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Kognitive Homogenisierung, schulische Leistungen und soziale Bildungsungleichheit

Theoretische Modellierung und empirische Analyse der Effekte einer strikten Differenzierung nach den kognitiven Fähigkeiten auf die Leistungen in der Sekundarstufe und den Einfluss der sozialen Herkunft in den deutschen Bundesländern mit den Daten der „National Educational Panel Study“ (NEPS)

Cognitive Homogenization, Educational Achievement and Social Inequality
A theoretical model and empirical analysis of the effects of strict ability tracking according to cognitive abilities on achievement and social inequalities in secondary education across the German federal states using data of the “National Educational Panel Study” (NEPS)
Hartmut Esser and Julian Seuring

Zusammenfassung

Die Differenzierung der Bildungswege nach den kognitiven Fähigkeiten wird damit begründet, dass sie eine für das Lernen förderliche Homogenisierung der schulischen Umgebung ermögliche, die allen beim Erwerb schulischer Kompetenzen zugutekäme. Dagegen wird angeführt, dass die Differenzierung keine sonderlichen Effekte habe, sondern eher nur die Effekte der sozialen Herkunft verstärke. Diese Auffassung gilt als Standardposition. Der Beitrag untersucht auf der Grundlage eines allgemeinen theoretischen Modells die Effekte einer unterschiedlich strikt geregelten Differenzierung auf die Leistungen in der Sekundarstufe. Grundlage sind Daten der „National Educational Panel Study“ (NEPS) für die deutschen Bundesländer mit ihren erheblichen Unterschieden in der Regelung der Differenzierung. Danach gibt es bei einer strikten Differenzierung keine Verstärkung der Effekte der sozialen Herkunft, wohl aber eine Zunahme der Leistungen in der Sekundarstufe, speziell in der Kombination mit einer homogeneren Zusammensetzung der Schulklassen nach den kognitiven Fähigkeiten. Das gilt gerade für die Kinder in den Schulklassen der unteren Bildungswege mit geringerem Leistungsniveau. Dort fallen die Leistungen am geringsten bei kognitiver Homogenität und einer liberalen, am besten bei Homogenität und einer strikten Differenzierung aus. In den Schulklassen mit höherem kognitiven Niveau ist die Streuung dagegen gleichgültig, dort wäre die kognitive Heterogenität eher sogar besser. Die Befunde widersprechen der Standardposition deutlich, womöglich wohl, weil in den bisherigen Analysen die theoretisch erforderlichen Daten nicht zur Verfügung standen oder die nötigen Analysen nicht vorgenommen wurden, insbesondere nicht in den Beiträgen mit den bisher meist verwendeten internationalen Vergleichsstudien.

Abstract

Channeling students into different educational tracks based on their cognitive abilities (ability tracking) is assumed to foster educational achievement for all students by creating homogeneous learning contexts in school. Critics however question such beneficial effects and claim that ability tracking aggravates social inequalities. This view could be deemed the “standard position” of previous research. Starting from a general theoretical model, the present study examines the effects of ability tracking with different degrees of strictness on student achievement in secondary education. Using data of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), we compare the educational systems of the German federal states, which differ considerably with regard to the strictness of tracking regulations. Findings indicate that strict ability tracking improves educational achievement in secondary education, without aggravating influences of social origin. Students in cognitively homogeneous classrooms with lower average ability composition particularly benefit from strict ability tracking. The students in cognitively homogeneous classrooms perform worst when liberal tracking is implemented and best under strict tracking regulations. In classrooms with higher average ability levels, by contrast, cognitive homogeneity appears to be less relevant; students in cognitively heterogeneous classrooms here even tend to outperform those with a more homogeneous classroom composition. These results clearly contradict findings of previous studies that support the standard position. This discrepancy might reflect methodological shortcomings of previous studies. Particularly the bulk of contributions that are based on cross-national data, oftentimes lack appropriate means to test the theoretical assumptions and/or are unable to include all relevant factors in the analyses.

Die Replikationsdaten dieses Aufsatzes finden Sie im SowDateNet/Datorium unter folgenden Titel: Code/Syntax: Kognitive Homogenisierung, schulische Leistungen und soziale Bildungsungleichheit. Doi: https://doi.org/10.7802/2072.

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Published Online: 2020-11-27
Published in Print: 2020-11-25

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