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Young people’s transition to Gymnasium and the role of private and public supplementary learning programs

English title Young people’s transition to Gymnasium and the role of private and public supplementary learning programs
Applicant Landolt Sara
Number 192207
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Geographisches Institut Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Social geography and ecology
Start/End 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024
Approved amount 636'539.00
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Keywords (7)

Educational markets; Educational transition ; Private and public supplementary education; Geography of education ; Young people's geographies ; Voices of young people ; Switzerland

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Der Übertritt Jugendlicher ans Gymnasium und die Rolle privater und öffentlicher Prüfungsvorbereitungsprogramme (Titel)Die Aufnahmeprüfung ans Gymnasium hat in den letzten Jahren einen boomenden Bildungsmarkt in Zürich geschaffen. Fragen der Chancengerechtigkeit stellen sich der Forschung an diesem Schulübertritt drängender denn je.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziele des Forschungsprojekts

In der Schweiz sind Kinder aus sozio-ökonomisch privilegierten Familien am Gymnasium über-, während Kinder aus sozio-ökonomisch benachteiligten Familien untervertreten sind. Diskussionen zur sozialen Selektivität des Bildungssystems bei Schulübertritten sind durch ein neues Phänomen befeuert worden: Ein wachsender Markt an privaten Nachhilfekursen zur Vorbereitung für die Aufnahmeprüfung. Auch Schulen und private Initiativen bieten mittlerweile eigene, kostenfreie Vorbereitungsprogramme an. Diese Entwicklungen scheinen sich insbesondere in Regionen mit einer hochselektiven Aufnahmeprüfung zu etablieren; so auch im Kanton Zürich, in der unsere Studie verortet ist. Das Forschungsprojekt zielt darauf ab, den Bildungsübergang von der Primar- und der Sekundarstufe ans Gymnasium im Kontext dieses boomenden Bildungsmarktes genauer zu untersuchen. Dabei soll beantwortet werden, wie dieser Bildungsmarkt funktioniert, wie Bildungspolitik und Vermarktung im Bildungswesen zusammenwirken und wie Jugendliche, die verschiedene Vorbereitungsprogramme besuchen, den Übergang ans Gymnasium erleben.

 

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Mit der Untersuchung leisten wir einen Beitrag zur Debatte schulergänzender Bildungsangebote und der damit verbundenen Frage nach der Chancengleichheit. Die Studie schafft eine Datenbasis zu Bildungsübergängen und Auswirkungen von Marktmechanismen im Bildungssektor. Die Forschungsergebnisse können Bildungsakteure nutzen, um eine gerechtere Gestaltung von Bildungsübergängen anzudenken.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.11.2020

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Abstract

Educational aspirations have risen worldwide, and educational policies in many countries have sought to increase the numbers of students gaining access to tertiary and higher education (OECD, 2017; 2019: 3). Alongside public education, supplementary learning activities, such as private tutoring and test preparation courses, are expanding significantly in all world regions (Bray, 2017: 476).These global trends can also be observed in Switzerland. What makes the country a special case internationally is that, in comparison to other OECD countries, the rise of educational aspirations and the growing demand for higher education qualifications takes place in a context of relatively restricted access to and relatively low graduation rates from Gymnasium, which grants direct access to university education (SKBF, 2018). In this a competitive environment, private, fee-based supplementary learning programs have witnessed a boom, above all in cantons with highly selective educational systems (Hof & Wolter, 2014). Complementary to this increasing market of private supplementary learning programs, schools and private initiatives have started to offer own programs that are free of cost to students (e.g. Stadt Zürich, 2011). This project analyzes educational transitions to Gymnasium at this crossroads of increasing competition and equality of opportunity (Chancengleichheit) through a case study in the City of Zurich. Convinced of a need to extend scholarly literature with research that engages with how educational transitions to Gymnasium unfold for various “market stakeholders”, we pay particular attention to the perspectives and discursive representations of school representatives, private and nonprivate suppliers of preparation courses, and young people attending supplementary learning programs and their families.We pursue three goals in our study: (1) conceptually, we apply a critical human geography approach to students` educational transition to Gymnasium; (2) methodologically, we add a qualitative research design that includes the voices of young people to the traditionally more quantitative educational research in Switzerland; and (3), we focus on both private and nonprivate suppliers of preparation courses, as both are shaping the educational transition market at the threshold to Gymnasium.Methodologically, the study will apply qualitative research tools, including expert interviews, semi-structured interviews with young people and parents, participant observation, and document analysis, to identify and analyze the discourses of the various actors involved. The data will be studied using discourse analysis. This analytical tool can uncover how discursive framings shape an emerging educational market and what effects these discourses have on the experiences of young people. The target groups of our research in Zurich are young people at the two thresholds to Gymnasium (12-13 & 14-16 year olds) and their parents, representatives of educational institutions and politics, private entrepreneurs, and people running nonprofit initiatives.The results are expected to contribute new insights for both academic and wider readerships (9-11 scientific papers) into the structures, arguments, and discourses that set the frame for a booming educational market developing around the transition to Gymnasium. A particular focus is on the perspectives and experiences of the young people who are using such services. The insights of the case study in Zurich show how educational policies and marketization in education are interacting. This study intends to produce a rich database which is necessary to critically encounter and actively shape educational transitions to the benefit of future generations of students in Switzerland.
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