On March 27th, 2019, AIR hosted a presentation and discussion on the examination of socioeconomic inequality and educational outcomes using evidence from twenty years of data from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
While the overall positive association between family socioeconomic status (SES) and student achievement is well documented in the literature, the magnitude of this relationship is contingent on social contexts and is expected to vary by education system. Research on how such associations differ across societies and how the strength of these relationships has changed over time is limited. This study, therefore, addresses an important research and policy question by examining changes in the inequality of educational outcomes due to SES over this 20-year period, and also examines the extent to which the performance of students from disadvantaged backgrounds has improved over time in each education system.
Education systems generally aim to narrow the achievement gap between low- and high-SES students and to improve the performance of disadvantaged students. However, the lack of quantifiable and comprehensible measures makes it difficult to assess and monitor the effect of such efforts. In this study, a novel measure of SES that is consistent across all TIMSS cycles allows students to be categorized into different socioeconomic groups. This measure of SES may also contribute to future research using TIMSS trend data.
The webinar presented new insights into how educational inequality has changed in the education systems studied and how such change may relate to the more complex picture of macroeconomic changes in those societies.
Presenter: Markus Broer, Principal Researcher, American Institutes for Research
Discussant: George Bohrnstedt, Senior Vice President and Institute Fellow, American Institutes for Research
Moderator: Martin Hooper, Senior Researcher, American Institutes for Research
About the RISE Webinar Series
The Research on International Studies in Education (RISE) Webinar Series showcases research using data from international studies and promotes sharing and discussion about how data-based evidence can be used for improving educational outcomes. The RISE Webinar Series is organized by AIR. To receive emails about RISE and invitations to upcoming webinars, please email RISE@air.org.