Educational policy analysis archives

Educational policy analysis archives

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Educational policy analysis archives
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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 6, no. 4 (January 30, 1998).
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b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c January 30, 1998
Comparative issues of selection in Europe : the case of Greece / Dionysios Gouvias.
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1 of 32 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 6 Number 4January 30, 1998ISSN 1068-2341A peer-reviewed scholarly electronic journal. Edit or: Gene V Glass Glass@ASU.EDU. College of Education Arizo na State University,Tempe AZ 85287-2411 Copyright 1998, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES.Permission is hereby granted to copy any article provided that ED UCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES is credited and copies are not sold. Comparative Issues of Selection in Europe: The Case of Greece Dionysios Gouvias University of Manchester Abstract This article deals with inequality of access to hig her education in Greece, and especially, the case of the Metropolitan Area of At hens. Specifically, I deal with a general overview of the debates about "selection" in the ed ucational systems of Europe, with special reference to the case of Greece. It is argued here that in those levels of the educational "ladder" where the degree of specialisation and the need for individual selection is insignificant, inequalities exist, but are not prof ound. On the contrary, in the upper levels, and especially as the time to enter (or to be train ed to enter) the labour market comes closer, students' success depends much more on externally a ssessed examination performance and, therefore, a more rigorous selection process emerge s--a process that is decisively influenced by the labourmarket requirements and limitations. Finally, an extended examination of the evolution of the Greek school-system and the change s in examination practices, and the relationship between the structure of the school sy stem and the job-market, will be attempted.General Framework During the 1950s and 1960s, the study of educationuntil then dominated by the traditional "individualistic" values of "excellence and "merit"--became more closely associated with the social scientific approach. Tha t is not surprising, if one considers the context of education on a global scale, after the S econd World War. All disciplines included in the so-called social sciences domain (especially sociology and psychology, and very often economics as well) faced highly controversial probl ems concerning the consequences of the rapid growth in school enrolment rates that charact erized most countries. The enrolment explosion at the secondary school level and expande d admissions to university preparatory schools as well as to the university itself have gi ven rise to questions about the "quality" of students processed through a system of mass educati on, as compared to an elitist one. In a


2 of 32selective system, children are allocated to differe nt types of school at early ages by means of organisational differentiation. Also at an early st age in their school careers, grouping practices are employed to spot those who are suppos ed to be particularly academically oriented. Nevertheless, selection is not--as has been argued in the past--only about "sorting out" the "ablest" or "academically oriented" pupils. At the same time it is a general social phenomenon, an indispensable aspect of the existenc e of human societies. From the employment of a job-candidate, to the election of a partyleader, selection procedures are always followed to arrive at a final choice. In tha t sense, selection is not only unavoidable, but also crucial for every social function. Sociolo gists since Durkheim's age have concluded that school contributes to the continuity of "socia l balance", by transmitting to the new generations rules, principles and moral categories, which reflect the society's "views" about what is good and bad, progressive and conservative, and the like. The controversy starts when one questions the legitimacy of those values a nd principles as serving specific interests of specific social "groups", or "classes", or "laye rs" of society. In an ideal society, only the inherited abilities of an individual would define h is or her position within the social system, and that could start from the very early stages of socialization, including socialization to school. However, many factors other than the abilit y of the students influence their eventual educational experiences and attainments. These incl udes differences in the level and quality of education available in the country, region, or c ommunity in which they live; differential access to educational facilities according to their social class, religion, race and ethnic origins; differences in the willingness and abiliti es of their parents and others to provide the financial and psychological support necessary for t he maximization of their potential talents. Theoretical Debate on the Relation Between Asessmen t and Selection As Wood (in Gipps and Murphy, 1994, p.40) suggested the definition of equal opportunities includes: 1) equal life chance, 2) op en competition for scarce opportunities, 3) equal cultivation of different capacities and 4) in dependence of educational attainment from social origins. However, one could hardly ever argue that all the a bove aspects of the notion of "equal opportunity" were consistently taken under c onsideration in the policyplanning process of various European educational systems in the past. In each European country, there have developed different types of examination practices, at national, regional and local levels, based on school or on external assessment, depending on the structural elements of each system, and on the relationship between educat ion and society as a whole. The move through the centuries, from the monastic d iscipline of the Middle Ages, to the "refined" and "noble" ideas of "humanism" and cultivated spirit" during the Enlightenment, and then to the intensely competitiv e system of hierarchically organized instruction (initiated by the Jesuits in order to a dapt their religious purposes to the progressively individualistic social climate of the Industrial Revolution), followed patterns already evident in global societal changes. As Durk heim argued "it is no accident that competition becomes more lively and plays a more su bstantial role in society as the movement towards individualisation becomes more adv anced." (Durkheim [1969], in Karabel & Halsey, 1977, p.105) Indeed, the "industrialisation" of the western Euro pe, and the enormous expansion of trade on an international scale, influenced the edu cational systems by "injecting" into them a more "utilitarian" set of values, and by making the m more open to competition, which it was thought would enable the "ablest" to prevail. The unprecedented changes brought on by the Industr ial Revolution had enormous


3 of 32economic, political and broader social effects. The great mass of people, rising from modest, though rarely very deep, poverty, and the even grea ter mass of those pressing below them out of the labouring poor into the middle classes, were too numerous to be absorbed. They came to think of themselves increasingly as a "midd le class", and not merely as a "middle rank" in society. They claimed rights and power; su bsequently, they sought better education for their children. (See Hobsbawm, 1968, pp.79-96) Moreover, on clearly ideological grounds, liberal from the 18th century (like Adam S mith) had been calling for reform in favor of the rising middle classes, and for selecti on by "merit". Thus, the "fairest" way to select students seemed to be by the introduction of a widespread system of examination and certification, which would be monitored and control led by various experts bodies at the national or local level. In other more centralized educational systems, such as those of Russia and France, any kind of school selection was from very early on dir ectly influenced and controlled by the State mechanism. In the former, the move from the T sarist "impenetrable polity" to the Bolshevic "socialist" regime after the 1917 Revolut ion, ensured that political manipulation would remain the principal source of change, no mat ter how great the differences in social philosophy and political goals. (Archer, 1979, pp.2 84-306) In the latter, the existence of a highly centralized bureaucracy from the time of Nap oleon, not only offered the most prestigious professional opportunities, but also af fected enormously the "selection" practices, under a nationally homogenous system of organization, supervision and certification. Examination practices--as indeed mos t of the school practices--were "dictated by the Baccalaureat, circumscribed by the standardi sed curriculum and supervised by the Conseil de l' Universite and the inspectorate". (ib id., p.307) Systematic criticism of the "distortive" distinctio n between success and failure that the examinations produce, started very early in Europe, and it reflected functional, methodological and sociological concerns. The targe t of that criticism was mainly the "selection" aspect of examinations, and its "side-e ffects" on the curriculum, the learning processes (i.e. promotion of uncritical memorizatio n) and the psychological development of each individual pupil (i.e. stress and confusion re sulting from a strong competitive environment). As far as the curriculum was concerned, despite the widely accepted principle that the examination content should reflect the curriculum c ontent, there have been numerous examples of the reversed happening in the past. The existence of "subject groups" or "branches of study", of the upper-secondary school in most of the European systems, reveals the "dependence" of the curriculum on the examinati on requirements. (Polydorides, 1990, p.87) Instead of having examinations assessing the (achievement in a given) curriculum, what happens is that the curriculum is "adopted" to the specific requirements and limits that a certain assessment system imposes, usually as man datory rules or guidelines. In a few words, the advantages and disadvantages of the formal assessment systems (school-based or "external"), as they have been ide ntified by the research community (see Broadfoot, 1979; Wood, 1987; Gipps and Murphy, 1994 ) can be summarised as below: Advantages elimination of the influence of "luck". adoption of different assessment procedures for dif ferent student "potentials". homogeneity of practice, since the assessment is ma de according to common criteria. effective administration of procedures. smaller danger of confusion in school level. Disadvantages


4 of 32lack of account of the internal school practices. very "narrow" perception of the notion of "adequate school achievement". danger of prejudice against certain social and ethn ic sub-groups. limited "descriptive", and mainly "interpretive" re sults, and therefore inadequate information for remediation or improvment. In addition, there have been strong arguments again st the more "extreme" face of assessment: the standardized tests. As Wood points out, "the notion of the standard tests a way of offering impartial assessments of course a p owerful one, though if there is not equality of educational opportunity preceding the t est, then the "fairness" of this approach is called into question" (quoted in Gipps and Murphy, 1994, p.15) One of the concerns expressed frequently by various researchers is that we are unlikely to know that we have provided equal opportunities until we get equal out comes. But, if equal opportunities relates to not putting obstacles in the way of particular g roups, it does not follow necessarily that factors such as interest, diligence, relevant exper ience, socioeconomic, cultural and linguistic environment will be equal among groups. In other words and despite a lack of consensus there seems to be a general understandi ng that formal "equality of opportunity" is not sufficient to ensure fairness, nor that stri ving for "equality of outcomes" is sound, since "different groups may indeed have different q ualities and abilities and certainly experiences." (Gipps and Murphy, 1994, p.17) It is these issues that often raise the problem of "bias" and "validity". "Bias" is generally taken to mean that "the assessment is unf air to one particular group or another".(ibid., p.18) Of course this very general definition does not necessarily address the construction of the various standardised tests, but rather it stresses the unsuitability of some tests for specific measurements. In other words, di fferential performance on a test by different social groups may not be the result of bi as in assessment; it might have been caused by real differences in performance among groups, wh ich may in turn be due to differing access to learning or differing life experiences. I f one accepts that differences in interest and motivation are considered to be biasing factors, al l tests or assessment methods may be said to have a certain amount of bias. Often in the past American policy makers, under the pressure of "affirmative action" in the last three decades, tried to manipulate test items and devise tests which favored blacks over whites. Cert ain kinds of problem are being encountered recently by English counterparts, in th e latter's attempts to deal with the increasingly controversial issue of "adequately" and at the same time "fairly" assessing the performance of ethnic minorities. "Validity" is closely related to "bias," although i t has a more "technical" connotation. It is generally seen as the extent to which an asse ssment tool often a standardised test measures what it claims to measure. In that sense, one can easily have a test which, according to certain criteria ("criterion validatio n"), may be claimed to be "valid", but at the same time might be claimed inappropriate, or irrele vant, or meaningless, to a certain sub-group of test-takers (lack of "content validity "). Today, in the midst of an international trend towar ds standardisation of assessment procedures (see for example the research carried ou t by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement), one overrid ing fact must not be forgotten: differences in group performance may be due more to the environmental, psycho-social influences that impinge on groups of pupils, or con siderably affect the content, administration and scoring of tests, than to any so rt of hereditary ability. School Structures in Europe


