• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

De Facto Tracking

  • By: Sylvia L. M. Martinez & Dena Samuels
  • In: Sociology of Education: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: James Ainsworth
  • Subject:Sociology of Education (general), Sociology of Education, Education Policy

In theory, de facto tracking differentiates teaching and learning based on the academic level and prior performance of a student under a fair and meritocratic educational system. De facto tracking, at its best, provides curricula and opportunities to learn in ways that correspond with students' abilities. Under this system, a students' academic success is the chief factor in his or her educational attainment and occupational rewards. Meritocratic ideology, however, is based on the assumption that all students begin their education on a level playing field, but in practice, it does not take into account pervasive systemic social inequalities that privilege some students at the expense of others.

Researchers have documented how the virtually universal pedagogical practice of tracking stratifies the educational process, overwhelmingly placing students with ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles