Third online think tank – report

The third online Think Tank event of the I4S project on the data provision within the context of social inequalities was held on 29 August 2022. Only three of the seven invited guests could attend the workshop due to health reasons, but the Irish, the Estonian and the Belgian researchers had a lively discussion.

They agreed that there is a wealth of data available at national level to examine school inequalities, but also noted the need for multidisciplinary and mixed-methods research that can identify and examine local manifestations of school inequalities at both factual and nuanced levels. It is challenging to compare data collected from national and school-level measures at the international level, because what exactly is meant by an indicator may vary from culture to culture, as defined by the measurement instrument. There is a great need for harmonization of European measurements in terms of data collection, as without this it is difficult to carry out comparative research across countries, even within Europe. It was also agreed that available data are useless, if they are not used in the right way: the primary aim of data collection and analysis on school inequalities should be to provide decision-makers with concrete answers to the question of what innovative teaching and learning methodologies need to be introduced in a school in order to enable the school to respond appropriately to the specific context in order to alleviate existing school inequalities.

We are grateful to our European colleagues for participating. We continue our online workshop series on 8 September 2022.