Presentation on theme: "Excellence and Equity Gifted education policies are partly defined by the balance they strike between excellence and equity Excellence is associated with."— Presentation transcript:
Excellence and Equity Gifted education policies are partly defined by the balance they strike between excellence and equity Excellence is associated with achieving the highest standards regardless of the learners' backgrounds Equity is associated with reducing achievement gaps between disadvantaged and advantaged gifted learners This must be done by improving the achievement of the disadvantaged at a relatively faster rate (and not by depressing the achievement of the advantaged)
The Excellence Gap Most countries (all?) struggle to secure a gifted population representative of their national population There may be under-representation by gender, ethnic or socio- economic background – or any combination of these Other factors, eg class, language, racism, may also impact This may reinforce unhelpful impressions of G&T education as inequitable and elitist It may be partly attributable to confusion of ability and achievement/attainment While achievement is not evenly distributed within the population, ability may be;
Social Mobility Opportunity is not evenly distributed; social mobility is restricted Gifted education can be an engine of social mobility, helping to create a more balanced society It can supporting progression to top universities and professions Conversely, if some groups are badly under-represented, this can reinforce existing gender, ethnic, socio-economic disadvantage Additional support and special treatment may be necessary to correct such imbalances But this may create a negative reaction from those seeking to protect their advantaged position
Economic Considerations Achievement gaps have a significant economic cost: McKinsey Study Attention is often focused on low achievers and those below national benchmarks, but there are also significant costs attributable to 'excellence gaps' International benchmarking studies – eg PISA – suggest that 'high equity' education systems tend to be higher performers Knowledge-based economies will often invest in high achievers to feed their STEM, IT, research, innovation 'pipelines'
What Can We Do? Target specifically the most under-represented populations Design interventions that provide long-term holistic support, not short-term 'quick fixes', ideally from an early age This should help to: Increase achievement, aspirations, self-esteem Develop social and cultural capital Provide information and support at key transition points Engage the parent/carer, family and wider community Justify the significant cost by reference to the significant economic and social benefit.
Collaboration? How can EU interests work together to improve the education and life chances of disadvantaged gifted learners? How can EU agreements and funding support that process? What fruitful connections can we make with wider EU education and social policy? Can we agree our priorities? What are the immediate next steps? How will we define success?