"Class in the Classroom reveals that the middle-class advantage in school is, at least in part, a negotiated advantage. Essentially, that means that middle-class students secure advantages not only by complying with teachers' expectations, but also by requesting support in excess of what is fair or required. The book traces that negotiated advantage from its origins at home to its consequences at school. It follows a group of middle-class and working-class students from third to seventh grade and draws on observations and interviews with children, parents, and teachers. The middle-class students learned to negotiate advantages from their parents' coaching at home. Teachers, meanwhile, tended to grant those requests, even when they wanted to say "no." As a result, middle-class students received the bulk of teachers' assistance, accommodations, and positive attention. That extra support gave middle-class students a leg-up over their working-class peers, including more correct answers on tests, more time to complete assignments, more opportunities for creativity, and more recognition for their ideas. The book concludes with a discussion of these findings and their implications for scholars, educators, parents, and policymakers. It argues that teaching working-class student to act like their middle-class peers will never be enough to alleviate inequalities, as middle-class families will just find new ways to negotiate advantages that keep them one step ahead"--
Includes bibliographical references and index.