Equity in Education – Breaking Down Barriers to Social Mobility

29 October 2018Resources

Equity in education means that schools and education systems provide equal learning opportunities to all students. As a result, during their education, students of different socio-economic status, gender or immigrant and family background achieve similar levels of academic performance in key cognitive domains, such as reading, mathematics and science, and similar levels of social and emotional well-being in areas such as life satisfaction, self-confidence and social integration.

The OECD Report 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.
It also 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.


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