23 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session - NW 23
General Poster Session
The last economic recession and the collapse of socialist systems in Eastern and Central Europe increased the poverty and inequality of the affected countries. The countries in transition are therefore faced with numerous challenges, such as increasing number of people living at risk of poverty and thus not achieving their full potential (Braithwaite, Grootaert & Milanovic, 2016). The research shows that social and economic background of students play a significant role in their educational outcomes – students from lower socioeconomic status families have lower academic achievement compared to students from families with higher socio-economic status (White, 1982; Walpole, 2003; Yeakey, 2017; von Stumm, 2017). The low socio-economic status and in its extreme form poverty in addition to their effects on academic achievement are of crucial importance for education. The incidence, depth, duration and timing of poverty all influence a child’s educational attainment, along with community characteristics and social networks. Therefore, one of the main educational systems’ roles is equipping students with the competencies necessary to achieve their full potential regardless of their social background. PISA 2015 results however show that there are still many differences among the countries in ensuring the equity in education (OECD, 2016).
Estonia (ex-socialist country) together with Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong (China) and Macao (China) achieved high level of performance and equity in education outcomes. In the presentation we will focus on the possible explanations for Estonia’s success, with focus on the Estonia’s educational (and other) policies. The presentation is linked to BRAVEdu project (Braking the poverty taboo: Roles and Responsibilities of Education) that unites eight partner institutions (NEPC, Forum za slobodu odgoja, PRAXIS, FECIM-SBS, ERI, OŠ dr. Vinka Žganca, OU Dane Krapcev – Skopje, OŠ Tišina) from four ex-socialist European countries (Croatia, Estonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia), who share the process of transition and similar history of education systems (Braithwaite, Grootaert & Milanovic, 2016), however they differ in the degree of equity in education outcomes (PISA, 2016: 207, 218). In this regard, Estonia stands out, since there is a high percentage of population that lives in poverty (Eurostat, 2016); yet the number of low performers is the lowest among the countries included in the project (OECD, 2016) – but these are not necessarily the students with low SES. Moreover, PISA 2015 results show that Estonia is above EU average in the percentage of resilient students and shows favourable results regarding the relationship between parents’ SES and achievement, which is weaker than EU average. Additionally, the performance gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students is smaller than the EU average (OECD, 2016).
Consequently, the objective of our study is to explore and analyse policies and practices implemented in Estonia that enabled it to severely reduce the effect of low SES on student achievement. Through a detailed analysis of the Estonian case, done inside the consortium, by developing and implementing the policy questionnaire addressing this theme, and by getting additional insights from the focus groups with the relevant stakeholders in Estonia, we are following our main goal, which is finding good practises that are applicable inside the partnership and beyond.
Main research questions therefore are:
- Which are the main educational (and other) policies that Estonia implemented in order to tackle the impact of SES on achievement?
- What is done in Estonian schools in terms of additional activities, professional development etc. in order to empower students with low SES background?
The approach chosen to research the reasons behind the low impact of SES on students’ achievement in Estonia is policy analysis – case study of Estonian good practices. In order to identify the key elements of Estonian education policy and educational system, which lower the impact of students’ SES on achievement, two instruments were developed: • policy questionnaire and • protocol for focus groups and interviews. Both were developed after in-depth literature research in the field of equity in education, however also literature in wider fields was included in the research, especially the literature on other factors that might indirectly impact students’ SES and are not directly connected to the field of educational policies. Policy questionnaire covers overview of different systems (educational, social care and health care), legislation, overview of key stakeholders, different studies in the field of equity in education, general information on school policies, school responsibilities, cooperation between school and other services, class activities, teacher education and teacher professional development, values in the society etc. Protocol for focus groups and interviews was developed to be used during focus groups and interviews with different stakeholders (representatives of politics, principals, teachers, students and parents). The protocol is designed in order to clarify and deepen the understanding of certain findings from policy questionnaire. The protocol for focus groups and interviews covers areas of activities for students within school, activities within class, teachers’ professional development, cooperation between parents and students etc. Policy questionnaire was completed by researchers from PRAXIS, which is a leading socio-economic research centre in Estonia, through extensive and in-depth desk research. Moreover, focus groups and interviews were performed at the ministerial level and in one urban school and one rural school with teachers, leadership team and parents. All data gathered from policy questionnaire, focus groups and interviews were subjected to peer review form the experts of participating institutions.
One of the main expected outcomes of this research are policy guidelines and guidelines for school practice, which provide strategies and lessons on how, with relatively low funding and resources, the equity in education can be achieved. Moreover, the analysis outlines policy development in Estonia as well as specific policies and how they affected the achievement of low SES students. It also includes the consequences of the implementation of policies and describes examples of school practices in regards to achievement of low SES students.
Blums, A., Belsky, J., Grimm, K., & Chen, Z. (2017). Building links between early socioeconomic status, cognitive ability, and math and science achievement. Journal of Cognition and Development, 18(1), 16-40. Bradley, R. H., & Corwyn, R. F. (2002). Socioeconomic status and child development. Annual review of psychology, 53(1), 371-399. Braithwaite, J., Grootaert, C., & Milanovic, B. (2016). Poverty and social assistance in transition countries. Springer. Caldas, S. J., & Bankston, C. (1997). Effect of school population socioeconomic status on individual academic achievement. The Journal of Educational Research, 90(5), 269-277. Chung, K. K., Liu, H., McBride, C., Wong, A. M. Y., & Lo, J. C. (2017). How socioeconomic status, executive functioning and verbal interactions contribute to early academic achievement in Chinese children. Educational Psychology, 37(4), 402-420. Dixson, D. D., Keltner, D., Worrell, F. C., & Mello, Z. (2017). The magic of hope: Hope mediates the relationship between socioeconomic status and academic achievement. The Journal of Educational Research, 1-9. Eurostat. (2016). People at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Retrived from http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/People_at_risk_of_poverty_or_social_exclusion Halász, G. (2015). Education and social transformation in Central and Eastern Europe. European Journal of Education, 50(3), 350-371. OECD (2016), PISA 2015 Results (Volume I): Excellence and Equity in Education, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264266490-en Sirin, S. R. (2005). Socioeconomic status and academic achievement: A meta-analytic review of research. Review of educational research, 75(3), 417-453. von Stumm, S. (2017). Socioeconomic status amplifies the achievement gap throughout compulsory education independent of intelligence. Intelligence, 60, 57-62. Walpole, M. (2003). Socioeconomic status and college: How SES affects college experiences and outcomes. The review of higher education, 27(1), 45-73. White, K. R. (1982). The relation between socioeconomic status and academic achievement. Psychological Bulletin, 91(3), 461-481. Yeakey, C. C. (2017). The Power of Resistance: Culture, Ideology and Social Reproduction in Global Contexts. Emerald Group Publishing.
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
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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
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Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
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Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
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Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
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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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