5 of 32 Europe today is in the midst of a process of socioe conomic unification in its western regions and a desperate struggle for national ident ification (as an effect of the late 1980s disintegration) throughout its eastern and southe astern parts Despite the fact that one cannot possibly speak of a unified entity under the name "Europe," today), it is of great importance for one to see how selection mechanisms operate in this geographic whole. From the following brief account, I hope that many usefu l comparisons may be derived between the context in which the Greek educational system d eveloped and currently operates. It is hoped that these comparisons help clarify various e lements of the Greek system and serve as a guide for future analyses of it Unavoidably, we must focus on Western Europe, due t o the availability of data and the possible familiarity with some of the relevant educational systems. Moreover, the guiding principles of Western European systems affe cted to a great extent the decision-making process and the orientation of the Greek educational policies in the last 100 years. Reform movements in Western European education have gradually gathered momentum throughout the region (Note 1) since the s tock-taking days of the immediate post-war period. All countries without exception fo und themselves faced with the same problems. And these problems all turn on the single fact that the number of children seeking some form of post-primary education has grown out o f all proportion to the birth rate during the post-war years. As technology has developmented the need for greater social mobility has been recognised. In addition to a "basic" schoo ling, linked to primary education provision, it has been commonly held that there mus t be an "undifferentiated secondary education, with an integrated curriculum to replace the former crazy patchwork of differentiation" (Mallinson, 1980, p.67). Traditional secondary academic schools might be abl e to withstand change so long as students were recruited from the same "upper-middle and "bourgeois" class, but even then as student protests of the late 1960s demonstratedthe curriculum was also compelled in some measure to conform. There have been many commonalities in how these sys tems evolved to the present day. For example, fees in publicly maintained secon dary schools at least for the compulsory part were abolished, and many independ ent institutions came to arrangements whereby they also in certain circumstances could pr ovide free secondary education. All post-primary schools which still had continued to f unction as a reminder of the old "dual system" ("dual" in technical, as well as in social terms) were upgraded to the secondary level. Flexible arrangements-under national, regi onal or local initiatives--based on the principle of popular "enlightenment" through libera l studies, have been made in adult education, and measures have been taken for the exa mination and certification of people who had never before had formal schooling. In respo nse to pressures from industrial and commercial organizations for improved links between the formal educational instruction and the requirements of a demanding working environment a number of apprenticeship schemes (in-work training, with part-time attendance of a v ocational course in school) have been set up. Lastly, examination hurdles formerly placed at the completion of a child's primary school course to decide to what type of secondary e ducation she or he should attend, were swept away. Everybody was to have the right to some kind of secondary education, at least up to the end of compulsory schooling. Of course, differences between the various systems never ceased to exist in certain key characteristics: the multitude of alternative paths" after basic schooling, definitions of what constitutes "primary" and "secondary" levels, starting and leaving age for compulsory schooling, possible charging of fees at a certain l evel of schooling, opportunities for apprenticeships, degree of centralization of contro l on administration or curriculum policy,


6 of 32and the like. These issues had to be dealt with in each country individually and as quickly as possible since two major problems arose: The post-war baby-boom in combination with the afor ementioned influences caused pressing demands for new buildings, teaching materi als and enough teachers to deal with the varying needs of the new influx. While in the past, children who had not properly mastered certain "basic skills" by the end of primary school either never sought secondary education or were held back until the skills had been mastered, it was now thought that the "mass" secondary school ha d to be remedial and make up deficiencies in such skills before any secondary co urse could be of any worth. A very large number of children would abandon schoo l as soon as they reached the compulsory age limit. Therefore, attention should b e paid to preparing those children for the world of work. How the above issues have been dealt with by the va rious national school systems and how the selection mechanisms have been modified to satisfy the post-war pressures for better schooling (qualitatively and quantitatively) and equal opportunities, will be developed below.1. The Scandinavian System The model of schooling in the Scandinavian countrie s (including Denmark) is characterised by the promotion and, to an impressiv e extent, implementation of the "comprehensive" ideal. This ideal entails a dynamic approach to the fastgrowing needs created by the "triple explosion" of population, of knowledge and of aspirations, which in turn were the results of an "exceptionally rapid ur banization which all too soon revealed how underdeveloped and uneducated" was the populu s during the 1920s and 1930s. (Mallinson, 1980, p.173). Focusing on the Swedish a nd Danish systems, we may Construct a prototype of the "Scandinavian" school system--alth ough one must be careful not to overgeneralize these observations. One of the paths created in the Scaninavian system is That in which primary education is linked to lower-secondary in forming a somewhat "unified" and extended nine-year "elementary" school (folkeskole in Denmark). The ro le of this school is the integration of basic schooling (teaching of "arithmetic/mathematic s", native and in the later stages one foreign language, religious education, familiarizat ion with modern literature) with an introduction to vocational studies. (see Elvin, 198 1, pp.48-52) The upper-secondary school, usually starting at 16, is then divided into a general education section (gymnasium) and a vocational educ ation and training path. The former traditionally prepares students for higher educatio n, and the latter qualifies them for work in trade and industry. Another aspect of this model is that the gymnasium is not the only path to higher education. In Denmark, there is another type of pre paratory course for entry to higher education, the "Higher Preparatory Examination" cou rse, which takes two years (the former takes three) and entitles anyone who attended it even in a county adult center to participate in the relevant examination. Thus, apar t from the traditional way of gaining access to higher education, these reforms (the HF w as established in 1966) permitted more mature students "who have already experienced the e mployment market" to share the opportunity for tertiary education. (Winther-Jensen in Brock & Tulasiewicz, 1994, p.53) In Sweden there is no longer a school-leaving exami nation or test for entry to some form of higher education, since these were all repl aced by a certificate (slutbetyg) which lists


7 of 32the average mark per subject (out of a maximum of 5 ) attained by the student. As Mallinson informs us, in the early 1980s this reform was foll owed by an increase in the number of graduates of gymnasium entering some further study (Mallinson, 1980, p.177). 2. The "Benelux" Countries The structure of the educational systems of these c ountries is characterised by an influx of interconnected and balanced pathways towa rds either academic higher education or adequate preparation for working life. The distinct ion between general and technical or vocational education is rather blurred, since not o nly the different sub-types of secondary school offer a number of "specialisations" from a v ery early stage (immediately after the completion of primary school), but also the existen ce of a kind of "transition" period that enables the administration--as well as the pupils a nd their families--to choose the "best" way forward. In Belgium, after the reforms in 1969, secondary ed ucation (6 years) was divided into 3 cycles, each of two years' duration. The first cy cle constitutes a period of observation, the second a period of orientation and the last a perio d of specialization. Entry into a higher education institution is achiev ed on the basis of a passing-out examination after the completion of a full six-year course and a subsequent special examination in certain subjects. The former is inte rnally administered by the school but controlled by a special jury to ensure uniformity o f standards throughout the country (something extremely difficult, given the multiling ual, and subsequently multicultural, character of Belgian society). Successful candidate s are then awarded their certificat d'humanites which confers on them the right to pres ent themselves for an examen de maturite in three subjects related to the field of study they wishes to pursue at the university. In the Netherlands, the development of a "pluralist ic" system of educational instruction has been striking, because it comprises a multitude of sub-types within each type of educational establishment. More precisely, the p re-university general education is subdivided into four types of secondary school: a) the first, known as VWO, covers the ages 12-18 and consists of three kinds of schools: gymna sium, athenaeum, and the integrated VWO; b) the "senior general secondary education," k nown as HAVO, covers the ages 1217, and is primarily designed to prepare pupils for higher vocational education; c) the "junior general secondary education" (MAVO) covers the 12-1 6 age range, and prepares pupils for the b type; d) finally there is also the "elementar y general secondary education" (LAVO), which used to cover the 12-14 age range, but over t he years have been absorbed into larger combined schools. Higher education is itself fragmented into numerou s establishments, representing a wide diversity of school types. Thus, while univers ity entry is possible only after completion of the six-year "pre-university" course (VWO), admi ssion to other higher education institutes is based on the successful completion of a cycle of studies in a relevant technical-vocational secondary school, although the students are required (the same applies to Belgium) to "have an adequate knowledge of the b asic subjects: mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology" (ibid., p.214).3. The French System A tension between the individualist and collectivis t strands in French educational ideologies can be traced in the concepts of the fam ous revolutionary slogan "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity." With the passing of years one could claim that the first two concepts receded in favor of the third. The 1975 injection (the so-called "Habby Reform") t hat education "should prepare


8 of 32children for working life" can be seen in the conte xt of the transformation of France from an agricultural society into one of the most advanced industrial countries in the world.(Note 2) Since the end of the Second World War, but particul arly after of the Gaullist government in 1958, a manpower planning approach has influenced t he establishment of educational priorities. The growing importance of individual ri ghts justifications for education in the post-war period has been tempered by the priority g iven to an economic society-centred aim. Lower secondary schooling (in the form of the coll ege d' enseignement secondaire, or CES) became available to all children in 1959, alth ough there was also a restriction in that the admission to post-primary education was decided on the strength of the primary school records, and on a type of examination by a commissi on which included parental representation. Strict examinations led (and still do lead) to the upper three-year cycle (class de seconde). Those who succeed in entering this cyc le are bound after three years to sit one of the various baccalaureat examinations which lead to university training. Those who fail follow a "short" course of further training. Howeve r, one of the major changes in the lycees since the 1960s has been that branches of the bacca laureat have been introduced that have a technological orientation alongside the traditional academic course. Increased participation in higher education has th erefore been achieved through the creation of "lower standard" Baccalaureates which h ave resulted in more of the less academically able students entering higher educatio n courses, which they find too difficult to complete. When they fail, the system provides them with an opportunity to either retake the year or change their course of study; this raises t he cost of their education to all stakeholders: the students, their families, employe rs and the nation as a whole. Formally, selection for higher education has been ruled out b ut there is already a significant amount of "unacknowledged selection" which takes place at the time of admission and by later examinations to ease the strain on resources, espec ially within the first two years. In higher education, reforms after the 1968 social unrest--and the subsequent feverish debates it generated --made bold steps towards a sy stem that could secure more autonomy to universities, reduction of the privileges of certai n academic faculties, broadening of studies, and student participation in university government. Access to the university has been widened to inclu de students from more "disadvantaged" backgrounds. Central allocation of resources has reduced the geographical inequalities found in some other educational system s. Even if someone argued that the position of certain establishments (i.e. the Grande s Ecoles) "has been little threatened by educational reforms" since "the elite of French soc iety was educated outside the mainstream university system" (McLean, in Holmes, 1985, p.91), we should not forget that the prestige of such establishments is being tested everyday in the highly competitive system of a "global market" of higher education services.4. The German System Until the beginning of the 1960s, the extension of state activity in the direction of an "active intervention" faced strong opposition in th e Federal Republic of Germany so that planning was not then an issue. At the same time, w e should not forget that the responsibility for the school system--according to the Basic Law of 1949--does not lie with the federal government. The individual federal stat es (Laender) are independent in educational and cultural matters. What strikes the observer of the German system--at least the western part in the pre-unification period--is the emphasis placed on t he "manpower" approach to the design of education, i.e., a deep concern for the alignment o f the school structure with labour market demands.


