The key role of social context for educational trajectories is well known since the so-called Coleman Report (1966) and has been the focus of the latest educational research (Hadjar & Gross 2016). Policy makers strive for permeability within the educational system and equal opportunities for students independent of their ascriptive characteristics, making them the two main characteristics of “good” education systems (Allmendinger 2016). Therefore, the question of how education systems shape educational inequalities is key. We define educational inequalities as the variation of educational outcomes (such as competencies, attainment, credentials) linked to ascriptive characteristics (such as gender, social origin, migration background). We will present the results of a systematic review covering this research question.
The latest research analyzed the influence of the educational system characteristics stratification, standardization and vocational orientation on educational inequality (e.g. Gross et al. 2016; Bol & van de Werfhorst 2016).
Stratification describes the share of students which finish their education with the highest possible years of schooling provided by an educational system, as well as stating the number of different school tracks (Allmendinger 1989; Bol & van de Werfhorst 2016). Tracks sort students into suitable schools/classes (between-school tracking and within-school tracking) based on their levels of attainment, competencies and skills (Bol & van de Werfhorst 2016). The selection of different school/class tracks affects the educational pathways of the students considerably. In high-performing tracks the peers promote motivation and social capital, while low-performing tracks provide this advantage minimally or not at all, which reduces the educational intentions and opportunities (Gross et al. 2016). International comparative studies show that highly stratified systems increase social inequalities (Gross & Hadjar 2014; Lavrijsen & Nicaise 2015; Hopfenbeck et al. 2018; Borgna & Contini 2014).
Standardization describes the comparability of school quality in a country or in a region (Allmendinger 1989). On the one hand, the standardization of input includes the regulation of what is taught and how it is taught, for instance a specific curriculum demand. On the other hand, there is the standardization of output, which measures the extent to which the attainment of the schools is tested through external institutions (Bol & van de Werfhorst 2016). Standardization can reduce inequalities because it makes the school quality in a country comparable and ensures that educational certificates reflect the true competencies. However, standardization can increase educational inequality because the educational certificates have a higher value in countries with a higher rate of standardization, which promotes the reproduction of social inequality of low-status groups (Gross et al. 2016). Gender inequality seems to be influenced by standardization, but this has not been further analyzed (Müller & Shavit 1998).
Vocational specificity describes the relation between the educational system and the labor market (Gross et al. 2016). In countries with a higher rate of vocational specificity the educational system imparts job specific knowledge to the students in preparation for specific jobs. In educational systems with a low rate of vocational specificity, students learn general skills whereas work specific skills are learned on-the-job (Gross et al. 2016; Bol & van de Werfhorst 2016). In addition, some countries such as Germany feature a dual system in which a combination of education in school and work in a company is utilized (Bol & van de Werfhorst 2016). Vocational orientation improves the opportunities for socially disadvantaged students to acquire specific vocational qualifications. Therefore, educational inequalities can be reduced (Müller & Shavit 1998; Gross et al. 2016).
Overall, there is a multitude of research studies which analyze the influence of educational system characteristics on educational inequalities. However, there is no systematic overview of the current research results.
The systematic review will reference the research question how educational system characteristics associate with educational inequalities. The inclusion criteria will take following aspects into account. The research has to … (1) Analyze at least one educational system characteristic (e.g. standardization, stratification, vocational specificity) (2) Analyze at least one educational inequality (e.g. gender, social origin, ethnicity/migration background) (3) Analyze at least one educational outcome (e.g. competencies, certificates, attainment) (4) Be an international comparison and include at least five different countries (5) Be published in English (6) Refer to pupils (grade one to twelve/thirteen) (Studies whose targeted persons do not attend a regular school at the time of the survey but, for example, universities or other adult education institutions, are excluded) We include both published and non-published papers. A time restriction concerning the publication date is not applied. 18 different keywords in varying and-/or-combinations, partly synonymous descriptions for educational system, educational outcomes and the three social inequality dimensions are used. The research is conducted in web of science/knowledge. After conducting the analysis of abstracts and full texts through web of sciences, eleven studies remain to be included in the literature review. The eleven studies are supplemented by including further studies which cited the original ones. This second research is conducted through Google Scholar and the option ‚cited by‘. The research results are evaluated with an abstract and full text analysis. Of the supplementary research, only peer-reviewed journal articles which also fulfill all the inclusion criteria are included in the literature review. In the final literature review, the studies and their results are analyzed and compared in a structured and systematical manner in order to obtain an overview of the current state of research on the subject. To ensure this, the relevant literature is critically and systematically appraised. The chosen method of appraisal consists of five analytical steps: First, evaluation of how much information the study provides on the systematic review’s research question. Second, assessment of the study’s literature. Third, through the nature of the literature it is possible to determine how relevant the study and its evidence is and how much of the information can be used to answer the overall research question. Fourth, the results of the study are appraised. Fifth, the weaknesses and strengths of the study are identified and discussed regarding the quality of the results (Aveyard 2014).
