Abstract

The economic condition and social position of parents bestow new-borns privileged or deprived status in stratified societies. Parents’ profession, education, income and even castes in such societies outline the future of children. Different educational outcomes and differences in human development are explainable in perspective of socio-economic differences. The learning outcomes directly depend on students’ cognitive processing strategies. This study has the goal to determine the predictability of students’ cognitive processing strategies by their socioeconomic classes. Survey research design was adopted and 197 students were conveniently selected from the population of secondary school science students. Linear regression was used to test the predictor power of socio-economic status in determining students’ cognitive processing strategies. There was a significant decrease in use of deep strategies with decrease in socio-economic status. Conversely, there was an increase in memorization strategies with decrease in socio-economic status. This situation was consequence of teaching approaches, nature of the examination system and differences in parenting support provided by parents of different social classes. There should be interventions planned to help out these lower socio-economic group students from being entrapped in recall and memorization rather than getting an understanding of content.