23 SES 04 D, Education Outcomes
There is a major debate about the role of income inequality between countries in relation to educational outcomes. In countries characterized by neo-liberal policies, it is assumed that education can carry the burden of social mobility, absent of more developed forms of welfare state insurance and high levels of income inequality. In countries characterized by social democratic policies education is seen as one pillar, amongst other forms of social insurance, in fostering educational achievement and social mobility within the context of lower income inequalities than in countries characterized by neo-liberal policies. The debate is central to policy making, since it enables a consideration of whether educational systems should be seen as the primary agent of educational performance and social mobility or whether lower income inequality and significant welfare support are also necessary. While the original thesis, that higher levels of country inequality will lead to relatively lower educational achievement, by Wilkinson and Pickett (2009) attracted broad criticism for its absence of theory and statistical analysis (e.g.,Goldthorpe, 2010), recent work by the OECD (2018) has confirmed the thesis. However, explanations for why country inequality should be related to educational achievement are hard to find. In this paper we explore the hypothesis that school composition is an explanatory factor since it may be that in countries with high levels of inequality school students are more highly segregated than in countries with lower levels of income inequality and that well balanced school compositions can raise educational achievement (Gorard, 2018).
However, we also acknowledge that school systems may also be segregated by different school tracks, which may challenge or complicate the hypothesis (Biggert, Javinen and Parriera Do Amoral, 2015).
This paper examines the relationship between inequality within countries, as measured by the Gini Coefficient, educational outcomes as measured by PISA Scores in Mathematics and the life chances of students whose families are in the lowest 25 per cent of income. In this context we use the concept 'resilience' to explain the social structures of inequality and their bearing on individual life chances. This is a different conceptionof resilience to that adopted by neo-liberal policy makers who see it wholly in terms of the individual.
Gorard, S, (2018) Education Policy: Evidence of Equity and Effectiveness, Bristol, Policy Press.
OECD (2018) A Broken Social Elevator? Paris, OECD.
Wilkinson, R, and Pickett, K (2009) The Spirit Level, London, Allen Lane.
Quantitative Research, OECD PISA data
The relationship between country inequality, educational achievement and in and between school composition is established, with two outliers, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Biggert, A., Javinen, T and, Parreira do Amaral, M, (2015) Institutional Frameworks and Structural Factors Relating to Educational Access Across Europe, European Education, 47:1, 26-45 Goldthrope, J., (2010) Analysing Social Inequality: A Critique of Two Recent Contributions from Economics and Epidemology, European Sociological Review, 26,6, ,731-744 Gorard, S, (2018) Education Policy: Evidence of Equity and Effectiveness, Bristol, Policy Press. OECD (2018) A Broken Social Elevator? Paris, OECD. Wilkinson, R, and Pickett, K (2009) The Spirit Level, London, Allen Lane.
Search the ECER Programme
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.