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Education PolicyEvidence of Equity and Effectiveness$
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Stephen Gorard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447342144

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447342144.001.0001

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Widening participation to other opportunities

Widening participation to other opportunities

(p.187) Twelve Widening participation to other opportunities
Education Policy

Stephen Gorard

Policy Press

This chapter brings place and time more strongly to the fore in explanatory models of learning and distinguishes between biographical and historical changes. It also tries to distinguish between the determinants of, and barriers to, participation. The chapter provides two explanations: one based on choice and one based on structural and other determinants, arguing that either or both is possible. People's patterns of participation may be determined by prior (and future) events in their lives, or these events may create a personal culture that colours the objective opportunity structure in such a way that people's choices are frequently predictable. In fact, rather than seeing these two mechanisms of agency as alternatives, the chapter points out that they could be different descriptions of the same events, with both contributing to our understanding. The first appears more naturally when analysing in-depth data as narratives, while the second appears more naturally when the same data is used to create predictive models.

Keywords:   learning, participation, agency, predictive models

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