He Whakaaro: What are 15-year-olds’ qualification expectations and are we helping to fulfil them? Publications
All learners should feel confident and be equipped to pursue their aspirations, including in their qualification and career choices. This paper uses PISA data to compare 15-year-olds’ qualification expectations with their qualification outcomes nine years later and examines differences between expectations and attainment by socio-economic status, gender and ethnicity groups. While more than half of students had met or exceeded their expectations, the education system has produced disparities between demographic groups and has thus failed to deliver equitable outcomes. This paper presents factors that predict expectations and their fulfilment, before concluding with a discussion of drivers underlying expectations and attainment, including policies and practices.
Author(s): Emma Medina and Ryan Sutcliffe, with analytical contributions by David Earle and David Scott, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: March 2021
- By 2018, about 40% of students had achieved the qualification they expected when they were 15 in 2009, 20% had exceeded their expectations, and the remaining 40% had not met their expectations.
- Three-quarters of 15-year-olds in 2009 expected to complete a post-school qualification. Nine years later, about 60% of all students had completed one.
- Half of the students who expected a degree or higher had attained one; this proportion was higher for girls than boys, and higher for socio-economically advantaged students than disadvantaged students, respectively.
- Several factors independently predicted degree expectations, including gender, socio-economic status, literacy, parents’ expectations, attitudes toward school and learning, occupation expectations, adequacy of educational materials and student-teacher relationships.
- Other evidence suggests that disparities in expectations and attainment are influenced by teacher expectations and cultural responsiveness, streaming and gaps in learning opportunities, resources and information.
- For these reasons, socio-economically disadvantaged students, boys, and Māori students were each less likely than the average student to expect or attain tertiary education. These groups, apart from boys, were doubly impacted in that they were also less enabled to meet their specific expectations. Pacific students had similar tertiary expectations when compared to the average student but were less likely to attain a tertiary qualification.
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