9 of 32 However, increasing foreign competition in industri al products, an unprecedented flow of immigration from low-income countries durin g the last two decades and the shock of unification in 1990--and the enormous costs it h as entailed--have caused a crisis not only in the social welfare system of the country, but th ey have brought into question the effectiveness of the vocational system itself, give n the high rate of unemployment (at about 11% in the late 1995). In addition, the employers, hitherto very supportive of the apprenticeship system, started to complain that in the wake of technological change, they would need more less-skilled but flexible workers, able to switch easily from one task to another.(see "The Economist," 6/4/1996, p.23; also 4/5/1996, pp. 11-12 and 21-23). Admission to universities is made on the basis of t he secondary school leaving certificate ( Abitur ), as well as the university-entry examinations (Ho chschulreife). This system of higher education is highly differentiated Classical universities compete with colleges of advanced technology and teacher-trainin g colleges, as well as with private universities and technical colleges. There are no t uition fees at German universities or tertiary colleges. Here it must be noted that an in crease in the demand for higher education during the 1960s and 1970s caused the creation of 1 3 new universities, which not only satisfied the public pressure for higher education, but in addition introduced a number of innovative schemes. An example was the creation of an experimental comprehensive school attached to the university of Bielefeld (founded in 1967) in order to serve as a preparatory stage for the first year of university study. (Mall inson, 1980, p.235). A system relatively similar to Germany's has been d eveloped in Italy, and in Switzerland as well. Especially as far as technicovocational education is concerned, arrangements have been made to promote a sound basi s for large-scale industrial development.(Note 3) As a result of centrally initiated efforts--albeit with the full co-operation of the regional administrations--technical and vocational education have enjoyed comparatively favoured treatment. Of particular interest is the f act that, as Mallinson (1980) revealed, in the early 1980s from the graduates of the schuola m edia (the four-year compulsory "intermediate" school, following the five-year "ele mentary" school), 34% enter the five-year instituto technico, which awards his/her holder wit h a "mature diploma," enabling him/her to "either go directly to some form of tertiary educat ion at the university level, or to enter into higher grades of management" (p.248). However, we s hould note that this kind of school--and indeed any other type of higher seconda ry (non-compulsory) school--charges fees, but the inequalities are not so profound sinc e this handicap can be minimised from the attachment of "equal status" and relatively equal o pportunities for access to higher education to all the pathways. In the Italian model the concept of "higher educati on" is virtually identical with that of "university." During the last 30 years, the intake of the universities has been increased dramatically. This is due not only to the increased internal demand for higher education (after all, the proportion of the higher secondary school graduates who register in universities remained quite low, at 30%) but also t o an impressive inflow of foreign students, who were encouraged by the rather loose c riteria for admissions, especially as far as the E.C. citizens are concerned. Thus, the numbe r of students entering university is still increasing at an estimated rate of about 27% betwee n 1986 and 1990. (Brock & Tulasiewicz, 1994, p.172; also UNESCO, Statistical Yearbooks of respective years) 5. The Iberian System In the educational systems of Spain and Portugal, t here are clear boundaries between the different paths of secondary schooling, as well as between the primary and the secondary


10 of 32level. Basic education in both of these countries i s free of charge and compulsory, and lasts for nine years. Secondary education is divided into academic and vocational branches without any interconnection between them. In additi on, there are many private schools run mainly by the Church, which-given the high religi ous solidarity characterising the Catholics--plays a very important role in the educa tional policy-making. Although Spain has a more decentralised administrat ive structure (it is divided into 17 autonomous communities), one could claim that both of these two countries "designated" the state to ensure the basic unity of education and gu arantee equal conditions for all in the exercise of their rights. In Portugal, university entry is achieved through t he leaving-certificate of the general secondary school, whereas in Spain there is a trans itional year linking school and university, at the end of which students are evaluated and then a university entrance examination is taken, more commonly known as Selectividad. (Brock & Tulasiewicz, 1994, pp.244-246 and 264-265) The percentage of those gaining access to universit y education in Portugal is quite small, and far below the European Community average although there are clear governmental short and long-term objectives for bal ancing the disparities in the distribution of students in regional institutions, promotion of short-cycle polytechnic education and compensatory measures for the underprivileged stude nts. (ibid., p.246) In Spain the participation rates are far larger (some 78% in 198 7/88), although there is a system of university fees, depending on the course.6. England and Wales The education system of England and Wales has witne ssed many radical changes in the last fifty years, especially in the administrat ion of the schools, the curriculum content in the state-maintained secondary schools and the post -compulsory schooling options. (There are certain features in the administration and stru cture of the Scottish and Northern-Irish systems that do not justify consideration of the sy stem of the United Kingdom as a whole.) The entire structure of secondary and post-secondar y schooling has been repeatedly revised, and numerous experiments took place during the 1950s and 1960s, either in at the national or local level, and included the state-run (public funded under the administration and supervision of the local authorities) as well a s the privately-run establishments. In the whole controversy about the structure of the system political and ideological claims as contradictory as those for "equality of opportunity ," on the one hand and "high standards" on the other, have been presented in the agenda. Initi atives--not always derived from purely educational considerations--have been taken in diff erent places of the country, due to the decentralised nature of the educational decision-ma king as well as the lack of a nation-wide consensus on what constitutes an appropriate second ary schooling. From the mid-1960s onwards, the dominant type of se condary school became the so-called comprehensive school, albeit with great v ariations and, most of all numerous implementation problems. This kind of "integrated" school, which combined elements of traditional academically oriented curriculum as wel l as vocational instruction, was persistently under attack, especially during the 19 70s, when the global economic crisis caused deep concern about the "effectiveness" of th e system in a world of undeniable financial stringency. The introduction of a "National Curriculum" in 1988 created "core" and "foundation" subjects, in relation to which each pupil in state schools would be expected to have a certain amount of "knowledge", "skills" and "understanding" at the end of pre-specified age-related levels (key stages). (See DES, 1988, section 2) At the same time, standardised assessment


11 of 32practices--under the auspices and encouragement of the central government-were proposed and tested in various experimental programs all ove r the country. As far as the parallel to the general secondary and post-secondary schooling system is concerned, the focus of the state policies has been on the enhancement of further education, which has increasingly been seen as embracing the 1 4-18 age group. Introduced from the 1970s onwards were the vocational certificates like the GNVQ, the HNC, the HND, and many more, awarded not only by the state and the lo cal authorities but by independent professional bodies as well. In addition, an influx of new schemes such as the Youth Opportunities Program (YOP), the Youth Training Sch eme (YTS) and the Technical and Vocational Initiative (TVEI) led "to schools being funded from sources with very clear strings of an instrumental and vocational kind, and thus to a shift of emphasis within the education system back to that of the "industrial tr ainers"" (Kelly, 1990, p.39). The distinction between the old GCE (General Certi ficate of Education) O level and the CSE (Certificate of Secondary Education) surviv ed until the 1980s when these two types were integrated into the GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) O level, after widespread criticism for inefficiency. However, the GCE A level examinations remained the number one factor affecting university admissions, with new subjects added during the last few years, which quite often constitute an inter-di sciplinary approach in the various areas of knowledge. That, in combination with the establishm ent of new universities (among which there is a number of the former Polytechnics, known in the past as Colleges of Advanced Technology) led to an expansion of higher education something that is in a reverse direction lately, since the government funding--that covers o ver 90% of the universities recurrent and capital expenditures--has been dramatically reduced .General Trends of Selection in Europe Although there is no single pattern of selection pr ocedures throughout Western Europe--not to mention the former "socialist" count ries of Eastern Europe--it is possible to trace in the systems examined above certain charact eristics that reveal common elements and mechanisms, which, far from constituting a star ting point towards a "policy of harmonisation" (Mallinson, 1980, chap. 10), at leas t offer a comparative view of the context in which the Greek system develops and of the influ ences that are being exercised upon its structure. I shall refer extensively to the Greek educational system; it will be noted, for example, that these systems offer more flexible arr angements in the school life of children, better developed branches of vocational and technic al training and wider opportunities for adult and continuous education. This is not to argu e that these systems are heading towards a more "democratic" and "equal opportunities" future. Despite politically coloured declarations about "educational provision for every one" under an environment that "favours the individual's aspiration" and "respects his/her socioeconomic background", we must not forget that in a world of global competition and ma rket domination, concepts such as "inequality" and "social justice" give way to the n otions of "individual success", "value for money" and "monitoring of standards". As many international studies have shown, in some c ountries an "equalisation" among socio-economic strata has emerged, while in others virtual stability is the case. For example, in a comparative study made by Shavit (1989), in co untries like Germany, Switzerland and Sweden, the expansion of secondary education has be en accompanied by a growing differentiation into academic and vocational tracks or programs. The expansion of vocational, non-college education enabled these sys tems to incorporate a growing proportion of the lower strata who would complete secondary ed ucation but would not be considered


