Equity in Education

Breaking Down Barriers to Social Mobility

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In times of growing economic inequality, improving equity in education becomes more urgent. While some countries and economies that participate in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) have managed to build education systems where socio-economic status makes less of a difference to students’ learning and well-being, every country can do more.

Equity in Education: Breaking Down Barriers to Social Mobility shows that high performance and more positive attitudes towards schooling among disadvantaged 15-year-old students are strong predictors of success in higher education and work later on. The report examines how equity in education has evolved over several cycles of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). It identifies the policies and practices that can help disadvantaged students succeed academically and feel more engaged at school.

Using longitudinal data from five countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, and the United States), the report also describes the links between a student’s performance near the end of compulsory education and upward social mobility – i.e. attaining a higher level of education or working in a higher-status job than one’s parents.



Academic and socio-emotional resilience among disadvantaged students

This chapter examines resilience among socio-economically disadvantaged students. It focuses on two kinds of student resilience: academic and socio-emotional. In the first part of the chapter, academic resilience is examined using international, national and “core-skills” perspectives. Student-, school- and system-level characteristics associated with academic resilience are considered. The second part of the chapter examines the incidence of social and emotional resilience across countries, and the relationship between academic and socio-emotional resilience.



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