Panel D.04 — Education and Social Justice: the Role played by School Quality. Ideas for and education system fighting inequality

Convenors Elisabetta Nigris (University of Milan Bicocca, Italy); Roberto Moscati (University of Milan Bicocca, Italy); Gianluca Argentin (University of Milan Bicocca, Italy)

Keywords inequality, school quality, social justice


Formal education may significantly contribute to the reduction of inequalities of individuals attending the system of education at different levels. On the other hand, it may contribute to the existing inequalities or even deepen them.

Research shows that social mobility and the recovery of young people who neither attend school nor have a job (the so called NEET) are related to the quality of the education system. What matter are both the of institutional organizations and the lifelong learning initiatives at their side, as well as to educational projects other functioning mechanisms, such and – broadly speaking, didactical methods and teachers training.

In particular, international meta-analysis show a number of features that might contribute to the quality enhancement of the education system, including: principals and teachers quality; the degree of students’ and parents’ participation to school activities; the evaluation processes (hierarchical-normative vs. criterial-formative); the teachers-pupils relationship; the use of different ad personalized pedagogical methods and tools.

It seems urgent to focus attention and direct research toward a more detailed and thorough analysis on one side on what is meant by school quality – namely on which kind of organizational, institutional and training factors school quality is established – and, on the other side, on how school quality may contribute to the promotion of social justice.

Contributors are invited to present results of successful initiatives which can help to better define the quality of an educational system for the social justice, but also proposals focused on the analyses of unsuccessful projects.


Guidelines and abstracts submission