School Choice and City District

The dissertation project investigated the transition from primary school to lower secondary school in Berlin taking particular consideration of local context conditions.

Project Description

When choice policies are used to encourage families to choose a specific school and individual schools have to offer themselves as options for this, school choice related competitive situations arise. These can be observed in a variety of international contexts and are now gaining importance in Germany both in primary and secondary education.

This thesis examines the competitive situation of school choice in an underprivileged Berlin district following the 2010/11 Berlin school structure reform and analyzes it in the context of relevant German language and international research. All in all, the diverse research results that can be associated with the phenomenon of competitive situations related to school choice raise doubts as to whether the educational policy objectives of improvement in quality and equal opportunities associated with an increased competitive orientation in the field of school education will be fulfilled. This is also indicated by the results of the ethnographic research project, the course and results of which were presented in this study. This thesis augments the qualitative case studies on school choice related competitive situations that have so far been available in Germany to only a very limited extent, using the example of a Berlin district, to include a study in the most populous German city that has not previously been carried out and that focuses on the consequences of a current school structure reform. With the concept of the fit-distance construction developed on the basis of this example as a central social mechanism recognizable in the school choice related competitive situation under study, it also offers starting points for further local case studies and analysis of similar focal points.


Drope, Tilman: Die schulwahlbezogene Wettbewerbssituation. Eine ethnographische Studie zu den Folgen der Berliner Schulstrukturreform in einem von Armut geprägten Bezirk. Berlin: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Diss., 2019. (Online: urn:nbn:de:kobv:11-110-18452/20860-9)

Project Management

  • Tilman Drope, M.A.

Project Details

Project type: Qualification project
Completed Projects
01/2012 – 07/2019