ERG SES D 12, Families and Education
In Europe, segregation in the field of basic education causes concern as growing differences in learning results, available resources, and student backgrounds between schools are associated with exacerbated inequities and negative impacts on students attending lower tracks and more disadvantaged schools (c.f. OECD, 2012). School status has been found relevant, among other things, to student outcomes (e.g. OECD, 2010; Sirin, 2005), students’ academic self-concepts (Huguet et al., 2009), and future expectations (Montt, 2012). In this paper, school status refers mainly to the socio-economic background of the student population but it is connected also to other factors, such as the share of students with immigrant background, school location, and the reputation of the school. The degree of differentation between school statuses varies between countries depending to a large extent on the organisation of schooling, regulation of educational trajectories (Tikkanen, Bledowski, & Felczac, 2015), and implementation of market-oriented neoliberal education reforms – especially free school choice policy, which has been shown to intensify societal and ethnic segregation (e.g. Reay & Lucey, 2003; Seppänen, Kalalahti, Rinne, & Simola, 2015).
In international comparison, Finland is an interesting case as it differs from most of the other countries that have implemented the free school choice policy in that the policy was introduced into an exclusively publicly funded, comprehensive school system (Seppänen & Rinne, 2015). As a result of the Finnish free school choice policy, which contributes to the polarisation of youth by increasing selection within school levels (Kosunen, 2014; Seppänen et al., 2015), there is systematic growth in the differences between schools in learning results and socio-economic compositions, especially in urban areas (e.g. Kuusela, 2012). Hence, even though the Finnish education system is widely referred to as highly equal, often as an aftermath of its frequent PISA success, the process of stratification of comprehensive schools has also started in Finland.
The aim of this paper is to analyse if and how the status of child’s lower secondary school is related to parents’ satisfaction with different aspects of school and schooling in urban Finland. Parental satisfaction offers a perspective to the extent to which the segregation of basic education affects the everyday school life and wellbeing of lower secondary school students. Friedman, Bobrowski, and Geraci (2006) have proposed a conceptual model of parental satisfaction with schools, which includes a number of factors, such as school safety, budget, teacher effectiveness, quality of curriculum, facility, communication with parents, and student achievement. In this study, using the model by Friedman et al. as a theoretical backdrop, three dimensions of parental satisfaction, the overall quality of the educational environment, co-operation between school and home, and child’s wellbeing and progress at school, are analysed across affluent, average, and disadvantaged lower secondary schools.
Huguet, P., Dumas, F., Marsh, H., Régner, I., Wheeler, L., Suls, J., . . . Neziek, J. (2009). Clarifying the role of social comparison in the big-fish-little-pond effect (BFLPE): An integrative study. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 97, 156–170. Kosunen, S. (2014). Reputation and parental logics of action in local school choice space in Finland. Journal of Education Policy, 29, 443–446. Kuusela, J. (2012). Eriytymiskehitys oppimistulosten valossa [Stratification development in the light of learning outcomes]. In R. Jakku-Sihvonen, & J. Kuusela (Eds.), Perusopetuksen aika. Selvitys koulujen toimintaympäristöä kuvaavista indikaattoreista [Time for basic education. A report on indicators portraying schools’ operational environments] (pp. 12–33). Helsinki: Ministry of Education and Culture. Friedman, B., Bobrowski, P., & Geraci, J. (2006). Parents’ school satisfaction: Ethnic similarities and differences. Journal of Educational Administration, 44, 471–486. McDowell, J., Biggart, A., Živoder, A., Ule, M., Martelli, A., De Luigi, N., & Litau, J. (2012). Governance of educational trajectories in Europe: Comparative analysis individual survey. GOETE working paper. http://www.goete.eu/download/working-papers Montt, G. (2012). Socioeconomic school composition effects on student outcomes (Doctoral dissertation). Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame. OECD. (2010). PISA 2009 results: Executive summary. Paris: OECD Publishing. OECD. (2012). Equity and Quality in Education: Supporting Disadvantaged Students and Schools. Paris: OECD Publishing. Parreira do Amaral, M., Litau, J., Cramer, C., Kobolt, A., Loncle, P., McDowell, J., . . . Zivoder, A. (2011). Governance of educational trajectories in Europe: State of the art report. GOETE working paper. http://www.goete.eu/download/working-papers?download=24:state-of-the-art-report-governance-of-educational-trajectories-in-europe Reay, D. & Lucey, H. (2003). The limits of 'choice': children and inner city schooling. Sociology-the Journal of the British Sociological Association, 37, 121–142. Seppäinen, P., Kalalahti, M., Rinne, R., & Simola, H. (Eds.) (2015). Lohkoutuva peruskoulu: Perheiden kouluvalinnat, yhteiskuntaluokat ja koulutuspolitiikka [Segmenting comprehensive school – parental school choice, social classes, and education policies]. Jyväskylä: Finnish Institute for Educational Research. Seppänen, P. & Rinne, R. (2015). Suomalainen yhtenäiskoulu ylikansallisen koulupolitiikan paineissa [Finnish comprehensive schooling faces pressures of supranational education policies]. In P. Seppänen, M. Kalalahti, R. Rinne & H. Simola (Eds.) Lohkoutuva peruskoulu – Perheiden kouluvalinnat, yhteiskuntaluokat ja koulutuspolitiikka. Jyväskylä: Finnish Institute for Educational Research, 23–58. Sirin, S. R. (2005). Socioeconomic status and academic achievement: A meta-analytic review of research. Review of Educational Research, 75, 417–453. Tikkanen, J., Bledowski, P., & Felczak, J. (2015). Education systems as transition spaces. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 28, 297–310.
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