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Social Contexts of Secondary Education

            In studying the social contexts of secondary education, something that has a great effect on education is inequality. From sociological perspectives there are a number of arguments and ideas as to why there is inequality within and surrounding the education system. Some of the arguments on educational inequality are based around class or socio-economic groupings, the individual's capacity, parental roles and attitudes, schools, gender, ethnicity, and geographic location (Greatz & McAllister 1994, p. 184-197). These arguments or suggested causes for inequality are often intertwined and are not completely separate from one another. In raising the idea of educational inequality, I would like to focus on an area which is perhaps more prominent to my future teaching career. That is, the recognisable disadvantages or inequalities that people and schools in rural or remote areas are facing, particularly in New South Wales. To add another layer to this essay, there is also the issue of Aboriginal Education, and how Aboriginal people are some of the most disadvantaged when considering educational inequality. .
             In order to see the disadvantages these rural areas might face, I have conducted a short education survey of some of my fellow colleagues, to understand the types of support and facilities that students have had during their time at school. The survey also reveals differences in schools in various geographical areas, which in turn suggests differences between rural and urban areas and schools. It may be important to note that although the survey only covers a very small cross section of the population, this qualitative research is helpful in demonstrating the differences in educational experience of people who are now at university and are studying education. It may also be important to note the general age of participants in the survey, that being from 21 to 25. What follows are the main findings from the survey I conducted (questions are included in the appendix).

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