1 Porto University (PORTUGAL)
2 University of TrĂ¡s-os-Montes and Alto Douro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2024 Proceedings
Publication year: 2024
Page: 7467 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-59215-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2024.1961
Conference name: 18th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-6 March, 2024
Location: Valencia, Spain
Equality of opportunity in education (EO) refers to the principle that educational success should not be defined or limited by personal circumstances, such as students' economic, social, and cultural status (ESCS). This problem captures the attention of researchers and policymakers worldwide since it requires policies and practices to eliminate education barriers. It also involves promoting fairness and impartiality of educational systems to ensure that all students have an equal chance to develop their skills, talents, and knowledge to their fullest potential.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) have consistently emphasized EO as one of the biggest challenges for modern educational systems. Every PISA report includes updates regarding the levels of EO in the participating countries. Still, despite the efforts to promote EO and invoke necessary changes, the PISA reports often focus on the latest round of data collection, providing limited information regarding the progress that was made. To fill this gap, our research aims to encompass the results from all the rounds of PISA and track the changes in EO for every participating country. We selected the indicator present in every PISA report: the R-squared (R2). It indicates the portion of the variance in PISA scores attributed to students' ESCS. We use R2 in three PISA subjects (Mathematics, Reading, and Science) and their average to build the trends in participating countries. This analysis includes 71 countries.

To understand the efficacy of the educational policies, it is important to consider not only the final result, but also the journey that the country has made to achieve it, including the starting point and the consistency of the changes. Building the trends in EO on the country level and assessing their robustness allows us to see the progress made throughout PISA since its beginning in 2000. Such an approach helps to highlight the cases where the country made a significant improvement in the EO levels over time. For the countries with low and middle levels of EO, this experience can be more relevant and helpful than focusing on the countries from the top of the list whose experience may not be directly applicable. The presentation highlights these differences.
Educational Equity, Equality of Opportunity, PISA, ESCS.