Inequality in Preschool Education and School Readiness

The problem of educational inequality, actively discussed by researchers in terms of the accessibility of education for representatives of various social strata, remains relevant to Russian society. In this regard, the state programs “Development of Education” set the task of equalizing educational opportunities through the following factors: the formation of a flexible system of continuing professional education that is accountable to society, the development of infrastructure and organizational and economic mechanisms that ensure the most equal accessibility of services for preschool, general, additional education for children, modernization of educational programs in the systems of preschool, general and additional education of children, creation of a modern system for assessing the quality of education based on the principles of openness, objectivity, transparency, and social and professional participation of essay writers online.

What does the government do? 

There are three pillars that many national policies and initiatives that aim to minimize educational inequality are built around:

  • moral imperative
  • economic justification
  • global trend

By adhering to all three tenets, the world hopes to achieve its goal of creating educational opportunities that are comparable for children of all socioeconomic backgrounds. This will be accomplished, among other things, through the administration of standardized tests at the state level, the creation of schools that welcome all students, and the expansion of online education.

On the concept of educational inequality

It is essential to be aware of the various ways in which the concept of educational inequality may be construed since this is something that must be taken into consideration. When it comes to the distribution of educational advantages, what does it mean for equality, which is defined as a fair distribution of benefits, to apply to education? Which components of the learning experience need to be improved so that they are fairer? Within the scope of this discussion, the following topics are up for consideration:

  1. a comparison of children’s initial educational prospects based on equality and disparity
  2. equality and disparity in the way that education is delivered
  3. regarding the similarity or dissimilarity of its outcomes

Each component has its own set of distinctive determinants. When we talk about educational opportunity gaps, we are almost always referring to differences in access to educational resources that are caused by social, economic, and geographic variables.

Inequality may be understood as a disparity in the chance that individuals belonging to different social groupings would make use of the possibilities provided by society. Inequality can also be understood as a form of social injustice. An inquiry into the goals that young people have for their future and the likelihood that they will be able to accomplish those goals paints a clear picture of the educational inequality that exists in our society. Already, children in secondary school are experiencing some of the negative outcomes that might result from the social selection. In the 1980s, as a result of a series of measures that were taken to make secondary education more widely available, the social composition of secondary schools began to shift. As a result, the percentage of children who received a complete secondary education increased from 30 to 60 percent, the percentage of children who were the children of leaders decreased by half, and the percentage of children who were employees increased by a third. However, by 1994, the number of children of workers and peasants who had graduated from secondary school had decreased by a ratio of 2.5, while the number of children of leaders who had completed secondary school had increased to more than a quarter of the total. This pattern still holds true today.

What do researchers say?

  1. According to research conducted by a sociologist based in France named Marie Durou-Bellat, the offspring of high-ranking executives and managers have a tenfold greater chance of enrolling in the most prestigious baccalaureate schools in France than those of low-ranking workers and employees have. 
  2. Prior to the research conducted by James Coleman on the subject of equal educational opportunity, the term equal educational opportunity was understood to refer to equal levels of input to learning. Coleman and his colleagues have rethought educational equality by putting an emphasis on the outcomes, and have come up with the following definition for it as a result: equal educational opportunity is an equal educational opportunity given equal individual contributions. 
  3. As Adam Gamoran and Daniel Long point out, another type of inequality may be expressed in terms of educational outcomes for people who come from different backgrounds and have varying levels of natural ability. The determination of educational equality in accordance with this concept takes into consideration the contributions made by individuals. The most glaring examples of this disparity may be seen in the children who come from places where languages other than English are spoken, such as Spanish or Navajo.

Levels of educational inequality

Through research into the educational systems and environments of other countries, it is possible to isolate at least four distinct causes (levels) of educational inequality:

  1. the child himself – his individual characteristics
  2. his family is the economic and social capital
  3. school – material and technical security, level of teaching, disciplinary climate
  4. the degree of development of social infrastructure amenities, the availability, and reputation of educational institutions of secondary vocational and higher education all vary depending on the location of living.

Family as a source of educational inequality

The student’s family is the initial component of educational disparity because it affects the student’s beginning educational potential if we exclude the child’s particular traits. Families matter more than schools, according to the J. Coleman study, which emphasizes the importance of upbringing in molding an individual’s character. It is vital to remember that the family is a key part of a child’s early development and that the school exists to assist parents in addressing challenges associated with early childhood development. When it comes to children at the family level, socio-cultural capital is a determining factor in their success.

School as a source of educational inequality

The second source of educational disparity is the unequal distribution of resources across different institutions of higher learning. He wrote that differences in school performance are not explained by material and technical equipment, but rather their social background of students, but in later studies he concluded that differences in the organization of schools and their microclimates, the interaction of the teacher with students, create a healthy social climate in schools and the practical orientation of teachers are all factors that contribute to a school’s success or failure.

Region as a Factor of Educational Inequality

The level of the area is another level at which educational disparity is reproduced. As previously mentioned, schools in underdeveloped nations do not experience the same “school effects” as those in rich countries. 

There has been a rise in the number of people in Latin America who can afford to attend high-priced educational institutions because of the uneven distribution of money. In reality, people are divided into groups based on how well they’ve been educated. A new trend has taken place in “elite preparatory” educational institutions, including religious schools. As a result, the middle class and their offspring have been able to relocate from impoverished countries into more affluent ones.

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