12 of 32for further academic education. As a consequence, t hey have witnessed an opening up of secondary education without disturbing the basicall y exclusive character of higher education (see also Shavit & Blossfeld, 1993, pp.20-22). The general pattern observed in some of the compara tive studies that examined patterns of selection in Europe is that, as success ive generations go through the education filter, the proportion of those gaining a place in a level which would have been inconceivable two or three generations before has b een considerably increased, especially in the lower socioeconomic strata. The effects of soci al origins are generally stronger "at the beginning of the educational career and then declin e for subsequent educational transitions" (Shavit & Blossfeld, op.cit., p.18). These findings relate more to the socalled "life-course" hypothesis, which states that "if primary and lower secondary education become universal and lead to a decrease in the effect of social orig in at these earlier levels, then the effects of social origin on higher grade progression will stay small across cohorts because older pupils are less dependent on the preferences and the econo mic conditions of their families than younger ones" (ibid., p.9). Far from suggesting that there has been a drastical reduction in the association between social origins and any of the educational t ransitions, this presents a trend in highly developed (post)industrial western countries showin g that inequalities in the transition stages throughout the various education levels have been progressively more complicated than before. Whereas in the past it was relatively easy to define what the class boundaries were, or which particular types of educational inst ruction were the more prestigious ones, today influences other than socio-economic status ( traditionally measured as the parents', and specifically, the father's occupation) contribu te to the opportunities of "success" (a term rather subjective in itself). Such other variables include the "attainment of private tuition classes", the "multiplication of scientific discipl ines in higher education", the "changing status that different professions have in a rapidly advanced modern society", the "emergence of new youth cultural stereotypes" etc. In addition, in countries, such as the Netherlands, or Sweden, the existence of so many vocational paths parallel to the general education network, has offered a widening of opportunities for those hitherto deprived of access to modes of further qualification to enrol in a course with promising future prospects. Some r esearch evidence maintains that there exists a considerable decline in the effect of soci al origin on educational attainment, in these countries.( Shavit & Blossfeld, op.cit., chap. 5) But clearly this is not the case in the overall pi cture of the educational opportunities in Europe. While there has been a slight narrowing in rates of participation, the proportion of students from higher socio-economic backgrounds has not changed radically, especially in higher education, which is the most important (give n the opening up of access in the lower levels) level at which to measure the persistency o f inequalities. More importantly, when increases are recorded in the participation rates o f students from the "disadvantaged social groups", they tend to occur mainly "in the less pre stigious programs of the higher education sector". There are, of course, variations that stem not only from the university admissions policies, but also from the structure and organisat ion of the secondary school. In systems with a tradition of "open access" to higher educati on, on the basis of minimum educational qualifications (e.g., France, Germany) the selectio n procedure starts very early in children's school life with a very elaborate selection mechani sm that sorts out progressively the "best performers" in academic education. If one takes int o account the financial squeeze of the recent years in these systems, then one realises th at in practice the "open system" policy is being progressively replaced by the introduction of a numerous clausus provision, which has the effect of making students compete for entry.


13 of 32 In systems where the selection is made on the basis of scholastic achievement (e.g., Sweden, Spain and partly Britain), the selection is made relatively late, and there is also a tendency for standardised and externally administer ed procedures of assessment. (Christie and Forest, 1981) This approach to selection (relia nce solely on performance on an external examination) as a basis for school certification is increasingly being questioned, not only on the ground of its unsuitability for assessing indiv idual needs, interests as well as varied curriculum areas (Ball, 1990; Kelly, 1990), but als o its "failure" to change the prevailing pattern, namely, that "those whose fathers were hig hly educated and had high prestige jobs more often obtained tertiary qualifications". (Kerc khoff and Trott, in Shavit and Blossfeld, 1993, p.151; also Halsey et al., 1980) On the other hand, a entirely school-based assessme nt, despite its suitability of involving a wide sampling of student achievements, is not very popular in most of the examined countries, because of comparability proble ms arising specifically when the results are used for qualification or selection purposes in highly competitive labour markets. With the above evidence and considerations in mind, it is difficult to distinguish a single selection system, and characterise it as mor e or less "fair". In response to the needs of the changing workplace, as well as to accommodate t he needs of students, curricula contents and school structures are already changing in secon dary and tertiary institutions. It will be a daunting task to devise selection procedures that d o not have serious negative impact, not only on teaching and learning in schools, but in th e social differentiation. The introduction of modern methods of teaching has not yet brought any significant change to the opportunities for access to higher ed ucation. The relatively "open" school environment has remained a "privilege" of the young er agecohorts at a time when the selection processes, considered as vital in Europea n educational systems-in contrast to the American system consisting of the "shopping-mall" s chools-preserved their exclusiveness only at or nearly at the end of the secondary schoo l. Despite the progress so far made in the school syst ems around the world with the introduction of new practices and modern pedagogica l methods based on group-learning principles, really noticeable changes have a long w ay to go to be adopted, especially in the upper levels of secondary schooling. In other words although the curricular structure and the pedagogical framework at the lower levels can be qu ite "elaborated" (to use a "bernsteinian" term), at the upper levels only individual effort a nd performance are rewarded. That becomes clearer and more decisive at the transition period between secondary and tertiary education. Thus, one could argue that at levels of the educational "ladder" where the degree of specialisation and the need for individual selec tion are insignificant, collective learning flourishes; on the contrary, at the upper levels, a nd especially as the time to enter the labour market approaches, the student's success depends en tirely on his or her school (and examination) performance, and collective learning d isappears. A number of "technocratic" solutions supported in r ecent years by policy-makers, either in the direction of "maintaining high standa rds" (e.g., introduction of numerus clausus policies), or of "comparability" of the various sys tems (e.g., use of "standardised" testing methods), present selective admissions as a "need" and, most of all, as an objectively assessed procedure, according to universally accept ed principles. The role that social factors (such as class interests) play in the definition of a "worthwhile corpus of knowledge" is being continuously undermined.Selection in GreeceThe 1964 reform.


14 of 32 The reforms in examinations and curricula came as a response to the general climate of political freedom and democratic changes, and th e feeling that the formal educational system was obsolete and maladjusted in relation to the context of a rapidly changed, and technologically advanced "western world". Not surpr isingly, the general system of schooling, especially in its basic levels (primary and secondary) was the first target of the reform policies of the various governments. Although the most fundamental changes in the system were introduced after the re-establishment of democracy in 1974, the "seeds" for these changes had existed in the mid-sixties, when the liberal party of George Papan dreou was in office. Among the changes brought by this government--which attempted in an u nfavourable social climate to attack the "classicism", "conservatism" and "intellectualism" of the preceding right-wing governments --the most important were the following: free education at all levels of public education nine-year compulsory attendance instead of the sixyear system existed restructuring of secondary schools into three-year gymnasium (lower) and three-year lyceum (upper); the latter would include general and tech nical-vocational types. "demotiki", the vernacular, would be the language o f instruction in primary schools and taught along with "katharevousa" (a simplified form of ancient Greek) in secondary schools. at the end of secondary education the pupils would sit special examinations to get the "academic certificate" that would allow entry to th e universities. As far as the last change is concerned, one can arg ue that it was actually the first official step towards the introduction of a Nationa l Examinations System. In other words, whereas in the past, each higher education institut e had been conducting its own entry examinations, now the Ministry of Education was res ponsible for these examinations at the national level. The examinations for the "academic certificate" (something analogous to the French baccalaureat and the German abitur ) were to be conducted on specific dates in various cities of the country, based on the subject matter taught in the lycea and marked by secondary school teachers, not university professor s. In order for a candidate to get the "academic certi ficate," he or she had two alternative "types of schools" to choose from. The first one in cluded the so-called "liberal" disciplines (Law, Literature, Theology, Economics, Political Sc ience and Teacher-training Colleges), whereas the second one included "applied" disciplin es (Natural Science, Mathematics, Medical Science, Engineering, Architecture, etc.). However, even the latter were affected by the traditional orientation of the whole system, si nce among the examined subjects were "Ancient Greek", "Modern Greek" and "History", alth ough in the calculation of the final grade they were multiplied by different coefficient s than those of the type A subjects. It was not the first time that a nation-wide educat ional reform was being attempted. Actually this was the third attempt, in the same ce ntury (the previous ones had been made in 1913 and in 1929, both under centrewing, liberal governments) to insert a new way of thinking into the "conservative" and "classicist" G reek educational structure. The new liaisons between the country and the EEC--from 1961 --urged a radical economic restructuring, something that required a equally ra dical reform of education, which should eventually bear the responsibility to train the nec essary work-force. The shift to technical-vocational education was thought capable of creating a multi-leveled network of practicallyorientated middle schools that would r un parallel to that of the "general" secondary education, enabling Greece to keep pace w ith the educational systems of the more advanced capitalistic countries. (Bouzakis, 1991:10 4-105) In addition, measures such as free


15 of 32 education at all levels of public education, nineyears' compulsory attendance, the introduction of demotiki, the improvement of teache r-training, etc., generated a sense of "justice" and "equality", especially in the lower s ocial strata where economic and other reasons prevented the provision even of the most ba sic forms of education. The introduction of nine years' compulsory schoolin g raised considerably the participation rates, especially in secondary educat ion throughout the 1960s. For example, overall participation at the secondary level, from 33% of the relative age group in 1960 went up to 56% in 1970. The corresponding figures for gi rls' participation showed an even more impressive trend, with an increase from 28% to 54%. (OECD, 1980, p.121) In fact, participation of the female population in general s econdary education almost equaled that of males-with slight regional differences. (See Tabl e 1) One could even argue that, on the one hand, girls were more favoured than boys as far as general education was concerned. Nevertheless, things were reversed when technicalvocational and higher education were included in the estimates. When this was done, the participation of girls in the former, and of lower socioeconomic strata in the latter, wa s quite low. Especially in the technical schools, girls' level of participation--although th e overall enrolments increased dramatically--remained far below that of boys. In 1 97576 (10 years after the introduction of the reforms),there were only 6,863 girls registered in uppersecondary (middle) technical schools in a total of 55,503 students (12.3%), and 2,607 in lower technical schools in a total of 60,119 (4.3%). In contrast, their participation in vocational schools was significantly higher (middle level: 7,892 in a total of 16,969, o r 46.5%; lower level: 1,168 out of 1,308, or 89.2%). (Ministry of Education, 1975, table 2.101) But again, the relatively high proportion of girls in vocational education may be explained b y the fact that this type of education, in contrast to the technical type, leads to occupation s which are socially accepted as "women's jobs". Table 1 Participation of Population aged 16-18 in Upper Secondary Education, by Region and Sex in 1960-61 and 1970-71 1960-61 1970-71 BoysGirlsBoysGirls Region Total3023.535.838 Greater Athens43.942.138.243.8 Rest of Central Greece & Euboea 24.115.529.830 Peloponnesos3125.336.941.9 Ionian Islands28.5 2138.831.8 Epirus29.611.136.232.7 Thessaly23.813.440.738.2 Macedonia24.81933.136.6


