An Analytic Model for the Comparative Degree of "Eliteness" in Education Systems: Mechanisms, Inequality and Indicators

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
Reinhold SACKMANN, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Currently, the comparison between countries on the importance of separate elite education is rare and mainly qualitative and descriptive. The aim of the paper is to present an analytical model of elite formation and to suggest indicators to measure it. The empirical material used is on the one hand a cross-comparison of mechanisms of elite formation in different levels of education systems (preschool, elementary, secondary school, higher education), on the other hand a longitudinal quantitative analysis of elite formation in higher education in Germany and France.

In a parsimonious analytical model, the degree of eliteness is set by mechanisms of a) choosing an educational Institution; b) organisational formation of profiles; c) selecting a group of students and d) forming cohesive groups of students. Comparing the mechanisms reveals that the institutionalised form of selection is by far the most essential stratifying mechanism. State-authorised publicised indicators (of choice, selection, profile and cohesion) valorise procedures of single educational institutions to proceedings of education systems.

New forms of quantitative measurement of eliteness in education systems (e.g. Gini coefficient; regional disparities) are tested in the comparison of Germany and France. It is shown that elite stratification can concentrate high achievers either vertically (in organisations) or horizontally (in disciplines).

The results demonstrate that new models explaining and measuring inequality of separating the top decile in education systems add to our knowledge on stratification processes of societies.