05 SES 06, Overcoming Disengagement and Preparing Students for the Future
It is claimed that the demand for creative and social intelligence as well as skills that are transferable between jobs, such as problem solving, communication, and global awareness, will increase in the future labour market (Lamb, Doecke & Maire, 2017). A common argument is that today’s students need to be equipped with what are often called 21st century skills (i.e. non-cognitive skills) in order to ensure their competitiveness in the education system and the labour market. While there may be little that is actually “new” about most of these skills, many school systems are now placing a stronger emphasis on teaching the related capabilities (Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, 2016; OECD, 2015). Though, in many countries, teaching of the 21st century skills has been written in national curricula, less is formalized regarding how to implement teaching of these skills in practice, especially with regard to their measurement and assessment (Care & Luo, 2016; Stevens, 2013). Further, no consensus exists in research literature about what these skills exactly are, nor is there an adequate body of research about how and where these skills are best developed, and whom they should be taught to (Lamb et al., 2017).
The present study builds on framework for 21st century learning developed within an international research project International Study of City Youth (ISCY; for more detail see Lamb, Jackson, & Rumberger, 2015). Within this framework, 21st century skills include non-cognitive (intra- and inter-personal skills, such as self-control and collaboration) and cognitive (literacy, numeracy, creativity) dimensions, both closely connected to students’ school engagement and educational dispositions. The present study aims to examine the different 21st century skill groups based on non-cognitive skills (high, medium, and low levels of skills), their compositions, and individual and school level correlates. Further, this study analyses whether the associations between the study factors show similarities (alternatively differences) between schools with high and low socio-economic student profiles.
The rationale for this stems from recent research showing that the effects of the socio-economic background on learning outcomes has gotten stronger and the proportion of students with low levels of skills has grown significantly, even in countries especially acknowledged from educational equality (OECD, 2016). This is also the case in Finland where, along with growing social inequalities, the differences between schools in socio-economic compositions (Berisha & Seppänen, 2017), and students’ academic achievement (Vettenranta et al., 2016) have grown. Thus, while the Finnish PISA results from the first decade of the 2000s have shown high learning outcomes with low between school variation, small share of low-achievers, and the school system’s successfulness in compensating for the disadvantages of those children who come from poorer socio-economic backgrounds, the recent PISA assessments indicate that the positive characteristics of the Finnish school system are deteriorating (Rinne, Silvennoinen, Järvinen, & Tikkanen, 2019). This is due to the constant education funding cuts and education policy placing emphasis on marketisation of education and free school choice, which promotes early selection of the children from different socio-economic backgrounds to different educational paths within school levels (Berisha, Rinne, Järvinen & Kinnari, 2017). Hence, this study examines whether above described segregation development and its causes are reflected in a similar vein on students’ non-cognitive learning and skills.
The present study is based on a survey collected within an international research project International Study of City Youth (ISCY, www.iscy.org). The participants were 1.058 Finnish ninth graders living in the Turku sub-region. Altogether 12 of the region’s 27 lower-secondary schools from eight municipalities participated in the study. These schools had a total of 2.489 ninth graders of which 1.058 (42.5 %) students took part in the study. Students’ 21st century skills were assessed by scales developed within the ISCY-project. These included altogether six scales presenting intra- (conscientiousness and self-control) and inter-personal (collaboration, communication, consideration and leadership) dimensions of the skills. Four scales to measure students’ educational dispositions (belonging, self-efficacy, hope and purpose) were applied to study the individual level effects on students’ skills. Three latent factors including students’ behaviour at school, teachers’ attitudes towards students, and school’s investment in students were included to measure school level effects in the model (see Järvinen & Tikkanen, 2019). In addition, an observed variable school SES (mean SES of student population) was included to measure the model associations between schools with different socio-economic statuses. The analyses will be carried out using the Mplus 8.0 software with Maximum Likelihood estimator (Muthén & Muthén, 2006). First, the validity of the 21st century skills and educational dispositions scales will be tested with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). To test the hypothesized model of 21st century skills, structural equation modelling (SEM) analysis will be performed. To evaluate the fit of the models, a commonly applied combination of test statistics and fit indices will be applied (cf. Byrne, 2012). In addition, multiple-group analysis comprising school SES will be conducted.
