Xavier Rambla Sociologia

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Archive for the category Educació i polítiques socials

set. 05 2019

Can education policies prevent early school leaving?


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març 18 2019

Policies Supporting Young People in their Life Course. A Comparative Perspective of Lifelong Learning and Inclusion in Education and Work in Europe

The final newsletter of project YOUNG_ADULLLT summarises key insights and recommendations (here)


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nov. 27 2018

EU Lifelong Learning Policies and the Vulnerability of Young Adults


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maig 21 2018

Educación y desarrollo sostenible en América Latina (3): conexiones entre ODS

Aunque la educación está directamente conectada con otras dimensiones del desarollo sostenible, entre 2000 y 2015 los planes educativos internacionales apenas las tuvieron en cuenta. Afortunadamente, desde 2016 el Global Education Monitoring Report ha enmendado este error. Desde entonces los organismos internacionales, gobiernos, negocios y representantes de la sociedad civil interesados en el desarrollo sostenible tienen en cuenta que cada dimensión afecta a las demás y recibe el impacto de estas. Así, la educación surte una serie de efectos sobre la productividad, la salud pública o la confianza en las instituciones, tal como ha observado la teoría del capital humano. Pero los avances y las limitaciones en la distribución del ingreso, la construcción de ciudades habitables y la seguridad también dejan refuerzan o constriñen el potencial de la educación.

El enfoque de capacidades analiza estas conexiones dobles dentro de un marco conceptual muy fundamentado. En principio, el valor intrínseco de la educación se desprende de su contribución al desarrollo de las capacidades humanas básicas.

Es preciso entender las conexiones instrumentales entre la educación y las otras dimensiones del desarrollo sostenible dentro de este marco. Estas conexiones instrumentales discurren en dos sentidos: desde las otras dimensiones hacia la educación, y desde la educación hacia estas otras dimensiones.

 

Por último, es innegable que la educación genera valores posicionales en tanto en cuanto proporciona ventajas relativas a quienes obtienen titulaciones y competencias superiores. Tal como demuestra la Word Inequality Database on Education, estas ventajas relativas se reparten de modos muy dispares entre clases sociales, hombres y mujeres, grupos étnicos, habitantes de zonas urbanas y rurales, y otras categorías sociales.


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abr. 28 2018

Education and sustainable development (2): TVET in Latin America

Since UNESCO convened the 3rd International Conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in 2012, this issue has gained momentum. Interestingly, the conference defined TVET as a system whose components are school programmes, training courses, apprenticeship schemes, scholarships, qualification frameworks, career guidance services, labour market intelligence and governance.

Looking back to the historical debate on TVET, this definition is the cornerstone of a significantly new approach. To the extent that educational planning simply relied on building new vocational schools, in the sixties and seventies the systemic features of TVET were seriously disregarded. Critics quickly noticed that the policy rationale assumed a fallacy, since these schools were not effective at all unless their activity was properly aligned with the education system and the labour market policy. In the eighties, TVET was deleted from the agenda on the grounds that increasing enrolment in primary education yielded higher rates of return. But critics also noticed that this strategy eventually provoked a bottleneck as far as transition to post-primary education was not guaranteed.

Currently, most Latin American countries work hard to build their TVET system. An array of popular initiatives indicates that policy-makers want to sort out many different problems. For instance, in Mexico the Build Yourself programme (ConstruyeT) enhances the socio-emotional capabilities of students so that future graduates get the most out of career guidance. In Brazil, before the present fiscal and economic crisis, the National Technological Programme (PRONATEC) struggled to underpin enrolment wih scholarships at the same time as new regional TVET colleges were created. In a different vein, Chilean governments have strengthened the qualifications framework at the same time as guidance services (Chile Valora).

Thus, a wider curriculum of secondary education, a expansion of school-based courses and the coherence of qualificatinos have become key focuses of reforms that aim at building TVET systems. The point is not only how effective each measure is, but mostly, to what extent these programmes contribute to build a system. The making of these systems is one of the most relevant current changes of education policies in the continent. In 2015, SDG4 highlighted the importance of these changes by requiring governments “by 2030, [to] ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university”.