16 of 32 Thrace13.911.62723.5 Aegean Islands27.320.439.232.1 Crete29.724.638.142.7 (Source: Ministry of Education, Statistics of Educa tion, 1970-71.) On the other hand, for higher and university educat ion in the 1960s, the over-representation of social groups very high in t he occupational ladder was more than obvious. For example, students whose parents were h olders of "professional", or "managerial and administrative" jobs had--in relati on to the respective occupations" representation in the whole population--on average from two to four times more chances of securing a place than the sons and daughters of the "blue-collar workers" and the "farmers". (OECD, 1980, p.126). Nevertheless, the gap in the o pportunities tended to narrow, not only in socioeconomic, but also in gender and geographic terms, as one moves toward the 1970s. (Polydorides, 1995, chap. 5, 13) This was due to th e compensatory measures following the 1964 reform, and the greater State intervention in the reorganisation of all levels of education after the delay caused by the sevenyear "break" of the dictatorship, as will be discussed now.Reforms under the "junta" regime The 1967 "junta" brought to a halt every reform att empt, and reinforced the conservatism of the "traditionalists". Among the co unter reform measures of the period 1967-74 were the reduction of compulsory education from 9 to 6 years, the abolition of translated ancient Greek literature texts, and the replacement of social sciences in the new curriculum. The teaching of "demotiki" was restrict ed to the first 3 grades of the primary school. Secondary education remained "integrated" i n the form of the six-year gymnasium. In general, in those years Greek education was more classics-oriented, bookish and oldfashioned than in the previous decade. The most imp ortant changes were to be observed in the "hidden curriculum" (Young, 1971) of the school s and the disciplinary environment in which the teaching was taking place. The regime att empted to turn the attention of the pupils towards the values of the past, especially through the emphasis on ancient Greek and its simplified form of school instruction, the katharev ousa (i.e.,the pure language). The paternalistic attitude of the dictators in "sav ing" education can be seen in the will of the regime to maintain education free of charge at all levels, and to replace the old textbooks with new ones, aiming at imposing the new Helleno-Christian ideals. (Note 4) A quick review of, say, the textbooks of civil educat ion of that period, would reveal feverish (State-guided) attempts to restore--if it ever exis ted--the self-confidence of the "nation" through the invocation of the old "virtues" of the glorious "helleno-cristianic past", the condemnation of communism, and unquestioning confor mism to the formal guidelines. Nevertheless, it seems that even in the period 1967 74 there existed a political will--after insistent recommendations by internatio nal organisations like the World Bank--for a restructuring of higher education, on t he one hand, and a promotion of technical-vocational education in a higher level, o n the other. Thus, although there had been a widespread bias against technical and practical s tudies in the curriculumorientation of schools, at the same time it started to be realised that there was a lack of balance in the provision of school knowledge. The output of gradua tes from secondary schools and universities was growing more rapidly than the capa city of the economy to create new jobs,


17 of 32whereas the output of graduates from technical scho ols could not meet the shortages in the labour market. It becomes reasonable to assume that the need to increase productivity and improve the overall performance of the economy grad ually prevailed over the "liberal" orientation of the HellenoChristian tradition. To argue that big improvements have been brought ab out however, would be naive. Half the population of the country is concentrated in the Greater Athens area, and as a result increased enrolments as a proportion of the respect ive area-population represented a very small improvement in real figures. Moreover, if one takes into account the unsystemati c methods of collecting data or keeping school records during that period and the h igh drop-out rates--especially in the rural areas where the contribution of the younger members of the family in agricultural work was considered essential--then it is easier to see that little improvement was achieved in the reduction of regional differences ( Eliou, 1976). In the technical field, while secondary education w as marked by the total reverse of the 1964 reform, a new type of educational-developm ent plan emerged under the auspices of foreign guidelines. It was part of a longterm pla n of economic development, called "Model for the Long-term Development of Greece, 1972-1987" The Plan projected the mass movement of the labour force from the primary secto r (agriculture) of the economy to the secondary (industry) and the tertiary (commerce, se rvices), and in addition an increase in the graduates of technical-vocational education, from 3 35,000 in 1971 to 1,600,00 in 1987. (Bouzakis, 1986, p.111) The flow of internal migration toward the big urban centres--taking place in the last three decades--was not the intended outcome of macr o-level manpower planning, but rather the result of the complete absence of regional poli cies throughout the period examined. Moreover, the distribution of the labour force to t he secondary and tertiary sectors has been greatly unequal in favour of the second, which reve als the imbalance that characterises not only the productive base of the Greek economy but a lso the curriculum content of schools and the attention paid to the technical-vocational education. (Note 5) It is true that the increase in the enrolment and o utput ratio of technical education during the 1967-174 period was of an unprecedented level for Greece. While the output of the six-year gymnasium increased between 1968 and 1 974 at a rate of 37.6%, that of the (lower and middle) technical-vocational schools inc reased at a rate of 78.8%. The graduates of the latter were about 42% of those of the former (15,898 as compared to 37,844) in 1968, but in 1974 the proportion was 58% (28,657 and 49,1 83, respectively), although it started to fall again in the following years. (OECD, 1980, p.1 32) Despite the improvements, the importance given to the "hellenocristianic tradit ion" and the mainly classics-oriented curriculum of the Greek schools at that period affe cted not only the content of technical education and the resources allocated to it by the government, but also its "status" in the eyes of the public. (see Drettakis, 1974; Dimaras, 1975; Noutsos, 1978; Nikta, 1991) As a result, secondary technical-vocational education continued to attract that kind of pupils with no hope of having access to "prestigious" occupations, that is those who were expected to "benefit" by a vocationally-oriented educational pr ovision (blue-collar workers, office clerks, farmers, and the like). Such was also the case with the participation in hi gher education by different socioeconomic groups. According to OECD calculation s, in the years before the 1976-77 reform, participation in higher education was highl y unequal with respect to father's occupation. Although the situation from the 1950s t o the 1970s had been changed in favour of the "lower" professions, in the mid-1970s there were still wide differences in access to certain university departments. In 1975-76, for exa mple, Humanities was the only field where all occupational categories were represented almost "equally", whereas Law was


18 of 32"over-represented by professionals and managerial p ersonnel", Social Sciences and Teacher-training were "over-represented by people i n agriculture and by blue-collar workers", and the more elite occupations were "conc entrated in the more "elite" fields of study, e.g., Medicine". (OECD, 1980:121) The restructuring of higher education was initiated with the introduction of various "Cycles of Schools" for National Examinations purpo ses, corresponding to a very "specialised" classification of academic discipline s. (See Figure 1.) The promotion of technical and vocational education in a higher level was characterised by the establishment in 1969 of t he "Centres for Technical and Vocational Education", known by the Greek acronym "KATEE". The se Centres were created to provide technical education and training for middle-level m anpower at the higher technician level, and have been considered as equivalent to the "Comm unity Colleges" in the USA. The major reason of their existence was that they cater ed for those students "whose initial educational aspirations was a university degree", b ut "having failed to enter universities, they were obliged to pursue their education elsewhe re". (Kalamatianou et al, 1988:272) The first five KATEEs were established in 1974 in Athen s, Thessaloniki, Larissa, Patras and Heraclion (Crete), covering 21 faculties with 74 sp ecialised departments. Figure 1 Examples of Cycles of Schools Cycles of University SchoolsSubjects Examined A.Literature Written expression, Ancient Greek, History,Latin B.Law Written expression, Ancient Greek, History,Latin C.Physics-Mathematics Written expression, Mathematics, Physics,Chemistry ... ... H.Economics Written expression, Mathematics,Geography, History ... ... L.Theology Written expression, Ancient Greek, History,LatinThe 1976-77 Reform: Main Changes When democracy was re-introduced in 1974, the clima te favoured major political, social and educational reform. The recommendations of international bodies, such as The World Bank and OECD, pointed to the great need to s upport technical education, while they commented on the great "inequalities" in educationa l opportunities, prevailing in the 1970s, in relation to gender and socioeconomic status. (se e OECD, 1980) In the new formulation of educational policies, wh at was sought by the governement was no longer the advice of individual Ministerap pointees or associates, but rather the


19 of 32establishment of a body of experts who would formal ly operate as part of the "managerial" group of the State organisational mechanism. (See P arsons, 1960; Blau and Mayer, 1967) The function of this group was perceived as crucial because, not only the complexity of educational innovation in international level and t he example of other European countries, but also the need to achieve consensus in such high ly controversial reform attempts, required the participation of experts of as many different s cientific disciplines as possible. This was contrary to the past when the School of Philosophy of the University of Athens had been the main agent of policy-planning in school matters. Th e existence of an anti-reformist alliance-consisting of MPs belonging to the gover ning right-wing party, individual university professors, appointees of the dictatorsh ip in the State mechanism, and conservative religious pressure-groups--despite cau sing a delay in the approval of the reform legislation, did not decisively affect the proposed changes.(see Mattheou, 1980, chap.5) As a consequence of the new policies, in 1975, the Centre of Educational Studies and In-Service Training (KEME) was established. Its mai n tasks were defined as: "a) the systematic scientific study and research of educati onal matters, b) advise on any law draft proposal by the Minister, c) the design of textbook s and timetables and d) the in-service training of teachers". (Nikta, 1991, p.63) Here it should be remembered that the centralised n ature of the administrative structure of the Greek system could not and indee d did not allow KEME to be involved in essentially political decision-making procedures. N either did it leave any doubt about the real influence this body of experts had on the educ ational goals that each political party in power had already set up according to its own ideol ogical principles and political interests. Although it can be asserted that, after 1974 the "p olitical centre" ( Ministry of Education) with its affiliated agents--operating under the fin ancial constraints imposed by the government's budgetary policies--was not any longer "impenetrable" from "external" influences (see Archer, 1979), at the same time the re is no doubt that all the initiatives for educational reform have been--actually still are--c hannelled through various patterns of "political manipulation" occurring between the gove rningparty elite and the different interest groups.(Mattheou, 1980; Eliou, 1986) One of the main focuses of the debate at that perio d was the structure, content and orientation of the preuniversity level of general education, and especially the undifferentiated general secondary school. The conc ern with this stage of schooling was decisively influenced by the progressive integratio n of Greece into a system of international co-operation, particularly after the construction o f closer ties with the European Community, of which Greece would become a full member in 1980. Under the laws 309/1976 (for general education) and 576/1977 (for technical-vocational), secondary education was spli t into two independent "cycles": the 3-year comprehensive gymnasium (13-15), and the 3-y ear selective lyceum (16-18). The examinations for passage from primary to secondary school were abolished, and strict examinations at the end of gymnasium were introduce d in order to allocate pupils to the new diversified senior high school. Those who performed better in these examinations were accepted into the "prestigious" general lyceum whereas those who performed "poorly" were allocated either to the 3-year technical-vocational lyceum or to the 2-year technical-vocational school. The curriculum of the general lyceum was oriented toward higher education. The subjects taught in the first year of this school we re common for every pupil. In the second year there was a distinction between common and opt ional subjects, the latter leading at the end of the third year to one out of two types of ce rtificate (apolytirion), which corresponded to two different groups of academic disciplines. Th e old classical and practical directions were reshaped into two groups of selectives: a) anc ient Greek, history, Latin; and b)


