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Decentralization and Privatization in Chile: A Mixed Method Approach for Understanding Social Reproduction Throughout Education

  • Author(s): Morales Cardenas, Paulina Veronica
  • Advisor(s): Torres, Carlos A
  • et al.
Abstract

This mixed methods study explores how market-oriented policies, specifically privatization and decentralization of the educational system in Chile have impacted students' academic achievement since the Change in the Constitution in 1980. First, using teachers' interviews I identify variables that influences students' academic achievement and organize them by actor involved in the schooling process. From this initial qualitative analysis, it is developed a three level hierarchical linear model to identify how much of the variance in predicted test scores is determine by the variables identified by the teachers using Education Quality Measurement System (SIMCE) database for second grade high school students.Following the social reproduction theory developed by Pierre Bourdieu education is reproducing social inequalities rather than providing equal access to education quality and therefore promoting social mobility. This study finds that teachers identify four actors involved in the educational process: family, student, teachers, and school. Teachers recognize more frequently variables related with students' background characteristics rather than teachers or school. Additionally, they name more variables associated with themselves than in the other three actors involved in the educational process. This findings are supported by the multilevel analysis, in where students' characteristics explain the largest percentage of variability in SIMCE scores (78.1\%), meaning that within the same classroom students differ considerably from each other in SIMCE scores. The second largest percentage is from the school (18.3\%), which confirms the idea that within the same school, the differences among classrooms are minimal, confirming the idea that Chilean school group students from similar background characteristics.

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