Educational success among children of similar cognitive ability depends on their background



Britain's got talent—but we're still wasting it. That's the main finding of a new report by researchers from Oxford University published today.

英国有人才,但我们仍在浪费人才。 这是牛津大学研究人员今天发表的一份新报告的主要发现。

Children of similar cognitive ability have very different chances of educational success; it still depends on their parents' economic, socio-cultural and educational resources.

认知能力相似的儿童获得教育成功的机会却不同; 这取决于他们父母的经济实力、社会文化和教育资源。
This contradicts a commonly held view that these days that our education system has developed enough to give everyone a fighting chance.


The researchers, led by Dr. Erzsébet Bukodi from Oxford's Department of Social Policy and Intervention, looked at data from cohorts of children born in three decades: 1950s, 1970s and 1990s.

牛津大学社会政策研究部门的Erzsébet Bukodi博士带领的研究人员,研究了出生在50年代、70年代和90年代三个时段的儿童的数据。

They found significant evidence of a wastage of talent. Individuals with high levels of cognitive ability but who are disadvantaged in their social origins are persistently unable to translate their ability into educational attainment to the same extent as their more advantaged counterparts.

他们发现了人才流失的重要原因。 具有高水平认知能力但在社会出身方面处于劣势的个体,始终无法与那些条件较好的人达到相同程度的教育成就。

The research, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, found that only about half of the difference in educational attainment between children from advantaged and disadvantaged parental backgrounds is due to differences in their cognitive ability. The other half is due to other factors associated with their backgrounds.


"If we compare the educational attainment of children born in the 1990s to those in the late 1950s and early 1970s, we see that parent's economic resources have become a less important factor, but their socio-cultural and educational resources have grown in significance," says Dr. Bukodi. "

 Bukodi 博士说:“如果我们把20世纪90年代出生的孩子的学历与20世纪50年代末和70年代初出生的孩子进行比较,我们会发现父母的经济资源已经成为一个不那么重要的因素,但是他们的社会文化和教育资源已经变得越来越重要。"
That means that your parents' place in society and their own level of education still play a big part in how well you may do.


These experts are now calling for policy-makers to acknowledge that formal qualifications are only one channel for upward mobility for high-ability individuals of disadvantaged backgrounds.

Dr. Bukodi says: "These findings show that there are limits to how far inequalities of opportunity can be reduced through educational policy alone. Changes in educational policy aren't having the impact we want."
 Bukodi 博士说:"这些发现表明,仅仅通过教育政策就可以减少机会不平等的程度是有限的。 教育政策的变化没有产生我们想要的影响。"
Apart from education, job training programmes, promotions or becoming self-employed in higher-level occupations are important channels for upward mobility.

Bukodi co-authored a recent book on this issue with Dr. John Goldthorpe who commented that, "The real mobility problem is that upward mobility is falling while downward mobility is rising.

Bukodi最近与John Goldthorpe博士合著了一本关于这个问题的书,他评论说:"真正的流动性问题是,向上层流动性下降,而向下层流动性上升。
Young people now face less favourable mobility prospects than their parents or grandparents." If we are to reverse that trend, we need to look beyond formal education to find other channels for success.
与他们的父母或祖父母相比,现在的年轻人在社会地位流动方面的前景不那么乐观。" 如果我们要扭转这一趋势,我们需要超越正规教育,寻找其他成功的渠道。