Citation

A comparison of the social class based achievement gap across OECD countries

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Abstract:

In a country that has equal educational opportunity, education has the power to liberate the disadvantaged from their suffering. Unfortunately, no member country of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has equal educational opportunity. Much talent is being wasted. Using reports on Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) data from 2000, 2003, and 2006 on class inequality in reading scores, math scores, and science scores, this paper will compare the social class-based achievement gap across OECD countries. In addition, this paper will explore both the reasons why some OECD countries have lower achievement gaps than others and why achievement gaps persist, despite reforms designed to eliminate them. PISA data reveal that all OECD countries have a social class-based achievement gap, and that the strength of the gap varies. Sweden has a low to intermediate achievement gap, depending on the year and subject. Its government and education system have achieved many of the OECD's recommendations for increasing equity in schools, including reducing inequality of income between the working class and middle class and limiting early tracking and selection in schools. In contrast, countries with higher achievement gaps such as the United States and Germany have not. Yet the achievement gap stubbornly remains even in Sweden. I will argue that Bourdieu's cultural capital theory, built on his research in French schools, can help us understand why.

Author's Keywords:

Achievement gap
Convention
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492660_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Hinz, Serena. "A comparison of the social class based achievement gap across OECD countries" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Apr 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492660_index.html>

APA Citation:

Hinz, S. , 2011-04-30 "A comparison of the social class based achievement gap across OECD countries" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492660_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In a country that has equal educational opportunity, education has the power to liberate the disadvantaged from their suffering. Unfortunately, no member country of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has equal educational opportunity. Much talent is being wasted. Using reports on Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) data from 2000, 2003, and 2006 on class inequality in reading scores, math scores, and science scores, this paper will compare the social class-based achievement gap across OECD countries. In addition, this paper will explore both the reasons why some OECD countries have lower achievement gaps than others and why achievement gaps persist, despite reforms designed to eliminate them. PISA data reveal that all OECD countries have a social class-based achievement gap, and that the strength of the gap varies. Sweden has a low to intermediate achievement gap, depending on the year and subject. Its government and education system have achieved many of the OECD's recommendations for increasing equity in schools, including reducing inequality of income between the working class and middle class and limiting early tracking and selection in schools. In contrast, countries with higher achievement gaps such as the United States and Germany have not. Yet the achievement gap stubbornly remains even in Sweden. I will argue that Bourdieu's cultural capital theory, built on his research in French schools, can help us understand why.


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