Transitions to upper secondary education in Catalonia: A sociological analysis of education policy
Keywords:educational transitions, post compulsory education, educational inequality, educational policy, vocational training, baccalaureate, guidance
Transitions to upper secondary education are crucial to explain different degrees of social selectivity in diverse education systems. In Catalonia these transitions are especially relevant as the education system is formally comprehensive until the end of compulsory secondary schooling, and only at this point the system is divided in two different tracks: the academic and the vocational. The aim of the paper is to analyse the structural, institutional and discursive articulation of this transition point from the perspective of the sociology of the education policy. Specifically, the paper explores three dimensions of analysis: the structure of the education system, the planning of the supply, and the guidance models. The analysis is based on 28 in-depth interviews with policy makers and stakeholders in the field of upper secondary education in Barcelona. The results point out to the relevance of the political-institutional articulation, contradictions, tensions and omissions of different education systems in setting unequal opportunities of educational transition.