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    Onderwijskrant Vlaanderen
    Vernieuwen: ja, maar in continuïteit!
    27-06-2014
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Onderwijs. Tracking, rankings & competitie in Fins en Zweeds onderwijs

    Toch tracking (opsplitsing in niveaus in Finland (en Zweden) en dit zowel in leerplichtonderwijs (7-16 jaar) als in hogere cyclus s.o. + uitgesproken rankings van scholen hogere cyclus s.o.

    Dat er in Finland geen sprake is van tracking, rankings en competitie tussen scholen is dus een van de vele fabeltjes over onderwijsparadijs Finland.

    “ Finland, for example, is often considered untracked. However, visitors to Finland are sometimes surprised that the country has a system of competitive school choice at the upper-secondary level, after age 16. In fact, savvy students and parents are well aware of school rankings, and lists of upper-secondary school averages on national exams are published at the end of May each year. In addition, there is an increasing appetite for more differentiation and choice.

     In a study of student persistence in mathematics and science, I found that students I surveyed and interviewed in Finland and Sweden experienced ability grouping and tracking in mathematics and science during both compulsory school (7-16 j), and upper-secondary school.

     In neighboring Sweden, comparatively liberal school choice policies and the allowance of for-profit, publicly funded schools, have coincided with increasing social disparities in educational outcomes.

     

    Review of Education

    Equality of access in math and science in Finland, Sweden, and the United State

    Jennifer von Reis Saari Posted on June 3, 2013 |

     In a recent paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, “Moving on up? A framework for evaluating equality of access in education, with illustrations from Finland, Sweden and the United States,” Jennifer von Reis Saari shared the results of a study of the ways in which schools in Finland, Sweden, and the United States, track students in math and science. In this post, von Reis Saari briefly describes some of the current concerns about inequality in Sweden and Finland, as well as some of the differences she has documented in the way these countries, and the US, approach tracking.

    The recent riots in Sweden are drawing attention to how the assumption that Nordic countries, as well as their school systems, are equitable is oversimplified. Finland, for example, is often considered untracked.  However, visitors to Finland are sometimes surprised that the country has a system of competitive school choice at the upper-secondary level, after age 16.   In fact, despite the Finnish Minister of Education, Krista Kiuru’s resistance to the publishing of league tables of individual school performance, savvy students and parents are well aware of school rankings, and lists of upper-secondary school averages on national exams are published at the end of May each year. In addition, there is an increasing appetite for more differentiation and choice.  In neighboring Sweden, comparatively liberal school choice policies and the allowance of for-profit, publicly funded schools, have coincided with increasing social disparities in educational outcomes.  In a study of student persistence in mathematics and science, I found that students I surveyed and interviewed in both countries experienced ability grouping and tracking in mathematics and science during both compulsory school, and upper-secondary school. To characterize Finnish or Swedish school systems as equal, or un-stratified, obscures the ways these systems react to, and create, inequalities.

    A closer look at the experiences of students I interviewed in Finland, Sweden, and the United States, however, highlights how critical aspects of these choice and tracking systems, such as the mechanism for allocation (the how, why, and when students choose, or are selected into, particular schools or tracks), the transparency of the system (how clear the different educational choices and their consequences are), and the permeability (the degree of mobility allowed between tracks and schools), can either promote or obstruct the pathways of students who aspire to careers in mathematics and science related fields. In particular, the Finnish education system can be described as more permeable than either Sweden or the United States; the Finnish secondary school students I studied could more freely choose advanced mathematics and science courses and tracks in contrast to their counterparts in Sweden or the United States.  They could make these choices even if they were not in advanced mathematics tracks before they reached the secondary level.   This seemed to result in a greater retention of passionate, interested students, particularly young men who may have struggled earlier in their school careers.

    Focusing on permeability is important not only from a standpoint of equity, but also in terms of efficiency, for retaining and fostering skilled talent in STEM fields.   The lack of permeability of math and science tracks may be a particular concern in the United States, where the high cost of post-secondary education and widening disparities between universities and community colleges, which once served to increase opportunities for mobility, compounds lost opportunities during primary and secondary school. Fostering passion for mathematics and science among students may require structures that respond to increasing commitment and performance by providing clear, built-in pathways for upward mobility.

     

    Reputation and parental logics of action in local school choice space in Finland

    DOI:10.1080/02680939.2013.844859Sonja Kosunena*

    Differences in reputation between schools and in classes within schools shape parental choice in the Finnish urban context, even if the differences in school performance and the risks of making a ‘bad’ choice are relatively small. This study analyses the instrumental and expressive orders of schools in a specific educational context. Two overlapping local school choice spaces emerge: the local space of school catchment areas, and the selective space of the city in interaction with neighbouring cities. Entry into the selective space requires different forms of parental capital, and may reproduce educational and social distinctions. Institutions that provide less future exchange value according to the parental conceptions, with socially and ethnically mixed student populations and low expectations of pupils’ contentment are seen to be worth avoiding. The discussion on the choice between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ schools seems to be superficial and to conceal certain educational reproduction processes, which do not officially exist in the Finnish education system. Choosing between classes (general and classes with special emphasis) within a school also works as a distinction strategy.




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