This statement unveils quite important connections between TVET and other dimensions of sustainable development. The relationships with basic education and “decent work and economic growth” (SDG8) are particularly remarkable. However, so far progress has not been enough as far as these other dimensions are concerned.

On the one hand, statistical indicators capture a number of youth who are not enrolled in lower secondary education. Since perfomance is weak in basic education (see quotations from TERCE in the previous post) and a part of each cohort drops out of lower secondary education, it is noticeable that the making of TVET systems will not be sufficient to guarantee the right to education to all. In fact, the first figure below shows how net enrolment in lower secondary education has stalled despite a previous positive trend.

On the other hand, despite educational expansion during the recent decades, youth unemployment has not significantly decreased in Latin America. In contrast with the widespread causal belief in mechanical correlations between education and economic returns, it is noticeable that the trend of youth unemployment does not follow the expected pattern. A complex set of processes contributes to this fact, not least the complex “classification struggles” that sociologist Pierre Bourdieu analysed. The status of young people as students, workers or something in-between is a continuous bone of contention. In short, the second figure below records a stable trend of this indicator.

 

 

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abr. 05 2018

Educación y desarrollo sostenible (1): la educación básica en América Latina

La comunidad internacional dispone de un legado de setenta años (cuando menos) de reflexión sobre el derecho a la educación. La escolarización de todos los niños y niñas menores de edad ha sido uno de los retos más visibles de esta empresa. Pero la inquietud por este derecho también afecta otras cuestiones, por ejemplo, el aprendizaje adecuado para desempeñar un trabajo digno, la influencia mutua de las desigualdades o las voces de la sociedad civil sobre la educación. Y muchos más.

Desde hace décadas en América Latina el debate ha tenido en cuenta al conjunto de la educación básica, incluyendo la educación infantil, primaria y secundaria. Rosa María Torres hizo un balance muy lúcido de la cuestión en 2000 (enlace). Una discusión más reciente de la Educación para Todos en América Latina se encuentra aquí.

Este legado aporta una rica gama de herramientas intelectuales para interpretar los hallazgos del primer informe internacional que hace balance del Objetivo de Desarrollo Educativo 4, relacionado con la educación, que debería ser alcanzado en 2030. Entre una lista extensa de informaciones, es muy importante destacar las siguientes:

  • La participación de los distintos grupos de edad en la educación infantil, primaria y secundaria es considerable en América Latina, en algunos puntos equiparable a Europa y América del Norte.
  • Sin embargo, la cuarta parte de jóvenes están fuera de la escuela en el nivel secundario superior. En Europa y América del Norte este abandono prematuro apenas afecta a una décima parte de jóvenes.
  • Los rendimientos académicos en lengua todavía presentan desafíos importantes: “Los resultados  de lectura en sexto grado muestran que el 70%  de los estudiantes a nivel regional se encuentra en los niveles de desempeño I y II. Los logros de aprendizaje en este ámbito se relacionan con la comprensión de textos en base a claves explícitas e implícitas, lo que permite hacer inferencias acerca del sentido de los textos y sus propósitos
    comunicativos. Como desafío aparece la necesidad  de favorecer en los niños y niñas la capacidad de interpretar expresiones de lenguaje figurado y fortalecer el conocimiento de los componentes del lenguaje y sus funciones”. (Informe TERCE sobre Logros de Aprendizaje)
  • Los rendimientos académicos en matemáticas también presentan desafíos importantes. “En el caso de la prueba de matemática de sexto grado, el 83% de los estudiantes a nivel regional se encuentra en los niveles de desempeño I y II. Los logros de aprendizaje en estos niveles, se relacionan con la capacidad de trabajar con números naturales y decimales en contextos simples y con la lectura de datos explícitos en tablas y gráficos. Los principales desafíos están en la resolución de problemas complejos (aquellos que contienen más de una variable), que involucran operaciones con números naturales, decimales y fracciones, el cálculo de perímetros y áreas, y otros aspectos, como las unidades de medida y los datos que se presentan en tablas y gráficos”. (Informe TERCE sobre Logros de Aprendizaje)

 


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març 23 2018

Why should Europe care for the future of young adults?

