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Gender Equality and Student Learning in Mexico: Towards an Understanding of Policy Impacts

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Abstract:

Scholars of sociology of education have consistently found that the educational outcomes of students in all countries – both in terms of attainment and achievement – are largely impacted by their family socioeconomic status, gender, and family structure. In other words, family background and gender are strong determinants of student success net of all other factors. This finding is especially concerning for those who believe that children from all backgrounds should have equal opportunities to learn and succeed. In Mexico, a number of programs - such as PROGRESA (Programa de Educacion, Salud y Alimentacion) and PARE (Programa para Abatir el Rezago Educativo, focused on Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Hidalgo) - have sought to alleviate the worst of these inequalities by focusing programs on vulnerable populations. But how effective have these programs and other education policies designed to provide educational equality been at reducing overall inequality of educational outcomes? Which policies and practices have been most effective and in which contexts? This work aims to understand policy impacts on students from different types of families and on the reduction of gender inequalities in the case of Mexico.
This work seeks to apply models from my previous cross-national comparative work to a regional comparison within Mexico. In previous work, I found that educational and social policies at the national level have the potential to reduce the disparities between wealthy students and those from disadvantaged families, and that nations have the ability to reduce the importance of socioeconomic status in determining student academic success. Here, hierarchical linear models (HLM) will be applied to data from the 31 states and the Distrito Federal of Mexico to explore how a number of structural characteristics of states, including state education policy and social welfare policy, influence the relationship between family structure, gender, and student achievement.
In earlier work, I made extensive use of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) data to explore how national education and social policies influence educational opportunities for students. In the current examination of the Mexican case, my main data source will again be the PISA data. PISA data, which was collected in Mexico in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009 and most recently, in 2012, is a rich source of information about student academic ability, but is unique in the extent to which it matches academic achievement data with information about the tested student’s attitudes, behaviors, their family life, and their school. As rich as it is, however, this data source does not provide information on the structural context in which the student exists. In order to successful address my research question, I must look elsewhere for national and regional policy and demographic data that I can match with individual student and school data that I already have from PISA. Having collected suitable regional information, I will use hierarchical linear models to examine Mexican PISA data on individual students, their families, and their schools – combined with regional and national measures – to assess which policies and practices have been most effective at reducing societal inequalities that result from the different educational opportunities that students experience in Mexico.
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Name: Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference
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http://www.cies.us


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MLA Citation:

Arnett, Stephanie. "Gender Equality and Student Learning in Mexico: Towards an Understanding of Policy Impacts" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Mar 10, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p718202_index.html>

APA Citation:

Arnett, S. , 2014-03-10 "Gender Equality and Student Learning in Mexico: Towards an Understanding of Policy Impacts" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p718202_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Scholars of sociology of education have consistently found that the educational outcomes of students in all countries – both in terms of attainment and achievement – are largely impacted by their family socioeconomic status, gender, and family structure. In other words, family background and gender are strong determinants of student success net of all other factors. This finding is especially concerning for those who believe that children from all backgrounds should have equal opportunities to learn and succeed. In Mexico, a number of programs - such as PROGRESA (Programa de Educacion, Salud y Alimentacion) and PARE (Programa para Abatir el Rezago Educativo, focused on Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Hidalgo) - have sought to alleviate the worst of these inequalities by focusing programs on vulnerable populations. But how effective have these programs and other education policies designed to provide educational equality been at reducing overall inequality of educational outcomes? Which policies and practices have been most effective and in which contexts? This work aims to understand policy impacts on students from different types of families and on the reduction of gender inequalities in the case of Mexico.
This work seeks to apply models from my previous cross-national comparative work to a regional comparison within Mexico. In previous work, I found that educational and social policies at the national level have the potential to reduce the disparities between wealthy students and those from disadvantaged families, and that nations have the ability to reduce the importance of socioeconomic status in determining student academic success. Here, hierarchical linear models (HLM) will be applied to data from the 31 states and the Distrito Federal of Mexico to explore how a number of structural characteristics of states, including state education policy and social welfare policy, influence the relationship between family structure, gender, and student achievement.
In earlier work, I made extensive use of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) data to explore how national education and social policies influence educational opportunities for students. In the current examination of the Mexican case, my main data source will again be the PISA data. PISA data, which was collected in Mexico in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009 and most recently, in 2012, is a rich source of information about student academic ability, but is unique in the extent to which it matches academic achievement data with information about the tested student’s attitudes, behaviors, their family life, and their school. As rich as it is, however, this data source does not provide information on the structural context in which the student exists. In order to successful address my research question, I must look elsewhere for national and regional policy and demographic data that I can match with individual student and school data that I already have from PISA. Having collected suitable regional information, I will use hierarchical linear models to examine Mexican PISA data on individual students, their families, and their schools – combined with regional and national measures – to assess which policies and practices have been most effective at reducing societal inequalities that result from the different educational opportunities that students experience in Mexico.


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