Review of Unequal childhoods in Indian context: Relationship between parent engagement/socio economic background and student achievement

Nithasha Premkumar

Supervisor: Robert Campbell

City: Kelowna

Year: 2021


  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Education Policy


Annette Lareau’s ‘Unequal Childhoods, Class, Race and Family Life’ shows everyday examples of discrimination and other issues of equality and diversity affecting children and school communities in the United States. The case studies presented in this book illustrate challenges and issues in child-rearing in a candid manner. In spite of the fact that this study was conducted in the United States, it has relevance in the Indian school system. The capstone project presented here examines the role parents have in shaping children’s lives in the Indian educational context. The examination will be based on case studies presented in ‘Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race and Family Life’. The outcome of this examination will address the need to bring teachers and parents together to identify strategies that schools can employ to maximize parental engagement. Additionally, the discussion will also identify the ways in which parents can be actively involved in the activities of the school community in Indian education.

Student Biography

In India, I worked in a low-income public school where the parents’ annual income was below the poverty line (the equivalent of $ 475 CAD per annum). Since these schools are operated by the government, they provide free education. Following this experience, I worked at a private international school not far from my previous school. At this international school, annual tuition exceeds $ 2,000 CAD per year. The contrast between these two work situations has enabled me to consider the impact the class structure and economic status of the family have on student achievement in varied educational systems. I have observed that the parents’ and teachers’ contributions and involvement also differ extensively in both of these systems.