23 SES 12 C, Comparing and Contrasting School Choice Policies: Contrasting Extreme Cases
In attempting to take a step forward in the research on school choice will provide a source of reference for future international studies. The emphasis so far has been predominantly on the family level, whereas the intention here is also to incorporate the local and national levels and to compare the relevant school-choice policies. Moreover, although it is the intention to consider the transition from primary to secondary education, which is the focus in most international research, we have broaden the scope in examining/reconstructing the experience families had with their children as ‘primary beginners’. On the socioeconomic level, whereas most research concerns either middle-class or lower-class families, we will cover the different strata in two societies with strikingly different socioeconomic structures. Furthermore, given that most research so far relies only on interview data, we have broadened the information base in merging a number of data sources. In combination (i) the discourse and content analysis of the in-depth family interview material and ethnographic data, (ii) the local school-policy documents and actor interviews and ethnographic data and (iii) the family-survey data and the school and demographic statistics will make a contribution to the international discussion on methodology in research on educational stratification and polarisation through school-choice policy.
Much educational research is under-theorised. This study will support the integration of the social-science perspective on reproduction strategies into the sociology and politics of educational research. We addresses key issues in understanding current major theoretical problems: how is school-choice policy, including local policy-in action, linked to the educational strategies of different families, and how are global/transnational education policies mediated, transformed and transmitted, and with what effects, to the national and local levels. The theoretical models outlined here are still tentative and without serious empirical proof. If we are able to show that analysis of certain dynamics is crucial in comparative understanding of different education policy and politics, we will have made essential contribution in the field of comparative education.
Intent of publication
All the symposium papers will be developed to journal articles. An edited book will be published by an excellent international publishing house with a tentative title “Contrasting Comparatively the Extreme Cases: Parental School Choice Policy and Politics in Chile and Finland”.
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