20 of 32mathematics, physics and chemistry. Ancient Greek was the subject that all students had to attend for the most hours every week. The first of the other two alternatives (the oneto two-year technical-vocational school) was of admittedly lower esteem, and it offe red mainly a preparation stage for the labour market, after a kind of specialised training For those studying in this option, the choice was offered--instead of starting work immedi ately after graduation--to take special examinations in order to gain a place in the second year of the technicalvocational lyceum The latter was formally considered as having the sa me status as the general lyceum since it was not only meant to prepare students for the labo ur market, but in addition it allowed the "ablest" of its graduates to enter higher technical education. For that reason a proportion of the entrees in the KATEEs (32%) was allocated to th e technical lyceum graduates, according to their school achievement. Thus, we see that wher eas entry to higher education (universities, teacher-training institutes and KATE Es) was allowed only after examinations at the national level, the government decided to gi ve a small incentive to those attending technical secondary schools, trying in this way to attract more students who wished to pursue a more vocational type of study, but at the same time were willing to continue their studies at a higher level. (Bouzakis, pp.112-115) As far as the university-entrance examinations were concerned, the Ministry of Education in 1980 abolished the old system of "Cycl es of Schools" and re-introduced the system of two-directions certificate mentioned abov e. There were two kinds of certificate (the participation in examinations was compulsory i n order to graduate): one (Type A) for those wishing to study Humanities, and another for those who chose the "positive" track (Type B). The innovations of this system were the f ollowing: the subjects examined in the Type B examinations we re now more related to the "applied" character of the respective scientific di sciplines, in contrast to the previous similar system of 1965 where the dominance of the liberal" studies was obvious. the examined matter was selected solely from the cu rriculum of the last year"s curriculum. the selection of students for universities was made according to the preference of the candidates and their scores. The scores would deter mine whether a candidate would study in the more prestigious schools within the gr oup that he or she selected.. The score was the weighted mean of the total of grades on their certificate, (secondyear achievement + last-year achievement), their grades in composition in modern Greek, and in selective courses at the examinations multip lied by a different component for each school. the graduates of technical-vocational lycea could sit in the examinations if they had chosen the additional courses of the second (type B ) group of electives. The examinations were called "Panhellenic" (nationa l) because they were taking place simultaneously throughout the country with common s ubjects selected by a special committee of the Ministry. The examination papers w ere marked by two secondary school teachers, and in case of a large disparity in their marks, the paper was re-evaluated.Critical Assessment of the Reforms The 1976-77 reform did not radically affect the "pr estige" of the traditional "academic" subjects. The aim of the lyceum was quite similar to that of the upper level of th e old 6-year gymnasium, in the sense that it was perc eived as a preparatory stage to tertiary education, despite the official declarations that i t meant "to provide an education that is


21 of 32richer and broader than that of the gymnasium". (Se e Law 309/1976, article 29) In assessing the 1976-77 reform, we must first sum marise the major considerations embodied in the laws 309/1976 and 576/1977: The raising of the school-leaving age, which was a constitutional mandate (article 16 of the 1975 Greek Constitution), ranked as a very i mportant precondition for the goals of democratisation and modernisation. Compared to o ther western societies, especially those of the European Economic Community, Greece ha d the fewest years of compulsory schooling (6 compared to 9 for most othe r countries). Selection through examinations at the end of compul sory schooling (age 15+), and the reorganisation of upper secondary education, would deflate the increasing bulge of aspirants for admission into the universities and o ther post-secondary institutions. At the same time, they would alleviate the problems of under-employment and psychological frustration. Related to the above was a desire to make the educa tion system more efficient and capable of satisfying the economic needs of a "mode rnising" society. A strong wish to maintain control over educational standards, such as the attainment of certain levels of knowledge and the "screening" of the most "talented" for the few places that were--and still are-of necessity avai lable in the universities. The problem of language was bound to be solved, no matter how much delayed that change was. Among educational reformers, the "langu age question" was not merely an issue over what form of Greek should be taught in s chool. It represented basic differences in Greek social and educational philoso phy. The introduction of the modern Greek language would help open up new cultur al and intellectual horizons, those grounded in the contemporary socioeconomic ne eds of Greece; it would arouse pupils' interest in learning; and, ultimately, it w ould develop more versatile, responsible and democratic citizens. Despite the declarations, the general lyceum kept the role of training the pupils only for the universities and providing general culture without any consideration for the labour market. The "shadow" of the entrance examinations t o lycea affected the study of pupils and the curriculum balance in favour of modern Greek, m athematics, history and physics, that were conducive to their success in passing the exam inations. The arguments in favour of the economic benefit of education were applied only in the case of technical education. In this direction there have been relatively rapid changes. First of all, law 576/1977 abolished all the lowersecondary technical schools as uneconomic and unpopular and set the priorities for an extensi ve program of building construction throughout the country to meet the needs of a sound technical education provision. Thus, in parallel to the general lyceum there was the technical lyceum --which, officially, granted its graduates the same status and the technical schoo l, representing earlier types of technical provision. The latter's existence revealed the fina ncial stringency within which the reform attempts had to be implemented. The main obstacle to vocational education was the r eluctance of parents to accept non-traditional orientations for their children and the reluctance of pupils to abandon their dreams for a job in the public sector. Such attitud es were deeply rooted in their minds since, from as early as the 19th century, the school certi ficate (and later on the academic degree) had been inextricably linked to a kind of occupatio nal security and social success. (Tsoukalas, 1977) In general, it can be said that the reform efforts in the secondary stage, despite the big improvements they brought, lacked two things: a) pr oper timing, in the sense that the State


22 of 32authorities tried after considerable delay to imple ment a number of changes, many of which could and should have been initiated decades ago (B ouzakis, 1986, pp.121-23), and b) the existence of adequate infrastructure and resources that could effectively support a "shift" to technical education. The conditions for the success of the new system were far below the very promising official rhetoric, especially as far as the training and continuous support of teachers responsible for teaching a new vocationall y-oriented curriculum was concerned. The overwhelming majority of the three-year gymnasi um still preferred the more prestigious lyceum path in even higher proportions than those witness ed heretofore. Thus, in the school-year 1976-77, 93.5% of the gymnasium graduat es participated in the qualifying examinations to lyceum (general or technical) instead of applying for a p lace in the two-year technical-vocational school; in 1977-78, the figure was 97.2%(ibid., p.122) In higher education, the most important aspect of t he new system was the "homogeneity" that it brought, at least as far as t he characteristics of the student population in each institute are concerned. More specifically, the abolition of the previous "cycles of schools", and the grouping of different disciplines resulted in: a very high proportion of candidates entering acade mic departments completely irrelevant to those that had been their initial cho ice; therefore many of them either were unsatisfied with their studies or decided to s it again the next year for the National Examinations; there seemed to be a kind of "social mixing" going on in the various academic departments, in the sense that now students coming from "lower" socioeconomic strata (e.g. the offspring of manual workers and pe asants) gained-often accidentally--a place to the prestigious discipline s of Technology, Law and Medicine, whereas in the past they were forced to choose one particular group ("cycle") of academic departments. (Papadimitriou, 1991, pp.120123) In other words, a kind of "equalising" mechanism appeared to affect the distr ibution of the higher education places, especially in the universities, by allowing candidates with socially "inferior" backgrounds to attend courses previously dominated by the more "privileged" groups (civil servants, self-employed professionals etc.), although the reverse did not happen. It is important here to stress the selection and c redentialling role which examinations were called to perform in Greek education, in a per iod when the high social demand for general education and for university degrees was ru nning against every attempt to control educational standards and output. Evidence of this demand was the increasing proportion of the entrees in the late seventies and early eightie s--although it remained relatively low. In 1974, the number of entrees in higher education (Un iversities and KATEEs) was 16,025 in a total of 68,063 applicants (23.5%); in 1978, 21,375 out of 84,417 (25.3%); in 1981, 26,754 out of 75,206 (35.5%); and in 1982, 33,235 out of 7 8,708 (42.3%). (Katsikas, 1994:136) The need to screen the "intellectually most capable for the few places that were of necessity available in the universities and other higher inst itutions (the prevailing principle was that of "meritocracy") was indisputable, but at the same ti me the highly selective procedure through which this was being achieved raised questions of equity" and "social justice". Especially, educational opportunity within higher education was found to "favour" students with fathers at the highest levels of the occupational pyramid, and that was a conclusion derived not only by Greek researchers (Eliou, 1976; Drettakis, 1979; Milonas, 1982; Fragoudaki, 1985; Polydorides, 1984 and 1986), but also by internatio nal organisations like the OECD (1980).Changes in the 1980s