Based on previous research and adopted theoretical viewpoints it is hypothesized that the relations between educational dispositions and non-cognitive skills, as well as between measures of school culture and skills will be positively correlated. Thus, the higher the dispositions (e.g. perception of self-efficacy and valuing of school and learning) and perceptions of school culture, the more self-control, conscientiousness, collaboration, communication, leadership, and consideration students are expected to show. Further, missing differences in associations between the study factors based on school SES, would indicate educational equality of the Finnish school system (cf. Järvinen & Tikkanen, 2019). On the contrary, differences in associations would speak for strengthened segregation of schools. The results and the implications of the study results for practice and future research will be discussed.
Berisha, A-K., & Seppänen, P. (2017). Pupil selection segments urban comprehensive schooling in Finland: composition of school classes in pupils’ school performance, gender, and ethnicity. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 61, 240–254. Berisha, A-K., Rinne, R., Järvinen, T., & Kinnari, H. (2017). Cultural capital, equality and diversifying education. In K. Kantasalmi & G. Holm (Eds.), The state, schooling and identity: education dialogues with/in the global south. (pp. 149–172). London: Palgrave Macmillan. Care, E. & Luo, R. (2016). Assessment of Transversal Competencies. Policy and Practice in the Asia-Pacific Region. Paris; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Järvinen, T., & Tikkanen, J. (2019). School dis/engagement in Finnish comprehensive school. In: J. Demanet & M. Van Houtte (Eds.). Opposing education: Determinants of school misconduct in an international, comparative perspective. Dordrecht: Springer. Järvinen, T. & Vanttaja, M. (2013). Koulupudokkaiden työurat. Vuosina 1985 ja 1995 koulutuksen ja työn ulkopuolella olleiden nuorten urapolkujen vertailua [Career and school dropout]. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka, 78, 509–519. Kerkhoff, A. C. (2000). Transition from School to Work in Comparative Perspective. In M. T. Hallinan (Eds.). Handbook of the Sociology of Education. New York: Kluver Academic/ Plenum Publishers, 453–474. Lamb, S., Jackson, J. & Rumberger, R. (2015). ISCY Technical Paper: Measuring 21st Century Skills in ISCY. Centre for International Research on Education Systems. Melbourne: Victoria University. Lamb, S., Maire, Q. & Doecke, E. (2017). Key Skills for the 21st Century: an evidence-based review. Future Frontiers Analytical Report. State of New South Wales: Department of Education. OECD (2015). Skills for Social Progress: The Power of Social and Emotional Skills OECD Skills Studies. OECD Publishing. OECD. (2016). PISA 2015 Results (Volume I): Excellence and Equity in Education. Paris: OECD Publishing. Rinne, R., Silvennoinen, H., Järvinen, T. & Tikkanen, J. (2019). Governing the normalisation of young adults through lifelong learning policies. In M. Parreira do Amaral, S. Kovacheva & X. Rambla (Eds.) Lifelong Learning Policies for Young Adults in Europe. Navigating between Knowledge and Economy. Bristol: Policy Press. Stevens, R. (2013). Issues in assessment of general capabilities. The Journal For Educators, 32(4), 27–34. Vettenranta, J. et al. (2016). Huipulla pudotuksesta huolimatta. PISA 2015 ensituloksia [PISA 2015 First results]. Helsinki & Jyväskylä: The Ministry of Education and Culture, University of Jyväskylä & University of Helsinki. Yoon, J., & Järvinen, T. (2016). Are model PISA pupils happy at school? Quality of school life of adolescents in Finland and Korea. Comparative Education, 52(4), 427–448.
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.