Social Capital in Schools: Perceptions and Performance

By Gregory K. Plagens.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Social capital is argued to grow out of social relations and to provide resources to actors engaged in purposive action. One environment where the resources generated have been shown to contribute to positive outcomes is education. Previous research has found social capital in the family and the community to be associated with higher student test scores. Since students, teachers and principals interact at school over the course of a year or longer it is reasonable to assume that social capital may also emerge within individual schools. Any resource produced as a result of these interactions may also be valuable to producing positive outcomes. Drawing on data from Chicago Public Schools in the United States, this paper examines principal and teacher perceptions of social relations within the school that are consistent with social capital theory. Statistical tests are run to see whether social capital within a school is associated with student test scores.

Keywords: Social Capital, Social Relations, School Performance, Student Testing, United States Public Schools, Trust, Norms, Student Achievement

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.17-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 701.901KB).

Gregory K. Plagens

Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA

Dr. Plagens’s research interests are in public policy, education policy, public administration, social capital, human resource management, state and local government, and leadership.

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