09 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Exhibition
General Poster Session during Lunch
One of the distinctive features of the Finnish education system, commonly seen as salient for explaining Finnish students’ success and the small Finnish between-school differences in the OECD PISA studies, is the lack of tracking or streaming during the nine year comprehensive education. However, especially in the bigger cities, municipalities as providers of education allow certain schools to form classes based on special criteria for student enrolment. For lower grades (1-6), the most common basis for such classes is music or teaching in a foreign language (most often English or Swedish), with students chosen by application and/or by testing their aptitude for the respective domain. At the lower secondary level (grades 7-9), the share of such classes tends to be bigger, with classes based on extra classroom time for mathematics, science, art, languages, sports, or other specific subjects.
While the selective classes are located in their respective neighbourhood schools and they follow the same national curriculum as the other classes except for the subject or feature specific for them, they are seen by many to newly erode the principle of equity, distinctive for the Finnish education system since the abolishment of open streaming in the 1980s. However, this ‘hidden’ streaming can be seen to present the other end of the continuum where the growing number of students receiving special education forms the other one, with almost a third of students receiving some form of special education in 2007 (Lintuvuori, 2010). As such, the classes can be seen to just support equity in the sense of ‘serving and supporting the needs and aptitudes of individual children and learners’.
But, just as students in special education classes (forming only a fraction of those receiving special education) form a distinctive group regarding gender (more boys) and their home background (more students from less educated homes), students in the selective classes also differ from the whole student body regarding the same characteristics (more girls and more children of parents with higher education degrees). However, the selection of these students to a class of their own inevitably affects the students of the other classes as well, increasing between-class differences in student attainment and in classroom atmosphere.
The research question addressed in this poster is the accumulating effects of selective classes on students’ attainment and learning-related attitudes and on the development of between-class differences in schools.
Kupiainen, S., Marjanen, J., Vainikainen, M-P. & Hautamäki, J. (2011a) Oppimaan oppiminen Vantaan peruskouluissa. Kolmas-, kuudes- ja yhdeksäsluokkalaiset oppijoina keväällä 2010. [Learning to learn in Vantaa basic schools. Third, sixth and ninth graders as learners in spring 2010] Vantaan kaupungin sivistysvirasto ja Helsingin yliopiston Koulutuksen arviointikeskus. [Vantaa City Department of Education and the University of Helsinki centre for Educational Assessment]. http://www.vantaa.fi/instancedata/prime_product_julkaisu/vantaa/embeds/vantaawwwstructure/62699_Perustopetus_Oppimaan_oppimisen_raportti_2011.pdf Lintuvuori, M. (2010). Erityisopetus muutoksen kynnyksellä – tilastollinen kuvaus erityisopetusjärjestelmästä ja sen määrällisestä kehityksestä 1970-luvun lopulta vuoteen 2008. [Special education at the cusp of change – a statistical presentation of the Finnish special education system and its quantitative development from the end of the 1970s to 2008]. Master thesis. University of Helsinki. Department of Teacher Education, Special Education Section. Loaded 1.2.2012 at http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe201006162060
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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