Using the keywords in web of science/knowledge we retrieve approx. 350 studies whose abstracts and then full texts are screened against the inclusion criteria described above. After the screening procedure we are left with 11 studies which meet all inclusion criteria. The analysis process shows that the inclusion criteria are clearly applicable and lead to relevant results. The supplementary research for further articles conducted with the ‚cited by‘-option applied to the 11 studies results in a further 702 studies which need to be screened against the inclusion criteria as well. Prior to the conference in September 2019 the abstracts and full texts of the supplementary studies will be screened against the inclusion criteria. We expect that after this the number of studies to be included in the literature review will be approx. 22. Also prior to the conference the literature review of the first 11 studies will have been completed, the studies analyzed and our results presented. The systematic review will not only enable a thorough overview of the current research status of the topic, but at the same time will highlight research gaps, which will show future research requirements. We expect that the literature review will enable us to explain ambivalent results theoretically and/or methodically and will thus make a contribution to further theoretical development. The systematic review should provide an overview of the international comparative studies which illustrate which educational system characteristics are associated with educational inequalities.
Allmendinger, Jutta (1989): Educational Systems and Labor Market Outcomes. European Sociological Review, 5, 3, pp. 231-250. Allmendinger, Jutta (2016): Good and bad education systems: is there an ideal? In: Hadjar, Andreas; Gross, Christiane (Hgs.): Education systems and inequalities. International Comparisons. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 321-334. Aveyard, Helen (2014): Doing a Literature Review in Health and Social Care. A practical guide. 3rd ed. Maidenhead, Berkshire: McGraw-Hill Education, Open University Press. Bol, Thijs; van de Wefhorst, Herman G. (2016): Measuring educational institutional diversity: tracking, vocational orientation and standardization. In: Hadjar, Andreas; Gross, Christiane (Hgs.): Education systems and inequalities. International Comparisons. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 73-93. Borgna, Camilla; Contini, Dalit (2014): Migrant Achievement Penalties in Western Europe: Do Educational Systems Matter? European Sociological Review, 30,5, pp. 670-683. Coleman, James (1968): The Concept of Equality of Educational Opportunity. Harvard Educational Review, 38, 1, pp. 7-22. Gross, Christiane; Hadjar, Andreas (2014): Die politische Dimension der Bildung. Zu Jutta Allmendinger: “Bildungsarmut: Zur verstärkung von Bildungs- und Sozialpolitik.“, Soziale Welt 50/1 (1999). In: Braun, Norman; Müller, Julian; Nassehi, Armin; Saake, Irnhild; Wolbring, Tobias (Hrgs.): Begriffe – Positionen –Debatten. Eine Relektüre von 65 Jahren Soziale Welt. Soziale Welt Sonderband 21. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag, pp. 271-282. Gross, Christiane; Meyer, Heinz-Dieter; Hadjar, Andreas (2016): Comparing educational policies in a globalising world: methodological reflections. In: Hadjar, Andreas; Gross, Christiane (Hgs.): Education systems and inequalities. International Comparisons. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 33-50. Hadjar, Andreas; Gross, Christiane (2016): Education Systems and Inequalities. International Comparisons. Bristol: Policy Press. Hopfenbeck, Therese; Lenkeit, Jenny; El Masir Yasmine; Cantrell, Kate; Ryan, Jeanne; Baird, Jo-Anne (2018): Lessons Learned from PISA: A Sytematic Review of Peer-Reviewed Articles on the Programme for International Student Assessment. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 62, 3, pp. 333-353. Lavrijsen, Jeroen; Nicaise, Ides (2015): Social Inequalities in Early School Leaving: The Role of Educational Institutions and the Socioeconomic Context. European Education, 47, 4, pp. 295-310. Müller, Walter; Shavit, Yossi (1998): The Institutional Embeddedness of the Stratification Process. A Comparative Study of Qualifications and Occupations in Thirteen Countries. In: Shavit, Yossi; Müller, Walter (Eds.): From School to Work. A comparative Study of Educational Qualifications and Occupational Destinations. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.
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
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
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
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
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
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- 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.