Educational success among children of similar cognitive ability depends on their background



Britain's got talent—but we're still wasting it. That's the main finding of a new report by researchers from Oxford University published today.

英國有人才,但我們仍在浪費人才。 這是牛津大學研究人員今天發表的一份新報告的主要發現。

Children of similar cognitive ability have very different chances of educational success; it still depends on their parents' economic, socio-cultural and educational resources.

認知能力相似的兒童獲得教育成功的機會卻不同; 這取決于他們父母的經濟實力、社會文化和教育資源。
This contradicts a commonly held view that these days that our education system?has developed enough to give everyone a fighting chance.


The researchers, led by Dr. Erzsébet Bukodi from Oxford's Department of Social Policy and Intervention, looked at data from cohorts of children?born in three decades: 1950s, 1970s and 1990s.

牛津大學社會政策研究部門的Erzsébet Bukodi博士帶領的研究人員,研究了出生在50年代、70年代和90年代三個時段的兒童的數據。

They found significant evidence of a wastage of talent. Individuals with high levels of cognitive ability but who are disadvantaged in their social origins are persistently unable to translate their ability into educational attainment to the same extent as their more advantaged counterparts.

他們發現了人才流失的重要原因。 具有高水平認知能力但在社會出身方面處于劣勢的個體,始終無法與那些條件較好的人達到相同程度的教育成就。

The research, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, found that only about half of the difference in educational attainment between children from advantaged and disadvantaged parental backgrounds is due to differences in their cognitive ability. The other half is due to other factors associated with their backgrounds.


"If we compare the educational attainment?of children born in the 1990s to those in the late 1950s and early 1970s, we see that parent's economic resources have become a less important factor, but their socio-cultural and educational resources have grown in significance," says Dr. Bukodi. "

?Bukodi 博士說:“如果我們把20世紀90年代出生的孩子的學歷與20世紀50年代末和70年代初出生的孩子進行比較,我們會發現父母的經濟資源已經成為一個不那么重要的因素,但是他們的社會文化和教育資源已經變得越來越重要。"
That means that your parents' place in society and their own level of education still play a big part in how well you may do.


These experts are now calling for policy-makers to acknowledge that formal qualifications are only one channel for upward mobility for high-ability individuals of disadvantaged backgrounds.

Dr. Bukodi says: "These findings show that there are limits to how far inequalities of opportunity can be reduced through educational policy alone. Changes in educational policy aren't having the impact we want."
?Bukodi 博士說:"這些發現表明,僅僅通過教育政策就可以減少機會不平等的程度是有限的。 教育政策的變化沒有產生我們想要的影響。"
Apart from education, job training programmes, promotions or becoming self-employed in higher-level occupations are important channels for upward mobility.

Bukodi co-authored a recent book on this issue with Dr. John Goldthorpe who commented that, "The real mobility problem is that upward mobility?is falling while downward mobility is rising.

Bukodi最近與John Goldthorpe博士合著了一本關于這個問題的書,他評論說:"真正的流動性問題是,向上層流動性下降,而向下層流動性上升。
Young people now face less favourable mobility prospects than their parents or grandparents." If we are to reverse that trend, we need to look beyond formal education?to find other channels for success.
與他們的父母或祖父母相比,現在的年輕人在社會地位流動方面的前景不那么樂觀。" 如果我們要扭轉這一趨勢,我們需要超越正規教育,尋找其他成功的渠道。