Constructing Educational Inequality: An Assessment of Research on School Processes

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 1996 - Education - 212 pages
This book examines much of the large body of research on educational inequality in Britain since the Second World War, focusing on studies concerned with inequalities in the internal organization and functioning of the schools. A social constructionist approach to the study of social problems as a way of providing a reflexive perspective on the sociology of education highlights the fact that much work in the area has been associated with political pressure to eradicate educational inequalities. The analysis begins by considering the qualities a study must have in order for its findings to be considered valid. A look at the research available suggests that there is considerable overinterpretation of data in the areas of disadvantage resulting from inequalities due to social conditions, ethnicity, and gender. Neither is research on the effects of classroom inequalities nor on inequalities in outcomes of education always supported by adequate evidence. Research on educational inequality in Britain has been subject to bias in favor of uncovering inequalities of particular kinds, to serve particular social purposes. To provide effective research on the real issues and problems of education, the methodological ground rules of inquiry must be applied. (Contains 12 figures, 8 tables, and 432 references.) (SLD)
 

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Contents

Methodological Preliminaries
23
Assessing Research on Educational Inequalities
41
Inequalities at School Level
68
Inequalities in the Classroom
107
Inequalities in Educational Outcomes
139
Conclusion
173
References
184
Author Index
205
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