07 SES 14 B, Tracking, Inequality and Civic Disengagement
Symposium<br /> Discussant: Andy Green
The symposium examines the role that selection, tracking, and other educational experiences play in sustaining inequalities of civic engagement. The study of educational differentiation has mostly focused on performance, and has demonstrated that selection not only enhances inequalities of performance, but also reinforces the effect of social background on school achievement (Dustmann 2004; Green et al 2006; Brunello and Checchi 2007; Schütz et al 2007; OECD 2010). Consequently, to mitigate this effect and promote social mobility, it has been proposed to delay selection by ability until the post-compulsory phase.
Remarkably, the relation between educational differentiation and civic engagement has received much less scholarly attention. If selection exacerbates cross-class and cross-ethnic inequalities of civic engagement, this should be of major concern to policy makers. Democracy cannot adequately serve the needs and interests of all groups in society if there are major differences in participation and civic attitudes between ethnic and social groups (Bartels 2008; Levinson 2010).
There are good reasons to assume that selection also enhances inequalities of civic engagement. First, it is likely to do so because of curriculum differences. As a rule, in early selection systems the more prestigious academic tracks offer a different and more advanced version of citizenship education than the (pre)vocational tracks (van de Werfhorst 2007). Second, the pronounced social and ethnic segregation in early selection systems (Crul and Vermeulen 2003) results in different socialization experiences, which, in turn, will lead to the development of different life worlds with diverging norms and values (van de Werfhorst 2007; Janmaat and Mons 2011). Indeed, Stevens (2002) found huge cross-track differences in civic attitudes among Flemish adolescents. While students in the academic track displayed high levels of support for democratic values, students in the (pre)vocational track stood out for their ethnocentric, authoritarian and “tough on crime” views.
The four presentations of the symposium seek to examine the evidence for these conjectures in a variety of ways. Two of the contributions explore these issues through quantitative analysis of survey data. The first examines differences in civic engagement across tracks in upper secondary education, using survey data collected among students in four European countries (England, Denmark, Germany and France). The second focuses on lower secondary and explores whether selection enhances inequalities of civic engagement across schools and exacerbates the effect of social background. It uses the national samples of the European states (21 in total) participating in the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (2009) (ICCS). The third presentation examines the effect of selection in a more qualitative way by comparing England and Singapore and using data from interviews and focus groups to probe deeper into the life worlds, perceptions, attitudes and expectations of youngsters in vocational and academic tracks. The last presentation is at a conceptual level and explores how youngsters frame and connect issues of merit, exclusion, participation and efficacy. As countries vary substantially in the degree and timing of selection in their education systems, all the presentations take a cross-national comparative approach.
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
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