The development and impact of young people’s social capital in secondary schools
(2007) Peter Stevens, Ruth Lupton, Tamjid Mujtaba and Leon Feinstein
Wider Benefits of Learning Research Report No.24
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This report explores how young people in two inner-city multicultural secondary schools develop their sense of school belonging, attitudes to diversity and their supportive and close relationships to others. The results are based on analysis of quantitative survey data collected from more than 1500 students in our two schools and qualitative interview data from staff and students.
The findings show that different forms of social capital positively correlate to each other and to students’ socio-psychological resources, in particular their self-concept of ability in doing schoolwork. However, these resources are not evenly distributed, with students from lower socio-economic backgrounds showing on average less positive attitudes to diversity and lower levels of socio-psychological resources.
While the findings show that schools can develop social capital through different channels, they also suggest that schools have to consider how other social contexts influence students’ social capital, in particular young people’s peer-group relationships and neighbourhood characteristics.
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