The educational context that children are born into dramatically shapes their life chances, affecting not only their future economic well-being, but also their propensity to participate in civic and political life. The importance of education is hardly a new insight; however, an increasing body of research points to the impact of different educational contexts on a range of outcomes. Yet this previous research provides little systematic, comparative data on the educational contexts of today's adult population, or their long-term impact on social and political outcomes.
SCHOOLPOL asks three major questions:
- How and why do formal educational structures vary?
- How and why do regional educational structures vary?
- How does this variation affect:
- social mobility
- political behaviours of those educated in varying systems.
To investigate these questions, this project will create the first systematic database of educational policy from 1945-2015 and regional educational performance from 1980-2015, across a group of selected democracies. Then, it will link these two datasets to a range of existing surveys of skills and political attitudes. This research will investigate the consequences of earlier political choices over education on long-term social and economic outcomes, examining the link between varying cohort educational experiences and social mobility and political participation.
This innovative five year project breaks new ground in both the study of education and advanced political economies, providing crucial resources for policymakers and academics to inform their understanding and support educational reform.