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Chapter 5

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SOC 3340
Victor Ujimoto

Week 5 reading The structural transformation of schooling: accommodation, competition, and stratification Thinking structurally: established stratification  Streaming: highly structured form of ability grouping that directs students into distinct educational paths  Role of schools – social selection – signing badges of ability  Channeled students into different types of schools and programs based on a belief that not all students can benefit from the same curriculum  Stratification: structuring different programs or institutions as ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ than one another, and linking that hierarchy to better or worse opportunities in advanced levels of education or in job markets  links between school attainment and life choices appear to be strengthening in Canada  traditional form of stratification – ‘streaming’ (Canada) and ‘tracking’ (US)  streaming – splitting students into ability groups, upper stream bound for post-secondary and lower tiers offering vocational training  how does streaming link to patterns of educational inequality?  Students from wealthier/more advantaged family backgrounds tend to enter academic programs which foster better higher education and labour market outcomes  Students from poor/disadvantaged family origins tend to enter vocational programs – relatively poorer post-secondary education and labour market outcomes  Correspondence between family background and school stream is far from perfect  Sociologists - long condemned streaming for limiting the opportunities for many students  High school streams dampen the aspirations of these youth, managing their ambitions, and discouraging them form moving on  Streaming also controversial – potential impact on learning  Streams impact student performance  Differ in the quality of material students experience – academic streams offer more challenging literary material and require more writing Stratification within post-secondary education  2 main dimensions 1. selectivity of institution 2. field of study  historically have changed over time  the advantage of attending an elite university or college is that they offer their graduates access to elite jobs, higher wages, contacts, and top positions  universities demand greater entrance requirements than community colleges and university seen as more academically intensive Week 5 reading  field of study vary greatly on prestige, ability to select among their applicants, ability to access resources, and payoffs for graduates Accommodation  hired bureaucrats to ensure schools retain as many youth for as long as possible  pervasive understanding of the economic utility of schooling  for several decades – human capital theories have urged policy makers to recognize schooling’s role in the production of marketable skills  rationale resized for a new age  imagined to be capable of producing unlimited amounts of human capital, spearheading an unbridled expansion of economic potential  driving a slow evolution of post-secondary systems from ‘mass’ to ‘universal’ forms, as more policy-makers call for universities and colle
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