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Education and social order September 2, 2004. Public education Universal education is very recent. Education was the province of the elite and the clergy.

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Presentation on theme: "Education and social order September 2, 2004. Public education Universal education is very recent. Education was the province of the elite and the clergy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Education and social order September 2, 2004

2 Public education Universal education is very recent. Education was the province of the elite and the clergy. Private good, not public good. Why did compulsory public education develop? Demand of the working class and of employers (new industrial work discipline) Education helped prepare people for factory production Education offered literacy

3 Education and social inequality Education is one of the principal methods for ameliorating the effects of inequality: some level of education is compulsory rising level of mass education expands the proportion of those who have a claim to decision making, citizenship responsibilities most countries have a system based on merit for continuing education educational attainment is closely tied to occupational status

4 Education and social inequality Education also helps create new classes of knowledge and personnel which are then adopted into society. (Bioengineering, neurobiology – these are constructions of modern higher education) Expansion of the education system increases the number of specialized and elite positions in society.

5 Societal level data The general education level of a society means a lot: Average years of schooling: Italy 7.2 US: 12.0 France: 7.9 Years of compulsory education: US12 Italy 9

6 Evidence of change? Students enrolled in upper secondary school represent 80% of the age group. Higher proportion of female than male students (81 vs 79), especially in north and central. Students completing upper secondary school with a diploma were 63% of 19 year olds (68 f v 59 m)

7 Comparative statistics Total population having completed at least upper secondary education: Italy45 EU63 Spain 38 Comparative statistics for 18 year olds enrolled in any kind of education (incl vocational): Italy 69% EU 75 France80

8 Effects of education Does level of education matter for labor force participation? For occupational attainment?

9 Italy as a special case For students of social stratification, Italy is an interesting case: Simultaneously a major industrial country but quite traditional with respect to its educational system. One of the most unequal in Europe, with a fraction of the population as highly educated as anywhere in the world, and another fraction obtaining less education than in virtually any W European country.

10 A study In a study by Ganzeboom and Treiman (1993), it was shown that the effect of social origins (measured by fathers occupational status) on educational attainment has significantly increased for women, but has remained constant for men. Very high in Italy, with no evidence that it is abating.

11 A study (cont) Ganzeboom and Treiman, cont With respect to occupational attainment, the trend for Italy is in line with other countries: education has become more important (by a factor of 3 for men and 4 for women over the last 75 years), and parental status has become less important.

12 Effect on income Strong return on investment: overall one year increase in education is 7.1%. Return on investment is even higher for university study (8.3%).

13 Portrait of the Italian education system Previous to 1945, Italian education was characterized by having an elite student body taught by an elite corps of teachers This led to the perpetuation of a narrow ruling stratum

14 1945 Defeat Destroyed the physical infrastructure of the educational system, as well as The software Curricula Syllabi Teaching methods Etc.

15 The state of education, % of the population is illiterate Demands for the democratization of the education system Wholesale changes possible due to the extreme centralization of the education system

16 Education and direct rule Ministry of Education controls Curricula Syllabi Hiring and salaries of teachers Financing of buildings

17 Educational reforms 1962: secondary schooling made compulsory until age 14 8 years of schooling made compulsory However, curriculum remains traditional (e.g. Latin required) until late 1960s Due to resistance of middle-school teachers Massive increase in scope of basic education demands for greater access to higher education

18 Reforms in universities 1961: students from technical institutes permitted access to science faculties 1965: national entrance exam abolished open admissions 268,000 students in ,000 students in 1968 Double the number of women in this 8 year period, but by 68 women are less than 1/3 of university students

19 Early phase of university reform overcrowding Even though the number of students increased rapidly, initially the number of universities remains constant

20 Persistence of feudal structure Many professors hardly present Professors obligation = 52 hours of teaching/yr Once this accomplished, free to attend to their main occupations – doctors, lawyers, etc. No seminars, tutorials or faculty-student contact Result: high rate of failure of oral exams 81% of sec schl grads attend univ, but only 44% graduate in 1966 System favors students from the upper social strata

21 Student revolt of Begins in strongly Catholic universities Due to influence of liberation theology in Latin America Student revolt in Italy vs. USA

22 Consequences of university reform Deterioration of quality Political pressure to relax stringency of oral exam system Grade inflation Tenure granted to thousands of academics regardless of their qualifications

23 Consequences, contd Creation of new universities But students prefer old, distinguished ones more overcrowding By mid 80s Rome has 160k students in a campus built for 33k Med students cant get in the anatomy labs Students have to line up early to get into the library Most students stay at home -- dont attend classes

24 Politicization of Italian universities Politics at every level of the university Students: Many (up to 2/3) become professional students who are supported by political parties, and make their living by being political agitators Organize successfully to block educational reforms such as higher tuition, standards

25 Faculty politicization Faculty are often lined up with political parties Hanker after the rewards – including public offices – that parties distribute to the faithful The baroni – autocratic senior professors who control the universities Can choose the date to begin the academic year Can delegate their work to their assistants Until recently, could also take up another post Often live far from their university posts Do not have to submit to student evaluations

26 Italy A great place to be a professor Where can I sign up? A terrible place to be a student


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