Positive but also negative effects of ethnic diversity in schools on educational performance? An empirical test using cross-national PISA data
In this inaugural lecture, I will estimate the effects on language skills of two characteristics of school populations: average/share and diversity, both on the ethnic and the sociocultural dimension. I will use the cross-national PISA 206 data, for both 15-year-old native pupils and pupils with an immigrant background. A larger ethnic diversity of schools in secondary education hampers the educational performance of both pupils with an immigrant background and native pupils, but the negative effects are smaller in education systems with little stratification and strongest in highly stratified education systems. The sociocultural diversity of schools does not have an effect on educational performance, but these effects are positive in highly stratified educational systems and negative in hardly stratified systems. However, the average parental educational level of schools is very important for the educational performance of children, and this hardly differs between education systems. A higher share of pupils with an immigrant background in a school hampers educational performance, but if these pupils have the same regional origin (Islamic countries; non-Islamic Asian countries), a higher share of pupils with an immigrant background at that school promotes educational performance. Pupils originating from Islamic countries have substantially lower language scores than equivalent pupils with an immigrant background from other regions. This cannot be explained by the individual socioeconomic backgrounds, school characteristics, or education systems.
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