07 SES 14 B, Tracking, Inequality and Civic Disengagement
Symposium<br /> Discussant: Andy Green
This presentation explores whether grouping by ability and school autonomy reinforce inequalities of civic engagement across schools and across social and ethnic groups. Use is made of survey data of the 2009 International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS), a study among 140,000 Grade 8 students in 38 countries worldwide. Civic engagement is tapped with six indicators: civic knowledge, political efficacy, intention to vote, institutional trust, gender equality and ethnic tolerance. Grouping by ability is measured with a construct combining data on age of first selection with data on the percentage of schools without any grouping by ability. School autonomy is measured with data on autonomy in curriculum planning, the delivery of the curriculum and the choice and use of textbooks. We find that grouping by ability only leads to greater differences across schools in civic knowledge. It is not linked to greater inequalities in any of the other indicators of civic engagement, neither across schools nor across social and ethnic groups. School autonomy is not related to any inequalities of civic engagement. Two possible reasons are offered for these non-relationships: (1) insufficient relevant curriculum content and (2) diverging cultures and identities of different social groups.
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