Thursday, August 2, 2012: 9:06 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
The main goal of this study is to verify the effect of cultural capital on the student’s performance in an official test applied by Brazilian government (Brazil Test) which is part to the Brazilian Elementary to High School System (SAEB). The data set used is from 2003 year and involves 52.434 students. The standard test is applied each two years in the fields of mathematics and languages. Along with the test a questionnaire is applied to measure student’s characteristics as well as their families’ profile. The research question is: what is the impact of cultural capital on student’s performance in the SAEB test controlling for their demographic characteristics and relations with other students and their teachers? The theoretical background is based on James Coleman (1997), Pierre Bourdieu (1982, 1998) and Basil Bernstein (1997). And among Brazilian scholars the study includes the ideas of Nelson Silva and Carlos Hasenbalg (2000) and Maria Ligia Barbosa (2009). The study model has as the dependent variable the student’s grades in the SAEB test and the cultural capital as the main independent variable along with the controls. Descriptive analyses are used as well as regression models to obtain the effect of the independent variables on the dependent one. The preliminary and main results show that there is significant association between levels of cultural capital and student’s performance in the SAEB test. Specifically, there is a significant and positive correlation between parent’s education, ownership of computer and access to the internet and newspaper reading with the performance in the SAEB test.