23 of 32Social and Educational Context After the general elections in 1981, PASOK, the soc ialist party of the opposition--formed only 7 years earlier--came into the office. One must not forget that the new government came to power in a period of radical sociopolitical and economic transformations. Apart from the first signs of the collapse of the "Eastern Block" in the midand lateeighties, Wes tern Europe was experiencing an unprecedented movement for economic integration, th rough the EEC and its expansion southwards. Greece, as a new member of the EEC was being tantalised by problems of imbalances in the structure of the various sectors of the economy. Despite the fact that Greek per capita GDP jumped from one-quarter of the OECD average in the mid-fifties to almost one-half in 1979, it continued to have a narrow ind ustrial base and a large inefficient agricultural sector, which accounted for 18% of GDP and 30% of employment in 1980. (OECD, 1993:14) At the same time, the country faced --due to the promising industrial growth of the sixties and early seventies--a dynami c internal migration. The urban population, from 43% of the total in 1961, went up to 58% in 1981. A dramatic shift in the distribution of the labour force showed a progressi ve decline in the primary (agricultural) sector,a decline, however, which favoured the non-p roductive tertiary (service) sector instead of the secondary one (industry and construc tion). The distribution of the labour force in 1961 was 53.8% in the primary sector, 19% in the secondary and 27.2% in the tertiary one; in 1981, the figures were 30.7%, 29% and 40.3% (NSSG, 1961, 1981) The general context of the policy of PASOK governm ent was aimed at "national independence, the sovereignty of people, social lib eration and the socialist transformation of society". (PASOK, 1981, p.13) Among the measures ta ken by the PASOK government was the reinforcement of compensatory education. A new institution of postlyceum preparatory centres was established aimed at offering free trai ning for the examinations on the selected subjects for all pupils. The aim of these public in stitutions was to provide tuition to the poor pupils who could not afford private tuition, and to reduce the inequalities of the private cost of exam preparation, especially in rural areas. From as early as 1982, the entrance examinations to lyceum were abolished, and a new type of lyceum was introduced in 1984 at the post-compulsory leve l. This type was called "multilateral" lyceum and it combined characteristics of the general an d technical-vocational types. The direction of this s chool was the integration of general and vocational education, and the elimination of the "p rejudice against manual work," the "offering of scientific and technological knowledge and the methodology of acquiring this knowledge" and the "offering of equal opportunities to all young people, and helping pupils to become democratic citizens..." (Ministry of Educ ation, 1987, pp.19-22). The pupils in these schools had--and still have--a compulsory core curriculum at the first grade, with very little room for electives. A t the second grade, they can choose one out of six "cycles" that are connected to some of the s eventeen specialisations at the third grade. That means that one "cycle" in the second grade lea ds to various specialisations in the third grade. For example, Cycle 1: Man and Society leads to the following specialisations: either academic option 3 to the university faculties of Hu manities and Law, or other vocational specialisations such as office tasks, librarians, c omputing, social services and applied arts". (Nikta, 1991, p.241) Thus, the options are built up and developed along with the grades. The fact that only at the third grade there are vocatio nal specialisations similar to those of technical-vocational lycea justified the additional fourth year of practice i n the specialities of some lines, such as agriculture, secretarial, car e ngineering and the like. (Ministry of Education, 1984, pp.839-46) The statistics, however show that in 1989 only 400 out of 6,130 graduates (of multilateral schools) were atte nding the fourth year. (Ministry of


24 of 32Education, 1991) On the whole, the curriculum of this lyceum rather more resembles the curriculum of the general lyceum with few additional subjects, than that of the te chnicalvocational curriculum. It seems--although there are no specifi c surveys of the balance between theory and practice in the vocational courses of these sch ools--that the new lyceum is rather an improved version of the general (academic) lyceum with pre-vocational subjects at the first two grades, and theoretical vocational training at the final grade. The technical schools, on the other hand remained lowprestige" institutions throughout the eighties. According to various repor ts by the School Advisers (former Inspectors), technical education evidenced an "over lap between the specialisations" offered at the two-year schools and three-year lycea the "old fashioned curriculum content" that lacked connection with production, and the complete absence of visiting or training of the students in industrial environment, so that the exi sting programs "do not prepare them for the labour market". (Nikta, 1991, p.108) These scho ols are mainly attended by boys, since the social division for women and men is still very strong, despite numerous campaigns initiated by the socialist government, during the e ighties, to bring about gender equality. Kokos (1987) argued that the technical lyceum is the "refuge" of pupils from non-privileged social strata, who are forced to seek employment af ter 18. The Greek experience showed that not only is the go vernment to be blamed for this situation becuase of its reluctance to design bette r strategies and pay the real cost of vocational education, but also blame can be attribu ted to the high expectations that Greek families have towards general secondary and higher education. Job insecurity, exploitation by the employers, poor payment, bad conditions of w ork and the like, are societal factors that greatly affect their decisions, and credit gen eral education with the highest prestige. Examinations The examination system itself has been changed in m any ways. In 1983, a new "four-track" system was introduced; and, in 1988, t he higher education entrance examinations were separated from the graduate certi ficate; in other words, pupils were no longer obliged to sit the examinations in order to graduate. Those wishing to sit the examinations had--and stil l have--to attend one of four "tracks" (groups of specialisation): the first one leads to university departments of Sc ience and Technology and higher technological institutes, and the examined subjects are composition in modern Greek, mathematics, physics and chemistry. 1. the second one leads to medical and biological depa rtments, and comprises the subjects of composition in modern Greek, physics, c hemistry and biology. 2. the third one offers opportunities for entrance to departments like Philosophy, Law, Modern-ancient Literature, Education and the subj ects examined are composition in modern Greek, ancient Greek literature and language latin and history. 3. the fourth branch leads to departments like Politic al Science, Economics, Administration, Sociology, and includes the subject s of composition in modern Greek, mathematics, history and sociology. 4. The new system did not wipe out the examinations to tertiary level as the socialist party had promised. It, nevertheless, offered a mor e rational distribution of higher education and a greater variety of channels as well as the ch ance of limitless attempts for the candidates. It also eliminated the stress of these crucial examinations from the secondary


25 of 32grade of lyceum since from 1988 in the calculation of the final s core of the national examinations no more have the results of the first and second grade of lyceum to be taken into account, whereas in the period 1983-87 these r esults accounted for 25% of the total score. Thus, in the university-entrance examination s ("Genikes Exetasis", as they were named), each subject is examined on one and only da y of the year, which is predetermined by the Ministry of Education. This change separated completely-typically, because in essence the links have remained unbreakable--the pe rformance of the students in high school and the national examinations, which caused critici sm because it does not provide any incentive for greater school achievement, while it exposes the whole process of the assessment to various accidental factors (psycholog ical stress, memorisation, luck, technical problems). On the other hand, the justification for that decision, as the government argued, was based on the effect that the examination proces s had on the curriculum and its (internal) assessment within the schools; it was argued more o r less that a "distorted" kind of competition had been going on in the school classes between the students, something that also raised questions about "commercialisation" of the assessment system. In the meantime, candidates competing for a place i n the university schools increased three times between 1974 and 1986, while the number of those successful in entering only doubled. The introduction in 1983 of the three-year Technol ogical Education Institutes (TEIs), which replaced the KATEE, has been seen not only as an attempt to improve standards in the provision of higher technical and vocational kn owledge, but also as a way of diminishing the trend toward greater competition in the univers ity examinations. The reduction of chances and the stiff competition for university pl aces forced the less successful applicants to turn towards the TEIs. While university has beco me more inaccessible for the majority of the secondary school graduates, the number of stude nts entering TEIs has continued to increase. The most important differences between TEIs and un iversities derive from their officially stated educational objectives. The TEIs aim to "provide education in the classroom and in the "real world" (laboratories, business, ex perimental fields, organisations and other public or private establishments linked with the TE Is) for technologists". (Kalamatianos et al, 1988, p.273) To achieve these objectives, TEIs run programs which lead to a first degree ("ptychio") after at least six semesters of classro om instruction, plus one or two additional semesters of practical training. Universities, on t he other hand, offer programs which lead to a first--but not necessarily final-degree (also c alled "ptychio") after eight semesters for all departments, except for engineering and dentistry w hich require 10 semesters, and for medicine which requires 12 semesters. Despite the popularity that TEIs have gained durin g the last decade, there are still problems of "equitable" distribution of higher educ ation places, on the one hand because the percentage of candidates accepted has remained low (about 18% of the total for universities, and 17% for TEIs), and on the other hand because ma ny people still consider university places as "highly prestigious" in relation to the T EIs, and the allocation of their places "is very inequitable and favours high income groups" (P sacharopoulos & Papas, 1987 and 1993).Selection and Educational Changes The education reform attempts, as we have seen, hav e not been quite as bold and radical as one would expect in a country which, off icially at least, belongs to the "West", and is considered as an "upper middle-income economy" b y all the major international organisations. The move from goals and legislation to school outcomes was blocked by


26 of 32political inertia and the fixed processes of Greek school in a period of decreasing economic growth and austere budgets. The constraints of the inherited institutions and the goal conflict between equality of opportunity and excellence shou ld not be ignored. Despite the relative success of the reforms in expanding secondary educa tion, the Greek schools are still plagued by drop-out rates, the lack of fit between curricul um and job requirements and inequalities in the distribution of educational opportunities. Many of the innovations brought (mainly) by the gov ernments of the 1970s and the 1980s did not create the necessary consensus among professional groups, political parties and education planners. The main innovation of the PASOK government, the "multilateral school", has not yet been expanded as expected, mai nly because of the enormous financial and technical resources required, in a period of ve ry stringent fiscal policies, implemented by the State in order to meet the criteria for the monetary unification of the European Union. In addition, the monopoly on decision making by the top hierarchy of the Ministry of Education was--as it has been proved by this experi ence--the primary goal of the policy makers, and this was the framework in which the ref orm was initiated. Examples such as the central control of the content of the textbooks--an d even of the teacher"s manuals--or the changes of the educational hierarchies and prioriti es according to the changes of Minister, are very revealing of the intentions of past govern ments. The historically established access of wide strata of the Greek population to university education has been hindered by the numerous clausus policy. It is important to stress the shift of public pressure for "equal opportunities" in access in educational provision, from the lower to the higher levels of the system. These cha nges ran parallel to general reforms in the organisation of schools, and responded to: i) a cli mate of political freedom and democratic changes that favoured a more "egalitarian" school s tructure, and ii) demands for alignment of the school functions with the needs of the devel oping Greek economy,i.e., the promotion and support of technical-vocational education, whic h has been neglected because of the highly selective examination system, and a dominant "academic" curriculum. The old "classical" and "practical" orientations we re reshaped in an effort to keep up with the radical changes in the socioeconomic condi tions and technological advancements experienced throughout the socalled "developed wo rld", part of which Greece has always struggled to be. The truth is that the Greek educat ional system has been dominated from the very beginning of the existence of the modern Greek State by a highly centralised structure, which enabled the governments and the various polit ically influential groups to impose organisational and financial restrictions on the "d emocratisation" of decisionmaking. At the same time, the orientation of the curriculum toward s the "classical tradition", obviated for a very long time any possibility for introduction of broader and more balanced content based on modern pedagogical methods. Revealing of the con servatism characterising the curriculum policies during the last half century ha s been the prominent and persistent involvement of the School of Philosophy of the Univ ersity of Athens in the planning and implementation of every major curricular change. It s members have repeatedly opposed every attempt at reform that would "deviate" from t he "humanistic" type of education, prevailing in the Greek schools for decades. (Dimar as, 1975; Mattheou, 1980) The dominant ideology has always been that of "meritocracy"; the "few", the most "capable", the most "intelligent" could and should have access to the h ighest educational levels possible, and enjoy the privileges and social status that the mos t "prestigious" academic disciplines can secure. The lack of adequate provision for technical and vo cational education was only an indication of the wider weaknesses of the system, a nd the inequalities (re)produced by its existence. The very restricted access to higher lev els of secondary, and later on university education must not be attributed only to the hostil e attitude of the "traditionalist"


