Conference Agenda

RN10_02a: Aspiration, choice, selection in secondary education (2)
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Dinah Gross, University of Lausanne
Location: UP.3.210
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Third Floor Oxford Road


Early Selective Grammar Schools And The Fragmentation Of The Hungarian Public Education Field: What Can Parents And Elementary Schools Do?

Eszter Berényi

ELTE University Budapest, Hungary

In Hungary, traditional elementary schools run from the 1st till the 8th grades and most secondary schools start from the 9th grade. However, after a highly selective entrance exam, successful students can enter into the tracks offered by the so called early selective grammar schools after the 4th and the 6th grades of elementary school; whereas the “rest” of the students stays in elementary school until the 8th grade. In my presentation I will scrutinize how this gradual entrance into secondary education affects elementary schools and parents.

My analysis relies both on quantitative and qualitative data. My quantitative data show that students from disadvantageous background, especially from schools with many such students have almost no chance at all to get admission to these schools.

I will also present my findings based on interviews made with parents and teachers about this process. I will analyze the reasons why and how families decide to apply to the elite tracks. I will scrutinize their strategies and the “investments” they are ready to make (eg special classes and private tutors; gathering know-how on the process; visiting the grammar schools’ information days) but also the moral dilemmas of middle class parents (Oria et al, 2007 and Roda and Wells, 2013) because of the tension between their personal choices and their beliefs and value systems about what a good school and a good school system should be.

I will also scrutinize what positions elementary schools take with regards to this early selection, which threatens them by loosing their "best" students. Can they become actors who empower their socially less advantageous students and help them to become resilient?

The presentation is based on the research findings of the PD 123954 project made possible by the research grant of the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office.

Effects of the Duration of Cram Schooling on High School Students’ Academic Achievement and Mental Health in Taiwan

Pin-Yin Kuan1, Ssu-Chin Peng2

1Department of Sociology, National Cheng Chi University, Taiwan, Taiwan; 2Department of Sociology, National Cheng Chi University, Taiwan, Taiwan

This study examines the effects of the duration of cram schooling on adolescents' academic achievement and mental health in grade 12. Past studies have focused on the effect of cram schooling on academic achievement. The impact of cram schooling on adolescents’ mental health has been speculated but not rigorously investigated. This study uses four waves of the panel data collected by Taiwan Education Panel Survey, which tracked about 4,200 high school students from 2001 to 2007. The study first employs the inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) strategy to balance the background differences of those who participated in cram schooling and those who did not in the academic years between 2001 and 2007. Second, the analysis applies the seemingly unrelated regression model to deal with the possible correlation between academic achievement and mental health. The main findings are: (1) going to cram school in the last year of high school will increase the degree of depression, while, it may not has a significant influence on academic achievement. However, according to the result of the seemly unrelated regression model, the independent test shows that academic achievement and mental health are connected. Hence, this article concluded that cram school may, directly and indirectly, influence the mental conditions of the high school students, and it may only indirectly affect academic achievements. (2) Comparing to the result of not using IPTW weights, the estimate of cram schooling is larger when the analysis uses IPTW weights.

How Does Peer Academic Performance Affect Educational Aspiration?

Xiao Yuan

the Chinese university of Hongkong, Hong Kong S.A.R. (China)

Peers play key roles in shaping a student’s educational aspiration, which is a strong prediction for his/her future educational outcomes and status attainment. Especially, peer effects are crucial in adolescent education. Previous literature shows that the underlying mechanism on the effect of peers’ academic performance on student’s educational aspiration is still disputable. Two opposite pathways (positive and negative) are put forwarded. The negative pathway is interpreted as “contrast effect”, supported by the “big-fish-little-pond” theory: in a class with high average academic performance, the fierce competition will depress individual’s academic performance and aspirations. The positive pathway is interpreted as “assimilation effect”: in a class with high average academic performance, the inspiring ambience will bring positive influences on students’ educational attitudes and motivations. Using data in China, this article aims to re-examine the association between peers’ academic performance and student’s educational aspirations on both class and school level. I use a three-level hierarchical linear model to investigate the relative magnitude of effects in different levels (individual-, class- and school-level). The findings are as follows. Firstly, ceteris paribus, personal score, class mean score and school mean score all have positive effects on educational aspirations. Secondly, the class mean score have the strongest effect across all three levels while the school mean score only provides weak prediction. It means that compared with other equally able counterparts, student who studies at high performance class tend to have higher educational aspiration. From the cross-level comparisons, this article derives some possible social and policy implications in class placement and school enrollment for future policy-making process.

Spending Choices Among 15years Old: The Role Of Family As A Financial Education Agent In Italy. Evidence From The PISA 2015 Survey

Emanuela Rinaldi1, Carlo Di Chiacchio2, Sabrina Greco2

1University of Milano Bicocca, Italy; 2Invalsi (ITALY)

After 2008, while economists have published a large amount of studies on financial literacy, especially on individual characteristics associated to low financial literacy, sociologists have paid less attention to this topic. We tried to fill in this gap starting from Webley and Nyhus study on economic socialization (2005). We focus on the role of family (parents) who educates (talking about money with children) or socializes (through the effect of their socio-economic and cultural level) children in using money in different ways. Using the OECD-PISA 2015 survey on financial literacy (sample of approx. 3.000 students, representative of the Italian 15y. old population enrolled in educational institutions), we divided participants according to the question “If you don't have enough money to buy something you really want (e.g. an item of clothing, sports equipment), what are you most likely to do?”. Those who anwered “Save up to buy it” where labeled as “ants”. Those who answered “Buy it with money that really should be used for something else” were labeled as “grasshopper”. Moving on from previous studies, we explored different relationships, such as: a) the effect of financial literacy on ants and grasshoppers; b) the effect of family as a financial education agent in the expected spending behavior; c) the effect of socio-economic and cultural family background on students’ financial literacy, keeping under control economic education and expected spending behavior. We looked also at the effect of gender. Surprisingly, being a ant or a grasshopper is not associated with the socio-economic or cultural family background of students but ants has higher financial literacy. The reduction of gender differences is discussed and we throw future research hypotheses.