9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN10 Sociology of Education

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Social Inequalities in Education I Building I, 2E6

Identifying factors influencing school success in lower- and upper-secondary Romanian schools

Statement of problem: Our paper is based on the outcome of a national survey for The social diagnosis of school success using the social measure of school success project. Theoretical background: The article is based on the eco-interactional-developmental perspective, according to which the balance of risk and protective factors experienced by students in their social environments influences their level of school success. The core dimensions identified by this theory and supported by field research can be grouped into 5 main domains: individual, family, friends, school, and neighbourhood (community). Method: A Romanian version of School Success Profile questionnaire, designed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA), was applied to a nationally representative sample of 2700 students, aged 13-18, and enrolled in the compulsory educational system. The purpose of the instrument is to identify the adolescents most likely to encounter school-risk situations. Results: Data revealed significant associations between demographic variables (ethnicity, residence, gender) and respondents? school performance. Moreover, each of the 5 main domains (and dimensions like Trouble Avoidance, Optimism, Adjustment, Home Academic Environment, Parent Educational Support, Friend Support, Teacher Support, School Safety, and Neighbourhood Safety) had a significant effect. Conclusions: Even though all the above-mentioned factors have been controlled, residence (rural), ethnicity (Roma) and gender (male) still have a greater negative effect on children?s academic performance, thus raising the question on how these inequalities can be tackled.