04 SES 04 C, Transition
Many researchers stated that equity is a basic issue for studying educational systems (Bottani e Benadusi, 2006; Giancola, 2009). Furthermore, opportunity of success and results are considered a load-bearing axis of equity applied to scholastic contexts (Maitzegui-Onate e Santibanez-Gruber, 2008; Tomlinson, 2001), while other different possible applications of the principle of equity in school exist (see: Castelli, Ragazzi, Crescentini, 2012). In order to pursue equity in education, in most of the western countries two main directions have been taken by scholastic systems (Origoni, 2007): on one side, systems have pursued integration through a low structural differentiation, with the goal of giving the same learning opportunities to all. On the other side, scholastic systems aimed to respond to different needs through differentiation and inequality of treatment, starting from pupils' interests and individual potentials. Among the two, the government of Cantone Ticino, established the principle of integration and equality of treatment for compulsory school: in the first two years of lower secondary school a common and un-differentiated structure is implemented (Cattaneo, 2010); in the last two years, pupils are differentiated among "levels" (A or B) on the basis of their achievements in particular subject matters. At the end of lower secondary, students have to choose between upper secondary education and vocational education; while the first is considered as a preparatory school for higher education, the second provides competencies and skills for a professional career. With an increase registered between 2000 and 2005, at the present time two students out of five decide to pursue their studies in an upper secondary school, while more than 50% chooses the way of vocational education at the end of lower secondary (Cattaneo, 2010). Parallel to this, the rate of scholastic failure in first year of upper secondary has increased from the 20% in 1997 to the 29% in 2010. Even though the principle of integration and equality of treatment in no longer pursued when it comes to the non-compulsory upper secondary school, where the objective is a multi- disciplinary formation, well balanced and coherent as condition for academic studies and to respond to society’s needs (SKBF|CSRE, 2010), the problem related to scholastic failure in first year persists, and the application of the principle of equity of results, success and achievements is questioned.
The aim of the research is to understand the reasons behind the growing rate of scholastic failure at first year of upper secondary school in Ticino, which could be the symptom of a lack of equity in the school system. Among others, one possible explanation is that the problem lies not only in the upper secondary school system, but in the transition from lower to upper secondary school, where socio-cultural factors and issues related to the scholastic system might determine a dysfunctional passage from a scholastic level to the higher, and cause the increase in selectivity in the first year of secondary.
Bottani, N. & Benadusi, L. (Eds.) (2006). Uguaglianza ed equità nella scuola. Trento: Erickson. Cattaneo, A., (Eds.). (2010). Scuola a tutto campo. Indicatori del sistema scolastico ticinese. Locarno: CIRSE-DFA SUPSI. Castelli, L., Ragazzi, S., Crescentini, A. (2012). Equity in Education: A General Overview. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. Vol. 69. 2243-2250 Giancola, O. (2006). “Indicatori dell’equità dell’istruzione in Italia”, In N. Bottani & L. Benadusi (eds), Uguaglianza ed equità nella scuola (pp. 129-140). Trento: Erickson. Maiztegui‐Oñate, C., & Santibanez-Gruber, R. (2008). Access to education end equity in plural societies. Intercultural education , 19: 5, 373-381. Origoni, P. (2007). Il sistema scolastico ticinese tra equità e qualità: un’analisi multilivello. In Faggiano, E., Mariotta, M., Origoni, P. Equi non per caso. I risultati dell’indagine PISA 2003 in Ticino (pp. 67-80). Ufficio Studi e Ricerche Rastoldo, F. (2007) Transitions du secondaire I au secondaire II à Genève : entre logique institutonnelle et logiques d’acteurs. In Behrens, M. (Eds.). La transition de l’école à la vie active ou le constat d’une problématique majeure. Institut de recherche et de documentation pédagogique (IRDP). SKBF|CSRE. (2010). Rapporto sul sistema educativo svizzero. Aarau: Centro svizzero di coordinamento della ricerca educativa Teddlie, C. & Tashakkori, A. (2009). Foundations of mixed methods research : integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches in the social and behavioral sciences. Thousand Oaks : Sage.
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