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ERIC Number: EJ980542
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-1360-3116
Unequal Schooling: How the School Curriculum Keeps Students from Low Socio-Economic Backgrounds out of University
Tranter, Deborah
International Journal of Inclusive Education, v16 n9 p901-916 2012
The Australian higher education sector has grappled, with little success, to increase the participation of students from lower socio‐economic status (SES) backgrounds. In this article I identify the ways in which the secondary school curriculum contributes to this outcome, and how universities are complicit in this process. Using data collected at three low SES secondary schools, I argue that the hierarchy of subjects and the increase of vocational education options, together with the expectations of schools and teachers, conspire with tertiary selection processes to prevent all but a very few low SES students from gaining entry to university. These students are not well positioned in relation to cultural and social capital to negotiate the educational strategies that facilitate university entrance. When university places are limited and access is based on relative (apparent) merit, the secondary curriculum orders young people into a social hierarchy of post-secondary options where the success of more privileged students comes at the cost of students from low socio-economic backgrounds. The article concludes with an exploration of alternative modes of entry that disrupt the established curriculum hierarchy by valuing a broad range of knowledges for entry to university. (Contains 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia