Income disparity within and among school districts in Canada makes it difficult to fulfill public education’s promise of equitable schooling experiences for all students. As educators, we must examine, carefully and critically, the impacts of socioeconomic status and social class on and for parents and children in the day-to-day processes and expectations of schooling.
Students and teachers bring to the classroom experience various cultures, races, identities, orientations, genders, socio-economic classes, religious or spiritual affiliations, abilities, language backgrounds, etc., and it is our job as teachers to teach all of our students to the best of our ability, not just the kids who look like us, talk like us, pray like us, or come from the same communities that we do.
This book discusses the ways that some students may experience school, with a focus on how some schooling practices rest on assumptions being made about students’ financial abilities to engage fully. Simply put, many students do not have the financial ability to fully participate in some school activities, ranging from not having internet and computer access to complete homework assignments, to food insecurity at home, to lack of access to “material or cultural goods” that often form the basis of classroom practices. We offer some analysis of how these factors may impact students’ experiences in schools.