Abstracts, original contribution, limitations, etc.

Abstract – Markeisha Hill

This paper analyzes the effects of current disciplinary procedures in American schools and criticizes the methods as systematically disempowering and disenfranchising students, particularly low income minority students. Through literature review, auto-ethnography, and theory I hope to demonstrate the relationship between discipline practices and the hidden ideology in American schools that affect a student’s future achievement and success. Research found that students who are exposed to punitive discipline are less likely to engage civically and think individually and critically. As punitive discipline affects more low income minority students, this problem has far reaching implications on wider societal issues such as poverty, employment and the prison industrial complex.

Key Words

discipline, American schools, punitive discipline, zero-tolerance, school to prison, restorative justice, alternative discipline, school to prison pipeline, minority students

Abstract – Chase Knowles

        Research has shown that there are structural and societal factors negatively influencing the performance of underrepresented youth in the American education system. Often, research focuses on identities (such as race, class, and gender) independently and finds that discrimination against these identities is pervasive in the education system. This essay aims to challenge the focus of individual identities and instead support the need to focus on the intersection of identities, especially the intersection of whiteness and low socioeconomic class. The author combines an extensive literature review and critique of popular discourse with an autoethnographical narrative to call for the focus on the experiences of low-income whites in the education system. The author finds that the complexity of whiteness is often misunderstood and this misunderstanding negatively affects low-income whites throughout their academic experience and perpetuates a cycle of poverty. The essay ends in a demand for policy change that will benefit all underrepresented students and allow for research to focus on inequalities as they relate to the intersection of identities.


inequality, intersectionality, education, whiteness, identity

Original Contribution – Nina Gerona

The United States has recently seen an insatiable trend of school gardens popping up faster than the vegetables that grow within them. This seems unsurprising, as it is difficult to find anything but vast praise for the projects and their benefits. Interestingly, despite the plethora of support for school gardens, there are very few studies that examine the long-term use of the gardens and even fewer that assess why they might fail (Ozer 2007).  In this essay I am going to critically examine how school gardens and farms can be sustained and thus remain relevant for their school community.

Original Contribution 

This study has important implications. First, it clarifies class-based socialization models by showing that children’s acquisition of class-based behaviors is neither implicit nor automatic; rather, cultural transmission involves active efforts by both parents and children. Second, it helps explain class-stratified childrearing patterns, suggesting that parents’ efforts reflect beliefs stemming from their positions in the social hierarchy. Third, it demonstrates that by examining how cultural transmission varies along social class lines, and by linking these processes to their payoff in schools, we can better understand the mechanisms of social reproduction.

from Calarco, Jessica McCrory. 2014b. “Coached for the Classroom Parents’ Cultural Transmission and Children’s Reproduction of Educational Inequalities.” American Sociological Review 79(5):1015-37.


Clustering citations

Over the past 40 years, the rate of removing children from school as a disciplinary measure has almost doubled ( Rausch 2005: 3, Skiba 2002,Skiba 2000 ) — Markeisha Hill

Researchers that discuss class inequality often have trouble adequately addressing classism and the cultural issues associated with it (Duncan and Murnane 2011; Delgado-Gaitan 1991; Lareau 2000) — Chase Knowles


Before diving into Oakland as a case study for disproportionate identification of minority students as special needs, I must make clear the repercussions of these racially biased decisions. – Elena Rein

Finally the student’s homogeneity and fear of social exclusion act as a social psychological factor in facilitating ijime. – Yohei Okada

Limitations of research

Though this research acts as a case study of special education identification in an exceptionally diverse American city, it lacks an in-depth understanding of the experiences of individual students or schools in Oakland. Without access to data regarding SPED populations in individual schools in the district, I was unable to analyze potentially significant differences in overrepresentation rates amongst Oakland’s public schools. This type of information may have yielded interesting results, given the vast differences between schools in the Oakland Hills and those in the ‘flatlands’ of East and West Oakland. Additionally, this study could have been augmented by ethnographic research within the OUSD. More accurate information regarding the outcomes of disproportionate identification, including access to general curriculum, access to SPED resources, and suspension and arrest rates, may have been useful and could have been gleaned through interviews with students, parents, and teachers within the system. However, data presented by the California Department of Education was sufficient for a broad analysis of patterns of overrepresentation of minority students in the diagnoses of intellectual disabilities, emotional disturbance, and specific learning disabilities. – Elena Rein


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