A new method for conceptualising and testing how selection effects in education may influence educational inequalities

Selection effects in education (who goes where, gets what, and how much) shape educational opportunities. This has profound consequences for the structure of society as well as the life chances of individuals and groups. However, within the quantitative approach to educational research, current statistical methods can struggle to evaluate simultaneously both the presence, and impacts, of these effects.
In response, this talk provides: * Describes different types of selection effects in education; their consequences for educational opportunities; and the statistical methods that are used in their identification * Two empirical illustrations that show how improved detection and evaluation of selection effects in education can be achieved via the use of a relatively new statistical approach (Airbag Moderation):
o Example 1 concerns US high schools. Specifically, the academic track placement of 10,151 highschoolers attending 580 public high schools, whether they subsequently enrolled in a four-year college programme, and the socioeconomic status of their families.
o Example 2 concerns UK early years settings. Specifically, the hours that 1,201 children spent attending these settings, these children’s non-verbal cognition at 51 months, and the socioeconomic status of their families. * Opportunities for researchers to take work in this area forward.

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