11 SES 09 A, Educational Improvement: National Level (Part 2)
Paper Session continues from 11 SES 08 A to be continued in 11 SES 10 A
ESL-warning system is one of the main tools for pedagogical intervention, and it is a challenge not only in Latvian context. The abbreviation ‘EWS’ (early warning system) is used as a broad term to describe systems, activities and programmes related to the identification of early warning signals and risk factors related to ESL (European Commission, 2014b). This means that EWS can take different forms and definition of the main characteristics of EWS can be only tentative. Typically they include the collection or use of data on students in order to identify risk factors and trigger targeted follow up. They are strongly linked to data collection systems in general and to early intervention mechanisms. This makes it often difficult to distinguish between specific EWS and broader interventions to reduce ESL ( European Commission, 2014, p. 3). This is a new field of research and a challenge for policy makers.
The challenges associated with EWS include having a clear understanding of their scope, context, methodology and benefit. Therefore the research question of the study on “Identification and analysis of new challenges and solutions that have influence on engagement and reintegration of early school-leavers (18-24 years) in lifelong learning” funded by ESF project "Support to research in educational field" (sub-activity 184.108.40.206.2.), project No 011/0011/1DP/220.127.116.11.2/11/IPIA/VIAA/001 - indicated in 2010 by the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia (MoES), leaded by the University of Latvia, supervised by the State Education Development Agency of Latvia and voluntarily supported by ASEM countries - aimed at elaborating the evidence-based recommendations for indicating and monitoring of early school leaving policy in 2015-2020 in Latvia to be transferable for local, regional and national conditions. The evidence on reasons to leave schooling early, explored by Early school leavers 'voices' ex-post-facto, will be presented in this paper.
The reasons are investigated in the context of the need to implement a new holistic structural system on preventive measures based on the several psychological researches in the last years, mapped by Paul Downes with a holistic approach that ,,address why people are reluctant to engage with education and training” (Downes, 2014, p.4).
The understanding of the complexity of ESL-warning is based on the premises provided by literature review (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice/Cedefop/Eurostat, 2014, p.103). At first, longitudinal studies reveal that grade retention is linked to an increased risk of dropping out of school (Jimerson et al., 2002; Allensworth, 2005), together with student level variables such as low self-esteem, problematic behaviour, low academic achievement, as well as family level variables such as lower maternal educational attainment and lower maternal value of education (Jimerson et al., 2002). At least, research shows that separating students too early strongly appears to increase differences and inequalities in student achievement (Hanuschek and Wößmann, 2006; OECD, 2012). Early tracking can trigger a vicious cycle in teachers' and students' expectations. Teachers can have lower expectations from low-performing students and students consequently adjust their expectations and efforts (OECD, 2010). Moreover, students cease to benefit from the positive influence of being around their more advanced peers (Hanuschek and Wößmann, 2006; Rumberger and Lim, 2008). Finally, more experienced and competent teachers tend to teach in more academic education institutions (OECD, 2010). As a result, students who find themselves in a wrong track often experience a negative learning experience; they may also experience stigmatisation, a decrease in their self- esteem and motivation, and thus run a higher risk of early leaving from education and training (European Commission, 2013).
European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice/Cedefop. (2014). Tackling Early Leaving from Education and Training in Europe: Strategies, Policies and Measures. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. European Commission. (2014). Thematic Working Group on Early School Leaving. Early warning systems in Europe: practice, methods and lessons. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. European Commission. (2013). Reducing early school leaving: Key messages and policy support. Final Report of the Thematic Working Group on Early School Leaving, November 2013. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/strategic-framework/doc/esl-group-report_en.pdf Dale, R. (2009). Early School Leaving: Lessons from Research for Policy Makers. Report written on behalf of NESSE (Network of experts in social science of education and training). Retrieved from http://www.nesse.fr/nesse/activities/reports/activities/reports/early-school-leaving-report Downes, P. (2014). Access to Education in Europe: A Framework and Agenda for System Change. Dordrecht: Springer Verlag. Hanushek, E. A., Wößmann, L. (2006). Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries. Economic Journal, 116(510), 63-76. Jimerson, S. R., Anderson G. E., &Whipple, A. D. (2002). Winning the battle and losing the war: Examining the relation between grade retention and dropping out of school. Psychology in the Schools, 39, 441-457. Mezirow, J. D. (1981). A critical theory of adult learning and education. Adult Education Quarterly, 32(1), 3-24. OECD. (2012). Equity and Quality in Education: Supporting Disadvantaged Students and Schools. Paris: OECD. Rumberger, R., & Lim, S. A. (2008). Why students drop out of school: A review of 25 years of research. California Dropout Research Project Report No15. Santa Barbara: University of California. Retrieved from http://cdrp.ucsb.edu/dropouts/pubs_reports.htm_15
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