I recently published a short comment in the Young Adulllt project newsletter (here). Empirical reports are about to be publised.


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juny 02 2017

Prevenir l’abandonament escolar prematur

PÒSTER (ABJOVES Eina 1 Prevenció v4)

Entre 2013 i 2016 el projecte ABJOVES ha estudiat diverses polítiques que intenten recolzar els estudiants exposats al risc de deixar l’escola sense graduar-se. Ha observat que dos factors agreugen el problema indirectament.

En primer lloc, l’índex estatus econòmic, social i cultural (Status ESC) de les famílies és el factor determinant dels rendiments educatius a tota la mostra de la prova PISA de l’OCDE (OECD, 2003). Aquest índex es calcula a partir de l’estatus laboral dels pares, de la seva riquesa i dels seus recursos culturals. Com que des de 2008 la crisi econòmica ha perjudicat moltes famílies, aquesta precarietat també amenaça els resultats acadèmics dels seus fills i filles (OECD, 2016). La conjuntura econòmica, doncs, ha actuat en sentit negatiu.

En segon lloc, la segregació socio-econòmica separa els estudiants segons la seva classe social. La concentració de l’alumnat més vulnerable a unes mateixes escoles, sovint, els empeny a abandonar (OECD, 2012). Fa deu anys la bombolla immobiliària va dispersar la població en urbanitzacions que no reflecteixen la diversitat social de les ciutats més consolidades. Avui dia la pujada dels lloguers altra vegada separa el jovent segons els recursos de les seves famílies.

Per fer front a aquests factors negatius, l’OCDE i la Comissió Europea proposen polítiques preventives. En primer lloc, demanen d’evitar la repetició de curs i l’agrupament per nivell acadèmic. El fet és que aquests remeis són pitjors que la malaltia, ja que les decisions de repetir i agrupar moltes vegades confonen els criteris acadèmics amb prejudicis socials i culturals.

En segon lloc, proposen sistemes controlats d’elecció d’escola. Reclamen que tots els centres segueixin els mateixos criteris de matriculació per a tothom. A més, desaconsellen que enviïn missatges diferents a diferents públics, i facin els ulls grossos davant d’irregularitats en l’empadronament o altres procediments relacionats. Es tracta d’evitar que les escoles més prestigioses seleccionin els millors estudiants i desanimin l’entrada dels qui tenen més dificultats. En aquesta línia, la prevenció de l’abandonament també fa incidència en la necessitat de distribuir els recursos d’acord amb les necessitats dels estudiants tot evitant avantatges i greuges comparatius entre tipus de centres.

En tercer lloc, l’educació post-obligatòria també pot ajudar en la prevenció. Aquí cal aproximar els itineraris de batxillerat i educació professional, i alhora, facilitar la transició entre ells. Si no acaben convencent els joves, és imprescindible que les primeres tries es puguin reconduir sense massa traumes.

El pòster presenta aquestes idees d’esquerra a dreta. En general, la desigualtat agreuja el risc d’abandonament prematur (AEP), mentre que la igualtat (o les mesures adreçades a suavitzar la desigualtat) actuen en contra d’aquest risc. L’AEP és al centre de les preocupacions sobre l’educació perquè aixeca un mur que tanca les oportunitats vitals de moltes persones.

Bibliografia

OECD (2003), “PISA Index of Economic, Social and Cultural Status (ESCS)”, in OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms, OECD Publishing, Paris. URL: https://stats.oecd.org/glossary

OECD (2012), Equity and Quality in Education: Supporting Disadvantaged Students and Schools, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2014), “Executive summary”, in OECD Employment Outlook 2014, OECD Publishing, Paris.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/empl_outlook-2014-3-en

OECD (2016) Inequality, URL: http://www.oecd.org/social/inequality.htm Accessed: 20 July 2016.


