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OAFP 4415 - Shaping Education

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2020-2021

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


There are no special prerequisites. The course is often based on articles from academic journals, reports from international institutions (OECD, UNESCO, World Bank, etc.) and working papers in sociology, economics, and science of education.

Course Description

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Everyone agrees today that education has many benefits for the employment and income prospects of individuals, but also in other areas of life, such as health and citizenship. It is at the heart of the economic and social progress of nations. These economic and social benefits will be discussed in the first part of the course. But the schooling achievement of many students is still hampered by several factors, such as their parents' socioeconomic background, their gender, and their ethno-racial origin. These factors are a source of inequalities which will be also examined in the course. We will also present the results of recent research concerning the involvement of parents in the educational success of their children, the integration of the children of immigrants through education, and the effects of digital technologies on the acquisition of cognitive and non-cognitive skills of students. The references used in the course come from several disciplines. More specifically, the course draws on both the work carried out over the past twenty years by sociologists, economists, and educational scientists. The course is based on a non-formal presentation of the main concepts, works and results which are at the center of this research. From this point of view, the approach adopted here is that of “socioeconomics”. Socioeconomics is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. So “shaping education” means “how social and economic processes shape education, education systems and education policy”.


FOUGERE, Denis (Research Director CNRS)

Pedagogical format

Twelve lecture courses, plus a group work for preparing a final survey of three academic papers (a group comprises two or three students).

Course validation

Each student of the class will be asked to write (with one or two other students of the class) a survey on a given topic (approximately 25 pages). For writing this survey, students will work in groups of two or three students. A list of survey topics (based on a reading list of three papers) will be distributed by the instructor to the students during the 2nd or 3rd session of the course. The survey will be given by the students to the instructor after the last session of the course. The exam grade is the grade given by the instructor to this survey.


Students should read working papers, articles published in academic reviews, and chapters of institutional reports after each session of the course to deepen their understanding of the covered topics. The reading list corresponding to a session will be distributed by the instructor during the session.

Required reading

  • OECD (2019), Trends Shaping Education 2019. OECD Publishing, Paris.
  • UNESCO (2020), Global Education Monitoring Report 2020. Inclusion and education: All means all. UNESCO, Paris, 424 pages.
  • OCDE (2020), Education at a Glance 2020: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris.
  • S. Burgess (2016), “Human Capital and Education: The State of the Art in the Economics of Education”, IZA Discussion Papers No. 9885, Bonn.
  • D. Reynolds, P. Sammons, B. De Fraine, J. Van Damme, T. Townsend, C. Teddlie & S. Stringfield (2014), “Educational effectiveness research: a state-of-the-art review, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 25:2, 197-230.

Additional required reading

  • Hanushek (E. A.) and Welch (F.), Handbook of the economics of education, Volumes 1 & 2, Elsevier, 2006
  • Hanushek (E. A.), Machin (S. J.) and Woessmann (L.), Handbook of the economics of education, Volumes 3 and 4, Elsevier, 2010
  • J. H. Ballantine, F. H. Hammack, J. Stuber (2017). The sociology of education. A systematic analysis. 8th edition, Routledge
  • The Routledge International Handbook of the Sociology of Education (2010). Edited by M. W. Apple, S. J. Ball & L. A. Gandin. Routledge
  • J. Blanden & S. McNally (2014). Reducing inequality in education and skills: implications for economic growth. EENEE Analytical Report No. 21. European Expert Network on Economics of Education