Cross-nationally comparative research on racial and ethnic skill disparities: questions, findings, and pitfalls

Prof. dr. Mark Levels, Maastricht University

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The future successful participation of immigrant children and the children of immigrants in societies and labor markets of western countries depends largely on their childhood experiences. I discuss racial and ethnic inequalities in skills and attitudes of children in primary and secondary education between 2000 and 2017. I present the findings of a systematic review of studies that used large-scale assessment data (i.e. PISA, PIRLS, and TIMMS) data for studying immigrant children’s educational performance. I discuss the relevance of origin and destination country differences, for explaining differences in math, reading, and science performance, and identify the evolution of research questions that have been addressed with such data, discuss major strengths and shortcomings, and discuss the main findings. I also present findings from a study on civic attitudes of immigrant children. I place this literature in a wider societal context, discuss implications, and critically assess how findings are used in the public and political debates.

About the speaker

Prof. dr. Mark Levels (1977) is a Professor of Health, Education and Work at Maastricht University. He is program director of the research program Health, Skills, and Inequality at the Research Centre for Education and the Labor Market (ROA) of Maastricht University, member of the ROA management team, a fellow of the Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB), a fellow of the Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE)of Maastricht University, and is a fellow of the Amsterdam Centre for Learning Analytics (ACLA). He teaches macrosociology at University College Maastricht (UCM).

Mark uses quantitative, qualitative and experimental sociological methods to study how individuals’ lives are shaped by government. He leads a large international research consortium that studies how governments can mediate the impact of AI and robotization on work, education, inequality, and welfare in Europe (TECHNEQUALITY). He is also one of the principal architects of the Nationaal Cohortonderzoek Onderwijs (NCO) and was appointed as one of the first national coordinators of the NCO with the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The NCO is one of the largest and most comprehensive research efforts on education in the world. He also currently coordinates an international research group that studies individual and institutional determinants of youth inactivity in various countries (NEET).

Venue: YouTube

Date: 25 November 2020

Time: 19:00 - 20:30