ERG SES C 05, Policies of Education
The internal social structures and school choice policies of a city define how pupils are divided between schools (Seppänen 2006). One of the most current points of view in the research field of sociology and politics of education is regional and social geography. In Finland, the research on urban segregation, including educational segregation, to date has focused on the capital region of Helsinki (Bernelius 2013). Although there is some new research investigating the spatial segregation in the 6th largest city in Finland, Turku (Rasinkangas 2013), no studies so far have focused on the educational aspects of it.
Policies that enable families to apply for a school place from a desired school for their child are called school choice policies (Seppänen 2006). In Finland, there has been a long tradition of the child’s school place being determinated by the municipality, depending on his/her place of residence. Since 1993, families have had the chance to apply for other schools besides the allocated one. (Seppänen, Rinne & Sairanen 2012.) According to many studies, school choice policies, as a part of neoliberalistic education policies, may have acute consequences. In New Zeeland, free school choice policies have resulted in severe segregation of schools (Gordon 2003). In England the existence of choice as such has been questioned as many families cannot partake in the school choice markets – they simply have to accept the least bad option (Reay & Lucey 2003). However, some studies have found groups of parents who, despite their vast resources and capability, choose to send their children in the local school and thus try to balance being a good parent as well as a good citizen (Crozier et al. 2008; Raveaud & van Zanten 2007). In addition to families, schools play a major role in the school choice markets as they fight for the best pupils (Broccolichi & van Zanten 2000).
According to recent studies focusing on political documents, the growing gap between different socioeconomic groups and their spatial segregation is a serious concern for the member states of the European Union. (Andersson 2006; Norris & Shiels 2007.) Spatial segregation can be observed in many different levels. Due to urbanization, the centre of inequalities has shifted towards urban areas. (Rasinkangas 2013.) Spatial segregation is one of the most influential processes affecting the growing differences between comprehensive schools. The educational, socioeconomic and ethnic structures of an area are reflected on the social background of the pool of pupils of a certain school (Jakku-Sihvonen & Kuusela 2012). The pool of pupils also affects the desirability and quality of a school in the eyes of the families looking for the best schools for their child (Seppänen 2006). High educational level as well as high socioeconomic status of the parents is typically connected with good learning outcomes, whereas low level of education and immigrant background predict learning outcomes below average (Bernelius 2012).
This study aims to explore how the socioeconomic segregation of the city of Turku is reflected on the school choice policies and what is the connection between that phenomenon and the learning outcomes of comprehensive education. The research questions are: 1. What are the relationships between family’s location, socio economic status and attitudes towards school choice and education in general in Turku? 2. How are the differences between residential areas and school choices in a connection with the formation of the pool of pupils? 3. How do the pools of pupils differ and how are those differences connected to learning outcomes?
Andersson, R. 2006. ‘Breaking segregation’: rhetorical construct or effective policy? The case of the metropolitan development initiative in Sweden. Urban Studies 43(4), 787–799. Bernelius, V. 2012. Tutkittua tietoa koulujen ja väestörakenteen alueellisesta eriytymisestä. In Jakku-Sihvonen, R. & Kuusela, J. (eds.): Perusopetuksen aika. Selvitys koulujen toimintaympäristöä kuvaavista indikaattoreista. pp.34–43. Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriön työryhmämuistioita ja selvityksiä 2012: 13. Bernelius, V. 2013. Eriytyvät kaupunkikoulut. Helsingin peruskoulujen oppilaspohjan erot, perheiden kouluvalinnat ja oppimistuloksiin liittyvät aluevaikutukset osana kaupungin eriytymiskehitystä. Dissertation. Edita Prima Oy, Helsinki. Broccolichi, S. & van Zanten, A. 2000. School competition and pupil flight in the urban periphery. Journal of Education Policy 15(1), 51–60. Crozier, G., Reay, D., James, D., Jamieson, F., Beedell, P., Hollingworth, S. & Williams, K. 2008. White middle-class parents, identities, educational choice and the urban comprehensive school: dilemmas, ambivalence and moral ambiguity. British Journal of Sociology of Education 29(3), 261–272. Gordon, L. 2003. School Choice and the Social Market in New Zealand: education reform in an era of increasing inequality. International Studies in Sociology of Education 13(1), 17–34. Jakku-Sihvonen, R. & Kuusela, J. 2012. Perusopetuksen aika. Selvitys koulujen toimintaympäristöä kuvaavista indikaattoreista. Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriön työryhmämuistioita ja selvityksiä 2012: 13. Lubienski, C. & Dougherty, J. 2009. Mapping Educational Opportunity: Spatial Analysis and School Choices. American Journal of Education 115(4), 485–491. Norris, M. & Shiels, P. 2007. Housing inequalities in an enlarged European Union: patterns, drivers and implications. Journal of European Social Policy 17(1), 59–70. O’Sullivan, D. & Unwin, D. 2003. Geographic Information Analysis. Hoboken, NJ, Wiley. Rasinkangas, J. 2013. Sosiaalinen eriytyminen Turun seudulla. Tutkimus asumisen alueellisista muutoksista ja asumispreferensseistä. Dissertation. Siirtolaisuusinstituutin tutkimuksia A 43. Juvenes Print, Turku. Raveaud, M. & van Zanten, A. 2007. Choosing the local school: middle class parents’ values and social and ethnic mix in London and Paris. Journal of Education Policy 22(1), 107–124. Reay, D. & Lucey, H. 2003. The Limits of ‘Choice’: Children and Inner City Schooling. Sociology 37(1), 121–142. Seppänen, S. 2006. Koulunvalintapolitiikka perusopetuksessa. Suomalaiskaupunkien koulumarkkinat kansainvälisessä valossa. Dissertation. Kasvatusalan tutkimuksia 26. Suomen Kasvatustieteellinen Seura. Painosalama Oy, Turku. Seppänen, S., Rinne, R. & Sairanen, V. 2012. Suomalaisen yhtenäiskoulun eriytyvät koulutiet. Oppilasvalikointi perusopetuksessa, esimerkkinä Turun koulumarkkinat. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka 77(1), 16–33. Taylor, C. 2007. Geographical information systems (GIS) and school choice. The use of spatial research tools in studying educational policy. In Gulson, K. & Symes, C. (eds.): Spatial Theories of Education. pp.77–93. Routledge, New York.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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