Interplay of factors that contribute to ESL at system level

jeudi 12 novembre 2015, par Maša Vidmar

There is large body of research identifying which factors at system level contribute to or prevent from ESL. The aim of this article is to give review of empirical research in the field and also to point out to the most recent findings that go beyond so far identified specific system characteristics and address more general, holistic view. This informs policy makers about the direction in which ®evolution of educational systems needs to be headed.

Some of the relevant factors identified in research are : high-quality and accessible early childhood education and care, early warning system for potential ESL students, teacher education, quality of vocational education and training (VET programs), career guidance and counselling, and link to the labor market (Eccles, 2004 ; Eurofound, n.d. ; NESSE, 2010 ; PPMI, 2014).

At more general, holistic level researchers have identified so called well-balanced (PPMI, 2014) or consistent educational systems (Fthenakis, 2014) as very important characteristics of the educational system as a whole. This refers to the characteristic that all parts of the educational system from ISCED 0 to ISCED 6/7 fit well together and function in synergy. Well-balanced educational systems unfold into four dimensions : efficiency (every part of the system reinforces the results of other parts), equity (conditions for success of one sub-group are not allowed to damage the prospects of another sub-group), cohesion (co-responsibility of stakeholders across the education system) and representativeness (diversity of pupils is reflected by diversity of staff and policymakers) (PPMI, 2014). Consistency of educational systems (Fthenakis, 2014) refers to consistency in theoretical base, pedagogical principles and values, educational goals and organization of learning process. PPMI (2014) called this pedagogical and professional continuity (quality of programs and staff), curriculum continuity and structure continuity (transition between levels). According to these authors educational system should be diverse (in types of educational tracks, teaching styles, etc.), but not fragmented. The article illustrates how these dimensions are relevant for ESL.


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