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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Gorard, S. & See, B.H. (2013). Overcoming disadvantage in education. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Governments, local authorities, school leaders, and teachers all over the world want to improve the educational attainment and participation of all students, and to minimise any systematic differences in outcomes for social and economic groups. A particular concern is for those students from backgrounds that may objectively disadvantage them at school and beyond. However, considerable effort and money is currently being wasted on policies, practices and interventions that have very little hope of success, and that may indeed endanger the progress that is being made otherwise. The poor quality of much education research evidence, coupled with an unwillingness among users of evidence to discriminate appropriately between what we know and do not know, means that opportunities are being missed. At a time of reduced public spending it is important that proposed interventions are both effective and efficient.

Overcoming Disadvantage in Education is unique in the way that it:

Shows where the solutions to underachievement and poverty lie
combines primary(new), secondary (official) and published (review) evidence
distinguishes between those possible causes of underachievement that are largely fixed for individuals, and those that are modifiable.
There are evidence-informed ways forward in handling under-achievement and increasing social justice in education. This book shows which the more likely approaches are, and where further work could yield further benefits.

This book will be a key text for students, developing academic researchers and supervisors in the social sciences, and for those research users charged with improving educational outcomes.

School of Education