Institute of Education

Research & Expertise to Make a Difference in Education & Beyond

IOE Hosts Second International Summer School ‘Inequality of Educational Opportunities’

This July, IOE welcomed the Second International Summer School ‘Inequality of Educational Opportunities.’ In 2018, the Summer School aimed to comprehensively address the most relevant scholarship frameworks that explore various factors and contexts of socioeconomic inequalities in education.

Following the undisputed success of the debut School that was held in the summer of 2017, this year’s forum has brought together nearly 50 education scholars with various research perspectives and at different levels from across the globe. The School’s faculty was a cohort of world-renowned experts in education and broader socio-economic contexts, including Dr. Susan Dumais (City University of New York, USA), Dr. Tommaso Agasisti (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) and Dr. Ricardo Madeira (University of São Paulo, Brazil).

In 2018, the Summer School aimed to comprehensively address the latest scholarship frameworks with respect to socio-economic inequalities in education, including markers and triggers of such inequities, their reproduction mechanisms, as well as policy and other measures aimed at better closing educational inequality gaps. In particular, discussions centered on the following key areas: the main sources of inequality in educational opportunities; school and out-of-school factors reducing educational inequality; involvement of families of different socioeconomic status into children education; effects of measures to support families and schools in improving educational outcomes; student academic choices, learning paths, and measures to support academic mobility; etc.

talk by Ricardo Madeira has provided both theoretical insights as well as firsthand examples of socio-economic inequalities in Brazilian education. Special emphasis was made on exploring how factors of family status are implicated in disparities in educational opportunities.

In her presentation, Susan Dumais concentrated on international evidence about how the accessibility of school education is correlated with the student’s socio-economic background, as well as whether and to what extent various policy measures can be used to rectify the curve.  

IOE expert Pavel Sorokin has talked about how a nation’s social inequities and overall economic conditions affect its educational systems, and what socio-economic challenges should be primarily factored in when devising more effective educational policy solutions.  

In his two presentations that he made this year, Tommaso Agasisti largely focused on the phenomenon of resilience in education. Specifically, Tommaso has discussed how underprivileged students are able to overcome inequality constraints and achieve high academic performance. When addressing this topic, he analyzed the main factors of resilience as varying on a national basis and outlined the key questions that need to be emphasized insofar as further research in this domain is concerned.    

As the 2018 Summer School was drawing to its close, Ricardo Madeira delivered yet another presentation where he focused on school- and family-related determinants of student educational choices and paths, while Susan Dumais gave a talk about how parental involvement is linked to children’s learning outcomes and what kind of family support programs are being implemented across the globe.