04 SES 06 D, Effects Of Social Inequalities On Inclusive Education
This paper is a part of the OECD TALIS 2018 Report. The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) is a survey of teachers and school leaders on their working conditions and learning environments in their schools. The comparative research in this paper examines how teachers deal with societal changes that have created new contexts for their teaching, with classrooms and schools that are increasingly diverse in terms of students’ backgrounds and ability levels. It also examines the practices implemented in schools responding to student diversity, and teachers’ preparedness and confidence to teach in these diverse environments..It is based on self-reported data from nationally representative samples of lower secondary teachers and principals from 48 countries and economies.
TALIS 2018 addresses equity and diversity primarily within the contexts of cultural background and socio-economic background. School and teaching policies and practices regarding cultural diversity have important ramifications for immigrants (Banks and Banks, 2009). Studies based on PISA data show that differences in policies of education systems can affect both academic and non-academic outcomes for immigrant students (OECD, 2015).
A dominant paradigm in studies on cultural diversity derives from work by Ely and Thomas (2001). They identified two main perspectives in cultural diversity policies. The first perspective, often called equity, emphasises fostering equality, inclusion and valuing diversity. In policy terms, this perspective regards all children in a class as equals, avoids discrimination, and treats all students fairly (Schachner, 2014). At the school level, this policy frequently resembles a “colour-blind” approach to diversity, in which the primary goal is to create and maintain homogeneity. The second perspective, multiculturalism, is that diversity creates resources, which can enrich the school and promote respect for and knowledge of other cultures. This approach acknowledges and recognizes expressions of diversity. Diversity, according to this perspective, is a resource that can lead to more knowledge of other cultures, more openness to other cultures, and the enhancement of intercultural skills. Multicultural policies have been shown to promote student motivation and school belonging (Schachner, 2014). Although the two policy streams of equity and multiculturalism may seem different, empirical studies show that schools often combine components of both (Schachner, 2014; Schachner et al. 2016).
The focus of education policy, practice, and research with regard to socio-economic background has been on equity of education provision and opportunity in an effort to minimise the well-documented association between socio-economic status and achievement gaps (OECD, 2013; Sirin, 2005). Cross-national studies of educational achievement have contributed to deliberations about the effects of socio-economic background on achievement outcomes by showing that the strength of the relationship varies considerably across countries. This finding has increased interest in the policies and practices associated with those variations (Alegre and Ferrer, 2010; Nilsen et al., 2016).
TALIS provides a unique opportunity to investigate these issues, as it asks principals and teachers about the composition of the student body in their school/classroom in terms of socio-economic disadvantage, immigrant background, language background, as well as a range of information about practices to address diversity.
The paper aims to address the following research questions:
- How much have learning environments changed in the recent years with respect to school and classroom composition?
- How confident do teachers feel about teaching a culturally diverse class?
- Do teachers receive initial teacher training in this domain? Do they participate in continuous professional development in this domain?
- What policies and practices regarding equity and student diversity are implemented in schools?
- How do teachers’ feelings of preparedness, self-efficacy and professional development needs for teaching in a diverse settings vary according to the composition of their classrooms?
TALIS provides an opportunity to compare practices and policies concerned with aspects of equity and diversity across schools and across countries. The TALIS items on cultural diversity derive partly from work by Schachner (2014). This research is based on TALIS 2018 data, from self-reported survey questionnaires for teachers and school leaders in 48 countries and economies. To address the research questions, questionnaire items related to diversity from four areas will be analyzed: 1. Composition of classrooms and schools – students from socio-economically disadvantaged back-grounds, non-native speakers, students with migrant background, refugee students and students with special needs. 2. Practices - School practices related to cultural and socio-economic diversity 3. Attitudes/self-beliefs - self-efficacy of teachers to teach in in multicultural environments 4. Teachers’ initial training and professional development in related areas – feeling of preparedness, participation and perceived impact of training received to teach in culturally diverse learning environments and to teach students with special needs, need for professional development in related areas TALIS data will be used for analysis as follows: 1. Simple descriptive statistics, presenting central tendency statistics e.g. the most frequently cited practice in schools related to diversity across countries, percentages of teachers reporting on prevalence of certain types of students in their schools and classrooms. 2. Some key results will also be broken down by teacher characteristics (age, teaching experience, gender) and school characteristics (location, type, student composition). 3. Data will be aggregated at the country level along with the computation of three international averages – average for OECD countries and economies, for all TALIS participants and for members of the European Union. 4. Reporting trends - as some of these questions were asked in previous waves of the survey in 2008 and 2013, it is possible to examine how learning environments have changed in terms of school and classroom composition, as well as how learning opportunities related to teaching in diverse environments have changed in initial teacher education and continuous professional development. 5. OLS regressions to estimate how self-efficacy in teaching a multicultural classroom, class time spent on actual teaching and learning, teachers’ use of cognitive activation are related to factors such as classroom composition, participation in training in related areas.
This paper is part of a report that is under embargo until June 2019. Both the data for TALIS 2018 , the dataset and report will be publicly released in June 2019. Therefore, the authors are not allowed to share expected outcomes or findings at this time. However, the findings from this research will be insightful in understanding the challenges that educators face in catering to students from diverse backgrounds, with European countries becoming increasingly diverse, as well as countries outside Europe that already have a lot of cultural and ethnic diversity. It will also highlight how countries across Europe and in other regions of the world develop support systems and practices to address the needs to diverse education settings with respect to their composition of students.
Alegre, M. and G. Ferrer (2010), “School regimes and education equity: some insights based on PISA 2006”, British Educational Research Journal, Vol. 36/3, pp. 433-461, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01411920902989193. Banks, J. and C. Banks (2009), Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives, Wiley, New York, NY. Ely, R. and D. Thomas (2001), “Cultural Diversity at Work: The Effects of Diversity Perspectives on Work Group Processes and Outcomes”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 46/2, p. 229, http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2667087. Nilsen, T. et al. (2016), “Are School Characteristics Related to Equity? The Answer May Depend on a Country's Developmental Level”, IEA Policy Brief, No. 10, April, http://pub.iea.nl/fileadmin/user_upload/Policy_Briefs/IEA_Policy_Brief_Apr2016.pdf. OECD (2015), Immigrant Students at School: Easing the Journey towards Integration, OECD Reviews of Migrant Education, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264249509-en. OECD (2013), PISA 2012 Results: Excellence through Equity (Volume II): Giving Every Student the Chance to Succeed, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264201132-en. Schachner, M. (2014), Contextual conditions for acculturation and school-related outcomes of early adolescent immigrants in Germany (doctoral thesis), Tilburg University, https://pure.uvt.nl/portal/files/11427300/Schachner_contextual_21_11_2014.pdf Schachner, M. et al. (2016), “Cultural Diversity Climate and Psychological Adjustment at School-Equality and Inclusion Versus Cultural Pluralism”, Child Development, Vol. 87/4, pp. 1175-1191, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12536. Sirin, S. (2005), “Socioeconomic Status and Academic Achievement: A Meta-Analytic Review of Research”, Review of Educational Research, Vol. 75/3, pp. 417-453, http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/00346543075003417.
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