New studies are taking stock of how inequalities outside school influence the course of students.
We knew that the typical day of a student at Clichy-sous-Bois is not really the same as that of a student from the centre of Paris, mainly because of different life conditions: parents absent more oftne, bigger families, lower education level of parents, etc.
A study by SIRIUS French national partner AFEV, released on 24th September, which includes more than 600 children enrolled in CM1 and CM2 in the priority education network and in city-centre schools, tells us precisely the extent of the gulf between these two worlds. It portrays a school strongly marked by “spatial segregation”, explains Nina Schmidt of the Inequality Observatory.
Children who go to school in institutions that are part of the priority education network are much less likely to attend museums (35% against 76%) or to be given books by their parents (44% against 67 %). However, they more often eat fast food (38% against 26%) or go to shopping centers (55% against 46%), which are less fulfilling activities. Budding botanists are less likely: only 13% of them say they go on nature walks, compared to 41% of others.
More worrisome according to the study, is that a significant proportion of these children (10-20%) are in a state of “major cultural deprivation”, saying that they “never go on holiday” (12%), have “never gone to a show, a museum or to the city centre” (10%, 9%, 8%), have “no access to books at home” (19%), and “never received a book as a gift” (20%). We know, according to Eric Charbonnier, education expert at the OECD, that children whose parents read them a book once a week perform better in French. These CM1-CM2 children therefore are less likely to be good in this area, even though they to to school. “Schools can not do everything to reduce inequalities’ in education, according to Nina Schmidt .
Read more via Slate (in French)