When talking about equality in education, the difficulties begin with defining what equality in eduation means. A basic function of education is societal integration: providing individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to participate in society. In this regard equality in education means that everyone is granted a certain minimum level of education which is needed for participation in society. This can be a challenge for education systems, particularly in times of increasingly diverse student bodies.
David Rutkowski & Leslie Rutkowski The 2018 cycle of the Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA) featured nearly 80 system-level participants from all continents, excluding Antarctica. Participants include all OECD countries, accounting for most of the wealthiest countries in the world and a number of newcomers, such as Belarus whose, GDP per capita falls well […]
Results from PISA 2018 reveal a persistent gender gap in favour of 15-year-old girls in reading. On average, across 29 OECD countries with comparable data since 2000, this gap was 32 points in in 2000, 39 points in 2009 and 30 points in 2018. PISA scores have a standard deviation of around 100 points: this means that gender gaps in reading were large in 2000 and remain large in 2018. In some of the countries that are often considered to be champions of gender equality, boys’ underachievement in reading is especially pronounced: in Finland it was 51 points in 2000, 55 points in 2009 and 52 points in 2018. In Norway it was 43 points in 2000 and 47 points in both 2009 and 2018.
In recent years, levels of social segregation have increased in several European capital cities. Against this background, a recent study analyzed to what extent education systems in European countries are socially segregated, and whether social segregation between schools is related to social inequality in student achievement.
Sabine Meinck & Agnes Stancel-Piątak For decades, educational researchers have found that children from disadvantaged families often lack access to stimulating learning activities. Back in 1995, a famous study called “The early catastrophe. The 30 million words gap” by Hart & Risley uncovered a large gap in language exposure of toddlers between high and low-income […]
Trude Nilsen Lack of previous research in Nordic countries Previous research on teacher effectiveness has shown that formal teacher training and certification affects student outcomes indirectly via their instruction. However, most studies within this field have been conducted in Germany and the US, using the mathematics achievement of lower secondary students as the outcome. We […]
Two OCCAM contributors (John Jerrim and myself) participated in the Advisory Board of UNICEF’s latest Report Card on educational inequalities in rich countries. It was a great experience, not least because of the diversity of perspectives on the topic. There were many underlying conceptual dilemmas, data problems and difficult choices to be made in selecting the indicators and the ensuing ranking of countries. The UNICEF research team finally decided on all these methodological choices, which was fortunate in view of the lack of consensus within the Advisory Board.
Philosophers from Aristotle to Rousseau have held the belief that functioning democracies are founded on an educated citizenship. Evidence suggests that better educated individuals are more likely to be politically involved. However, the association between education and political involvement varies across countries and we do not know if and how variations across countries depend on how the political system is organised.
Louis Volante, Sylke V. Schnepf, John Jerrim & Don A. Klinger The OECD has traditionally conceptualized excellence in education by highlighting education systems that have high achievement and negligible gaps in PISA performance between boys and girls, immigrants and non-immigrants, and students from high versus low socioeconomic status (SES) groups. Our recent Springer (2019) book […]
Marc Piopiunik The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) continually illustrates how the reading, science and mathematics performance of 15-year-olds differs across countries. Differences in teacher quality are commonly cited as a key determinant of these huge differences. In a recent study, my co-authors Eric A. Hanushek (Stanford University), Simon Wiederhold (KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt), and […]