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Thelin, M. & Niedomysl, T. (2015). The (ir)relevance of geography for school choice: Evidence from a Swedish choice experiment. Geoforum, 67, 110-120
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The (ir)relevance of geography for school choice: Evidence from a Swedish choice experiment
2015 (English)In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 67, p. 110-120Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The increased opportunity to choose one’s school of preference has been raised as a key factor in many countries to promote equal opportunities and a higher quality of education. This has been endorsed by policymakers who assume that students make well-informed rational choices and that students stress only academic quality when deciding which school to attend. If this is true, it will benefit schools of high academic quality, rendering improved school quality overall. To date, little research has examined the validity of these assumptions despite the profound effects they have had for changing the school systems in many countries. This article describes an experiment to investigate the relative importance of factors in school choice. The aim is to test the validity of the theoretical assumptions that guided the school choice reforms in Sweden. Specifically, we draw on experimental data from prospective upper secondary school students in Sweden to contrast the principal school quality attributes behind the policy change (knowledge reputation and program feasibility), with the presence of friends and geographical attributes such as distance, location and accessibility, while controlling for individual characteristics. The results have important policy implications as they show that geographical factors are highly relevant for school choice preferences. In contrast to the reforms’ intentions, geography appears to have become more important than ever before. The findings thus reveal significant flaws in the assumptions that motivated the school choice policy reform.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keywords
School choice; Rational choice; Policy reform; Upper secondary school; Geographies of education; Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Education; Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-267283 (URN)10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.11.003 (DOI)000367023200012 ()
Available from: 2015-11-19 Created: 2015-11-19 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
Thelin, M. (2014). Elevers val av gymnasieskola: En experimentell studie om elevers geografiska, akademiska och sociala preferenser. (Licentiate dissertation). Uppsala: Kulturgeografiska institutionen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Elevers val av gymnasieskola: En experimentell studie om elevers geografiska, akademiska och sociala preferenser
2014 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Increased possibilitiesof choosing one’s school of preference hasbeen raised as a key factor in many countries to promote equal opportunitiesand higher quality of education. This has been endorsed by policymakers whoassume that students make well-informed rational choices and that students only stress academic quality whendeciding which school to attend. If this is true, it will benefit schools ofhigh academic quality, rendering improved school quality overall. To date,little research has examined the validity of these assumptions despite theprofound effects they have had for changing the school systems in manycountries. This study employs an experimental approach to investigate therelative importance of attributes in school choice. Specifically the study isbased on experimental data from 587 prospective high school students inHalmstad, Sweden. The purpose is to contrast the principal school qualityattributes behind the policy change (academic reputation and programfeasibility), with the presence of friends and geographical attributes such asdistance, location and accessibility, while controlling for individualcharacteristics. The results are disturbing as they reveal flaws in theassumptions that motivated the school choice policy reform. The study presents evidence of differencesin preferences and that grades are the most important background characteristic for this difference. The study also shows that all studentsare not rational to the same extent as theory predicts. Hence theSwedish school reforms have been based on a slightly biased theory. Finally, the study indicates that differentgeographic contexts (e.g. where the studentslive) affect students' preferences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Kulturgeografiska institutionen, 2014. p. 123
Keywords
School choice, rational choice, economic man, stated preferences, experiment, conjoint, Sweden, Halmstad
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-223752 (URN)978-91-506-2399-4 (ISBN)
Presentation
2014-06-13, Ekonomikum sal B115, Uppsala, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-06-02 Created: 2014-04-24 Last updated: 2014-06-02Bibliographically approved
Niedomysl, T., Ellder, E., Larsson, A., Thelin, M. & Jansund, B. (2013). Learning Benefits of Using 2D Versus 3D Maps: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Experiment. Journal of geography (Houston), 112(3), 87-96
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning Benefits of Using 2D Versus 3D Maps: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Experiment
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2013 (English)In: Journal of geography (Houston), ISSN 0022-1341, E-ISSN 1752-6868, Vol. 112, no 3, p. 87-96Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The traditional important role of maps used for educational purposes has gained further potential with recent advances in GIS technology. But beyond specific courses in cartography this potential seems little realized in geography teaching. This article investigates the extent to which any learning benefits may be derived from the use of such technologies. A controlled experiment was conducted to examine whether information recall is improved when cartographic information on population distribution is presented in 2D versus 3D form. The results show statistically significant differences in learning benefits between the two formats, largely in favor of 2D representation. These findings suggest that learning benefits can be derived from paying greater attention to map format in educational settings.

Keywords
2D versus 3D maps, learning benefits, GIS, cartographic visualization, controlled experiment
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-202931 (URN)10.1080/00221341.2012.709876 (DOI)000319170800001 ()
Available from: 2013-07-01 Created: 2013-07-01 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
Thelin, M. (2012). Länkningen mellan kursmål och kunskapskrav i geografiämnet i Gy 2011. Geografiska Notiser, 70(3), 110-123
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Länkningen mellan kursmål och kunskapskrav i geografiämnet i Gy 2011
2012 (Swedish)In: Geografiska Notiser, ISSN 0016-724X, Vol. 70, no 3, p. 110-123Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Geografilärarnas Riksförening, 2012
Keywords
Geografiämnet, Kursmål, Kunskapskrav, Gymnasiet
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Education; Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-267357 (URN)
Available from: 2015-11-20 Created: 2015-11-20 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-6578-6310

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