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març 16 2017

Did a complex web of education policy transfer contribute to human development? Comparing Brazil and the Philippines

For the last decades Brazil has overcome the Philippines regarding the UNDP  indexes of education and life expectancy. These disparate trends highlight the diversity of middle-income countries. Although Brazil and the Phillippines have suffered in a similar way from the so-called “middle-income trap“, their human development has not followed a correlative pattern. I have analysed the factors of these trends in a recent publication.

A particular correlation with the patterns of education policy transfer is telling. Both countries have repeatedly adopted the policies widely sponsored by the International Financial Institutions since the eighties. Some time ago the Philippines was also cited a best practice of the Green Revolution.

However, Brazil struggled to adopt a different view regarding social policies. Its main conditional cash transfer scheme, Bolsa Familia, was initially a local initiative but became a popular programme for most international organisations. The administrations of Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff also engaged in multi-layered consultation to design and implement Federal plans for Education, as required by the 1988 Constitution. At the same time, an array of political players built coalitions which promoted diverging but related views of education policy. Thus, the Global Campaign for Education allied with teacher unions, Federal, state and local administrations as well as international organisations such as UNESCO and the Organisation of Ibero-American States. The business community also searched for the support of the World Bank to launch the Todos pela Educaçao campaign. Did this dense network of collaboration foster an improving trend of human and educational development? Statistical trends were remarkably positive since the nineties. How was conflict managed within the frame of this civil society? Looking at the impeachment of President Rousseff, it is obvious that conflict was a powerful underlying process. This is really an intriguing case for further research


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oct. 05 2016

Education and the faces of human development: two-way connections

Since 1990 the UNDP emphasizes that human development is multidimensional. At least, it has three distinct faces such as income, education and public health. Other complementary indexes have noticed that housing conditions must be taken into account too. In addition, divides between socio-economic groups, gender and ethnic groups cannot be overlooked.

For years the human capital approach has almost monopolised the official reading of this point. In this vein, the contribution of education to foster the other dimensions has been widely documented. In fact, education has positive effects on opportunities in the labour market, on economic performance, on fertility, on public health, on democracy and many other aspects. However, recently the interest in the wider picture is growing, not least because the connections between the other dimensions are noticed but also because the effects on education of any other shortcomings are also taken into account (e.g. see this policy brief). The 2016 Global Education Monitoring Report clearly states that education is linked to the other SDGs. The Report also claims that this is a two-way connection with education impacting on the other SDGs and these other SDGs influencing education too. Therefore, it is interesting to think carefully about an array of possible connections. Three examples provide some food for thought.

To start with, sanitation may impinge on education in direct and indirect ways. The direct effect has to do with material constraints at home, such as the availability of space for playing and doing homework. The indirect is even more powerful, since sanitation influences health, and health may determine the potential for education. Here, data tend to indicate that the correlation between sanitation and primary school completion has changed during the last decades, probably due to improvements in both dimensions (see here).

The fact that the bulk of the world population leaves in cities provides other illustrations. Latin America is the continent with the most extreme manifestations of this phenomenon. There, evidence shows an increasing trend to socio-economic segregation so much so that high-income persons normally live in socially homogeneous areas which are well connected with other similar communities. This trend provokes perverse consequences for other social groups, mostly because it tends to accumulate problems of poverty, school drop-out and low-skills jobs in peri-urban areas where the basic facilities are also weak (here). In addition, urban violence is particulary worrying in some countries. This is the case in Latin America, This violence constrains the use of urban space, and certainly, shortens the life expectancy of the youth. These consequences are clearly harmful for education (see map 5 and figure 3 here)

Last but not least, income inequalities and adult skills are correlated in the countries with a higher HDI. Income gaps are an effect of skills polarisation, but income poverty also becomes a powerful barrier to skills development. While Scandinavian countries are able to alleviate inequality and strengthen the skills of the adult population, Anglo-Saxon countries maintain large economic gaps and polarised distributions of skills, and other countries maintain economic gaps and lower average levels of skills (eg. Spain, Italy, Ireland and Poland) (see graph and blog post here).


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