need to adapt from ‘spoon-feeding’ to independent learning No cultural capital affect apparent here. Both groups recognised the need to adapt from ‘spoon-feeding’ to independent learning

19 Engagement and habitus High cultural capital students are more likely to live on-campus than low cultural capital students. High cultural capital students are more likely to live on-campus than low cultural capital students. Habitus – “..the collectivity of norms and practices of a social group”. Habitus – “..the collectivity of norms and practices of a social group”. (Yorke and Longden, 2004) (Yorke and Longden, 2004)

20 Conclusions There is a relationship between cultural capital levels and confidence to interact with teaching staff. There is a relationship between cultural capital levels and confidence to interact with teaching staff. Institutional habitus may be affected by low cultural capital students choosing to live off-campus Institutional habitus may be affected by low cultural capital students choosing to live off-campus

21 Conclusions Cultural capital does exert an effect in addition to grades Cultural capital does exert an effect in addition to grades WP targeting is currently on the wrong track WP targeting is currently on the wrong track Careers provision in Year 12 does not take Careers provision in Year 12 does not take account of cultural capital level account of cultural capital level


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