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Zbigniew Sawiński’s article on more effective use of survey research in the policy of counteracting inequalities in education

16 September 2020 | News

In August 2020, the article by Zbigniew Sawiński, “From diagnosis to effective educational policy: need for reorientation of research on inequalities in education”, was published in the journal “Studia BAS”, published by the Bureau of Analyzes of the Polish Parliament.

Unequal chances of success in the labor market by young people from different social backgrounds are a consequence of unequal educational opportunities. In the article, the author asks how useful the results of large-scale international surveys, such as PISA or PIAAC, are for the policy of equalizing educational opportunities. Referring to examples from the history of research, the author shows that researchers too often focus on formulating diagnoses about universal mechanisms of transmission of social inequalities from one generation to the next, while an effective policy of reducing inequalities must take into account local determinants and conditions, including, in particular, specific features of school systems, deeply rooted in tradition and culture. As a consequence, education reforms should make greater use of national sources of data such as school statistics or central examination results. At the end of the article, the author formulates postulates on how to supplement the data currently collected in Poland to make them more effective weapon in the policy of equalizing educational opportunities.

The full text of the article (in Polish) is available here