Foto: Matthias Friel
Only 150 years ago, people were able to get a job in the labor market, only asking for work. For most of the people work was a question of labor demand. If a worker was needed, the pure workforce was sufficient to carry out the activity. Collected experience, personal reference letter or family references where helpful and increased the likelihood of getting a job. But, basically no formal training or conformed certificate was necessary to enter the workforce. This has changed drastically in the course of educational expansion: Today, young people must have passed different qualification levels from school level to vocational training or tertiary level and it is required to show different levels of qualification by official certificates. Hence, nowadays credentials have become the gatekeeper to getting a job. The modern ‘Schooled Society’ (Baker 2014) is based on the principle that credentials are necessary to enter qualified positions, wherefore a continuously increasing number of occupations require formal education.
Over the last 150 years, the educational level of the population increased in almost all countries. Never before, were this many people so highly educated, and never before, families spend so much money to get their children educated. David Baker (2014) called this development ”the education revolution”. Over 4 family generations only, education has become a universal feature for all children.
However, up to now social inequality in educational attainment remains in all societies. Either the access to school and to different school levels or the educational outcomes measured by grades, competencies or credentials follow country specific tracks of social inequality. But why can this be the case when the upgrading, understood as the ”big picture” of the educational development in the last 150 years is just an ongoing process?
In this seminar, we explore the worldwide development of the upgrading of the population. We ask, what kind of consequences arise out of this development for families and the education of their children.
The seminar will be held in English.
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