09 SES 08 A, Exploring Trends and Equity with PIRLS/TIMSS
Since Coleman Report (Coleman, 1966) we know that socioeconomic factors matter. Sirin's (2005) big meta study of surveys from 1999 to 2000 showed that among all the factors, socioeconomic factors are the ones who can explain the most variance. 23 years earlier White (1982) came to similar conclusions. Due to the differences in cognitive abilities we can never achieve 100% explanation of variance. However, socioeconomic factors are not a force per se. They are manifested through availability of reading and language resources (richness of the language, disposal of reading materials, advantages of urban millieu, etc.). There are hundreds of articles proving that socio-economic factors matter (also presented at IRC and other educational research conferences). Bourdieu (1977, 1984, 1996) partly showed how reading capital is functioning in education. Further, elites in each society works through well developed mechanism which enables them to stay at power (van Dijk, 1993, 1998). When we combine these theoretical approaches we can see that a lot of things could be done if societies would be devoted to overcome the achievement differences (van Dijk, 1993). The question is: are they aware of these differences? Todd (2015) sees the main obstacle in the middle class, which is, by his opinion, interested in maintaining status quo.
The purpose of this paper is to show whether a gap between privileged and less privileged kids changes over time, and if it does, in what direction. We see from PIRLS results from 2001, 2006, and 2016 that countries’ average achievements are changing: in general the average achievement is rising. In 2001 the average achievement was 500 points. In 2011, the average achievement is much higher and it is to be expected that over time the PIRLS Scale Centerpoint of 500 points will be lower that the average achievement of every country. So in general, reading literacy of participating countries is rising, and we want to answer the question whether different social groups make differently big progress in the achievement.
Bourdieu, P. (1977). Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. London: Sage. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Oxon: Routledge. (First edition in French in 1979). Bourdieu, P. (1996). Academic Discourse. Cambridge: Polity Press. Coleman, J. S. et al. (1966). Equality of educational opportunity. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. Mullis, I.V.S., et al. (2003). PIRLS 2001 International Report: IEA’s Study of Reading Literacy Achievement in Primary Schools Chestnut Hill, MA: Boston College. Mullis, I.V.S. et al. (2007). IEA's Progress in International Reading Literacy Study in Primary School in 40 Countries. Chestnut Hill, MA: Boston College. Mullis, I.V.S. et al (2012). PIRLS 2011 International Results in Reading. Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College. Sirin, S:R: (2005). Socioeconomic status and academic achievement. A Meta-analytic review of research 1990-2000. Review of educational research, 75(3), 417-45. Todd, E. (2015). Who is Charlie? Xenophobia and the New Middle Class. London: Polity Press.
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