27 of 32policy-makers toward the reforms, nor to the financ ial stringency and lack of resources; it must be searched for in the deep-rooted cultural va lues and principles of Greek society, which, subsequently, may reveal the relation betwee n the dependent character of the country's economic structure and the sociopolitical context of its recent history. The educational mechanisms were designed and controlled by the State in every single detail. Thus, it seems reasonable for them to have served a dominant ideology that praised "non-manual" and "intellectual" work, and a labour market system where the only secure and wellpaid job was that of the "white-collar" public-sector employee. Job insecurity, exploitation by employers, low wages, bad condition s of work, are all societal factors that pushed--and continue to push--pupils toward the mor e advantageous public sector. The fact that the public sector has been the biggest employe r of graduate labour in the past has had a great impact on the prestige of general secondary o r university education, and the "inferiority" of technical-vocational education. Thus, whereas in the past, winning a place in the u ppersecondary school had been considered a success, in the last decade there has been a strong public pressure for "freer" access to the universities and the other institutes of higher education. But since places in higher education--given its "free-of-charge" charac ter, and at the same time the restraints imposed by the State budgets--were limited, Greece has experienced a situation where the "demand" exceeded the "supply". This imbalance had-and still has--to be controlled by the system of the National Examinations. Various studies have shown that the allocation of u niversity places is very inequitable and favours high income groups, or groups with high social status. Even when the research findings claim that performance in the National Exa minations--and subsequently success in entering the university--is not directly affected b y the "family socioeconomic background", there is, nevertheless, always an indirect influenc e through various other factors.(Polydorides, 1995 a,b and 1996) Factors su ch as "curriculum track" or "attendance of private cramming institutes" underscore the infl uence that the family exercises on the choices made, on the one hand, and on the resources used for ensuring eventual success, on the other. The greater ability to finance preparato ry classes and enter selective private schools, results in the finding that "...sons and d aughters of managers, executives and professionals are four times as likely to enter the university on their first trial relative to the offsprings of manual workers". (Papas and Psacharop oulos, 1987, p.494)


28 of 32NotesThe term is rather simplistic, and it is used purel y for a minimum level of descriptive precision. 1. We should not forget her role as a founder member o f the E.C., the EURATOM and the ECSC in the 1950s. 2. Indeed, the country's annual industrial production is among the highest in Europe, despite the wide disparities between North and Sout h, and its long tradition of political instability. 3. Here we should note that all the following governme nts used the distribution of textbooks for strengthening control over knowledge. 4. The proportion of those occupied in the primary sec tor has diminished dramatically during the last 35 years. From about 54% in 1961, i t fell to 29% in 1985, and 21% in 1994. At the same time, the figures for the seconda ry sector were 19%, 27% and 24%, and for the tertiary sector 27%, 44% and 55.5%, res pectively. 5.ReferencesArcher, M. (1979). Social Origins of Educational Sy stems. London:Sage. Ball, S. (1990). Politics and Policy Making in Educ ation: explorations in policy sociology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Bernstein, B. (1973). Class, codes and control, Vol .1. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Bernstein, B. (1975). Class, codes and control, Vol .3. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Bourdieu, P. (1964). Les heritiers: les etudiants e t la culture. Paris: Minuit. Bourdieu, P. & Passeron, J.C. (1976). Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. London: Sage.Broadfoot, P. (1979). Assessment, schools and socie ty. London, Methuen. Brock, C. & Tulasiewicz, W. (1994). Education in a single Europe. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Carnoy, M. & Levin, H. (1976). The limits of educat ional reform. New York, Mc Kay. Christie, T. & Forrest, G.M. (eds.) (1981). Definin g public examination standards. Basington: McMillan Education.DES (1988) The National Curriculum. London:HMSO.Dimaras, A. (1973). The reform that never happened Vol.1. [in Greek] Athens: Hermes. Dimaras, A. (1974). The reform that never happened Vol.2. [in Greek] Athens: Hermes. Drettakis, M. (1974). The professional orientation in the three-year gymnasium. The Citizen [in Greek].


29 of 32Elvin, L. (ed.) (1981). The Educational Systems in the European Community: a guide. Windsor: NFER-NELSON.Gipps, C. AND Murphy, P. (1994). A fair test? Asses sment, Achievement and Equity. Buckingham: Open University Press.Greek Ministry of Education (1994). Statistics for Higher Education. Academic Year 1993-94. [in Greek] Athens: Statistical Service of the Ministry of Education. Greek Ministry of Education (1996). Minimum scores for entry into various Higher Education Departments. [in Greek] Athens, Statistic al Service of the Ministry of Education. Halsey, A.H. (1977) Towards Meritocracy? The Case o f Britain. In: J. Karabel & A.H. Halsey (Eds). Power and ideology in education. New York: OUP. Halsey, A.H., Heath, A.F. & Ridge, J. (1980). Origi ns and destinations: family, class and education in modern Britain. Oxford, Clarendon Pres s. Kalamatianou, A.G., Karmas, C.A. & Lianos, T.P.. (1 988). Technical Higher Education in Greece. European Journal of Education, 23(3), pp.27 1-279. Kassimati, K.(1991). A Survey on the Social Charact eristics of Labour. [in Greek] Athens: EKKE.Kassotakis, M. (1992). The school and career orient ation of students in the integrated multilateral lyceum: a critical evaluation. Educati on and Occupation, 3(2-3), pp. 102-127 [in Greek].Katsikas, C. & Kavadias, G. (1994). Inequality in G reek Education. [in Greek] Athens: Gutenberg.Kelly, A.V. (1990). The National Curriculum: A Crit ical Review. London: Paul Chapman. Kerckhoff, A. & Trott, J.M. (1993). Educational Att ainment in a Changing Educational System: The Case of England and Wales. In: Y. Shavi t & H.P. Blossfeld (Eds.). o.p. Kokkos, A. (1987). The social role of technical lyc eum: educational-professional aspirations and direction of pupils. Unpublished Research Proje ct. [in Greek] Athens: Ministry of Industry, Energy and Technology.Kostaki, A. (1992). How much "integrated" is the mu ltilateral lyceum?. Education and Occupation, 3(2-3), pp.140-148 [in Greek].Kyprianos, P.(1996). Social Representations of the University Diploma. Synchrona Themata 19 (60,61), pp.239246 [in Greek].Mallinson, V. (1980). The Western European idea in education. Oxford: Pergamon Press. McLean, M. (1991). Education in France. In Holmes, B. Equality and Freedom in Education. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.National Statistical Service of Greece (NSSG) (1995 ). Labour Force Survey. [in Greek] Athens, NSSG.


30 of 32Nikta, A. (1991). Reform of Greek Secondary Educati on from 1974 to 1989. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis. Manchester: University of Manchester.Noutsos, C. (1979). Secondary School Curriculum and Social Control. [in Greek] Athens: Themelio.Nuttall, D. (1987). The Validity of Assessment. Eur opean Journal of Psychology of Education, 11, pp.109118.OECD (1980). Educational policy planning: education al reform policies in Greece. Paris: OECD.Papas, G. (1993). The Determinants of Educational A chievement in Greece. Studies in Educational Evaluation,17 pp.405-418.PASOK, (1981). Declaration of Governmental Policy: The Contract with The People. [in Greek] Athens: PASOK.Polydorides, G. (1990). The Examinations for the Hi gher Education. EKE, 76, pp.84-111. Polydorides, G. (1995a). Educational Policy and Pra ctice: a sociological analysis. [in Greek] Athens: Hellenic Grammata.Polydorides, G. (1995b). Sociological analysis of G reek Education: the University-entry Examinations, vol. 1. [in Greek] Athens: Gutenberg.Polydorides, G. (1996). Sociological analysis of Gr eek Education: the University-entry Examinations, vol. 2. [in Greek] Athens: Gutenberg.Psacharopoulos, G., & (1987). The transition from s chool to the university under restricted access. Higher Education, 16, pp. 481-501.Shavit, Y. & Blossfeld, H.P. (1993). Persistent Ine quality: Changing Educational Attainment in Thirteen Countries. Boulder Co.:Westview Press.The Economist, 4/5/1996 and 6/4/1996.UNESCO (various years) Statistical Yearbook. Paris: UNESCO. Young, M. (Ed.) (1971). Knowledge and control. Lond on: Collier-Macmillan.About the AuthorDionysius Gouvias Research and Graduate School Faculty of EducationUniversity of ManchesterHumanities BuildingOxford RoadManchester M13 9PL


31 of 32 Email: I graduated (with a honour's degree) from the Depar tment of Sociology of the University of Crete, Greece, in 1993. I did my mast ers' degree (University of Manchester, Faculty of Education) on "Educational Policy", betw een 1994 and 1995. I registered as a Ph.D. candidate in the Research and Graduate School of the Faculty of Education, University of Manchester, in September 1995.During the last five years I have participated as a research assistant in two research projects on the socioeconomic transformation of certain regi ons in Greece. (These projects were funded by the Universities of Athens and Crete.) I participated in two Educational Conferences, one held in Athens (Greece), and one a t the Birmingham University, School of Education, in 1996. My main research interests are inequalities in education (mostly in secondary), curriculum content, the relationship be tween educational policies and cultural settings, and between school and labour market stru ctures.Copyright 1998 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesThe World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-2411. (602-965-26 92). The Book Review Editor is Walter E. Shepherd: The Commentary Editor is Casey D. Cobb: .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin Greg Camilli Rutgers University John Covaleskie Northern Michigan University Andrew Coulson Alan Davis University of Colorado, Denver Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Richard Garlikov Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Alison I. Griffith York University Arlen Gullickson Western Michigan University Ernest R. House University of Colorado Aimee Howley Marshall University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Calgary Richard M. Jaeger University of North Carolina--Greensboro


32 of 32 Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Rocky Mountain College Dewayne Matthews Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education William McInerney Purdue University Mary P. McKeown Arizona Board of Regents Les McLean University of Toronto Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington Anne L. Pemberton Hugh G. Petrie SUNY Buffalo Richard C. Richardson Arizona State University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Dennis Sayers University of California at Davis Jay D. Scribner University of Texas at Austin Michael Scriven Robert E. Stake University of Illinois--UC Robert Stonehill U.S. Department of Education Robert T. Stout Arizona State University


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