Track recommendation bias: Gender, migration background and SES bias over a 20-year period in the Dutch context

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Bias in track recommendations is an important mechanism, which causes education inequity in a tracked educational system (streaming). If teacher biases in track recommendations change over time, inequity in society and in the education system may also change. We investigated changes in track recommendation bias over time for gender, immigration status and socioeconomic status (SES), based on a longitudinal empirical study of nine cohorts of Dutch students in their final year (grade 6) of primary education in the period 1995-2014. An overview of educational and societal trends was provided, alongside the empirical analysis, to explain the findings in variation over time in track recommendation bias. Results indicate that the level of track recommendations provided to the students gradually increased over time. For a similar performance, a higher track recommendation was awarded in 2014 compared to 1995. This development coincided with an increase in parental education level, the valuing of education and the introduction of lower-status pre-vocational education tracks. Track recommendation bias favouring students with a migrant background and female students decreased, which coincided with growing cultural intolerance and attention to the boy problem'. Bias in track recommendations related to SES appeared stable, with only small deviations from year to year. The results of this study indicate that track recommendation bias and teacher considerations are dependent on time and context.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)847-874
Aantal pagina's28
TijdschriftBritish Educational Research Journal
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
StatusPublished - okt-2018

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