14 SES 09 A, Parent‘s Educational Values (Part 1)
The conception of choice is globally linked to many globalized phenomena, also to school choices. Through the transnational discourses the idea of choice has disseminated forward also to Europe and `finally` to Finland, approximately one decade ago. Nowadays most of the big cities are offering parents possibilities to choose schools. From the micro level perspective the strength and temptation of choice is that the parents may choose a school that is parallel to their values and preferences (Bosetti & Pyryt 2007). In this research will be described how the highly educated (polytechnic school or university) 6th graders` parents act in the assumed school markets of two case cities. The educational credits are institutionalized cultural capital (Lareau & Weininger 2003), which can be used when playing in the school markets (Vincent & Ball 2007; Vincent, Braun & Ball 2010). Part of the parents choose against the grain, they opt the nearest local school since they think the local school gives possibilities for example to experience of a wide multicultural social mix which is necessary in the cosmopolitan world (Crozier et al. 2008: James et al. 2010). Educational values seem to be crucial when parents decide which options are the most valuable thinking of the child`s future. Whether higher education the more often they refer to personal values, especially instrumental and reflexive ones. (Raveaud & van Zanten 2007.)
Nowadays, in Finland, the school choice policy is defined by the local school authorities and therefore the freedom of choice varies between municipalities. Comparisons are necessary to examine similarities and differences between parents` choice strategies in cities, which use different choice policies. By choosing parents may shake the school net and school markets, therefore it is important to find out the meanings they give to the school choices of the upper level of the comprehensive schools. This research is focused on parents` subject positions, discourses and educational values, which are intertwined to school choice strategies. The aim is to develop a model, which describes highly educated parents choosing strategies. Here will be answered to following research questions:
a. what kind of subject positions the parents use when choosing
b. what kind of discourses intertwined to educational values are used
c. are there differences between the choosing strategies between the case cities
So far only a few studies of school choices have been made in Finland. There is a huge gap to be filled and this research is one response to that requirement. After the research has been completed it is possible to contrast the results to other European research (see Butler & van Zanten 2007) and vice versa.
Ball, S. J. & Maroy, C. (2009) School´s Logics of Action as Mediation and Compromise between Internal Dynamics and External Constraints and Pressures. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 39(1), 99–112. Bosetti, L. & Pyryt, M. C. (2007) Parental Motivation in School Choice: Seeking the Competitive Edge. Journal of School Choice, 1(4), 89–108. Butler, T. & van Zanten, A. (2007) School Choice: A European perspective. Journal of Education Policy, 22(1), 1–5. Crozier, G., Reay, D., James, D., Jamieson, F., Beedell, P., Hollingworth, S. & Williams, K. (2008) 'White Middle-Class Parents, Identities, Educational Choice and the Urban Comprehensive School: dilemmas, ambivalence and moral ambiguity', British Journal of Sociology of Education, 29(3), 261–272. Fairclough, N. (1992/2004) Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge: Polity Press. James, D., Reay, D., Crozier, G., Beedell, P., Hollingworth, S., Jamieson, F. & Williams, K. (2010) Neoliberal Policy and the Meaning of Counterintuitive Middle-class School Choices. Current Sociology, (58)4, 623-641. Lareau, A. & Weininger, E. (2003) Cultural Capital in Educational Research: a critical assessment. Theory and Society, 32(5/6), 567–606. Raveaud, M. & van Zanten, A. (2007) Choosing the Local School: middle class parents` values and social and ethnic mix in London and Paris. Journal of Education Policy, 22(1), 107–124. Vincent, C. & Ball, S. J. (2007) `Making Up` the Middleclass Child: Families, Activities and Class Dispositions. Sociology, 41(6), 1061–1077. Vincent, C., Braun, A. & Ball, S. (2010) Local links, local knowledge: choosing care settings and schools. British Educational Research Journal, 36(2), 279-298. Wilkins, A. (2010) Citizens and/or Consumers: mutations in the construction of concepts and practices of school choice. Journal of Education Policy, 25(2), 171–189.
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