C. Sofianopoulou, V. Bountziouka

Harokopio University (GREECE)
Introduction: Scientific researches have indicated that an unequal allocation of performance is observed in various areas of a country. The education is interpreted relationally, since it relates tightly to inequality structures within a society where geographical inequalities are also identified. The place of residence is considered a significant element of the cultural environment of the family and the student. The social and financial structure and the respective relations, such as the cultural experience, are also geographically differentiated. The geographical descent has an imminent position between the social factors considered to be affecting the performance and the success in school. Apparently, this capital cultural that is communicated, increased, reduced or disappears, affects the structure and the production of knowledge. In this project, a detection of factors forming and affecting the performance in different geographical areas in Greece is attempted. The research question of this project focuses on whether any potential differentiation of performance is affected by particular socio-economic factors, in two geographical regions of Greece: the mainland and the island that have a defined historical and social evolution.

Methods: Greek results from PISA 2009 were used to assess the research hypothesis. In particular, 339 students from the prefecture of Epirus and West Macedonia [16(0.28), 45% boys] and 345 students from the prefecture of North and South Aegean and Ionian Islands [16(0.28), 47% boys] were selected to represent Mainland and Island Greek prefecture respectively. Participants, according to the PISA framework, were asked about mother’s and father’s educational level, according to ISCED (none to higher education) and mother’s and father’s current job status (full time, part time, looking for work, other). In addition, information regarding the family structure and the socio-economic characteristics of students’ family was assessed, according to the index of Economic, Social and Cultural Status (ESCS), the home (domestic) possessions and the wealth. Student’s t-test for independent samples and linear regression model were used to answer the research hypothesis.

Results: Students from Island Greece had higher performance in Reading as compared to students from Mainland [487(9.9) vs 458(36), p<0.0001]. The same scheme was observed between both genders [506(8.0) vs. 490(26), p<0.0001 for girls; 467(16) vs. 427(41), p<0.0001 for boys] and in all categories of father’s and mother’s educational status (all p’s<0.01), with the exception of the two highest educational categories of students’ mothers (ISCED-5B: p=0.15, ISCED-5A,6: p=0.10). Students from Island Greece had higher mean score in Reading as compared to those from Mainland [b(se): 18(22), 95% CI: 15-21], adjusted for gender, highest educational level of parents and socio-economic status. Furthermore, students’ performance in Reading was improved as the ESCS and the home possessions were increased and the wealth was decreased, while the home possessions were considered as the main characteristic that seemed to affect students’ performance.
Conclusion: Differences between Mainland and Island Greek prefectures were revealed for the overall sample population and with respect to several socioeconomic characteristics. Results confirm the theories that support that the tutee having a poor raw material is a more striving learner.