Access to senior secondary science and mathematics: Examining the evidence for stratification in an Australian school system

Jenny Dean, Philip Roberts, Steve Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This research investigates access to senior school science and mathematics subjects offered in the final year of secondary schooling. Using data from the most populous Australian state of New South Wales, we examine whether stratification occurs in access to science and mathematics curricula. We find that the opportunity to study these subjects differs by key school characteristics, including location, socioeconomic composition and school sector. We find that while some science subjects and entry level mathematics are offered in most schools, substantial inequalities exist in access to the most advanced level of mathematics and chemistry. School location, socioeconomic composition, enrolment size and the availability of teachers predict the probability of whether a school offers the least and most advanced science and mathematics subjects. The findings highlight that stratification in curricula offerings occurs systemically and may intensify educational inequalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2023

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