Exploring equality and equity in education
Exploring equality and equity in education

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Exploring equality and equity in education

3 An example of the construction of inequality

You will now read part of a report by Professor Danny Dorling, who is Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford. You will find other examples of his work and views if you put his name into a search engine.

Activity 3

Timing: Approx. 1 hour
  1. Read Chapter 2 (pp. 61–9) of Education inequality across EU regions [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .
  2. As you read, consider:
    • the factors that influence educational disparities across regions and nations
    • mechanisms which might be used to offset the impact of neighbourhood on educational opportunities. Which of these do you find most convincing?


Educational experience can reflect and compound the effects of wider socio-economic disadvantage, but the extent to which this occurs in a particular locality and for different groups will be influenced by the mediating role played by the state and other bodies responsible for education provision, not only through legal, financial and organisational policies, but also by local history and social relations within that locality.

A key point in Dorling’s article is the way in which neighbourhood identity and its meaning are socially constructed, shaping and being shaped by residents’ aspirations and values around education. Identities are thus dynamic rather than static (p. 63).


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