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School Choice and City District

School Choice and City District

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

Project Description

As of the school year 2010/11, the Berlin school structure was reformed together with the procedure of school choice. Now, only two school types of secondary school are available to students leaving primary school, i.e. grammar school and comprehensive school (Gymnasium, Integrierte Sekundarschule). Moreover, students are principally allowed to choose which school they will attend. In consequence of the reforms, a growing attention paid to the individual schools respectively locations is expected as well as the emergence of a constellation concerning supply and demand. Regarding the newly existing market, parents and students would act as “school seekers” and  the individual schools as providers. The schools would be required to present themselves as an appealing option and the parents and students would need to choose the “best fitting” school. Besides other consequences of the reform, this development is particularly relevant because educational political objectives (i.e. reduction of inequality grounded in socio-economic status, fostering individual giftedness and talent) are to be achieved by establishing a two-track school system and strengthening the freedom of school choice, thus achieving a “good fit” of students at a school. From the parents’ and students’ perspectives, important conditions concern the acceptance of the market as such and strategically wise conduct within its framework. Focusing on a borough in Berlin, the doctoral project investigates how participating actors estimate and evaluate the reform of school structure and choice procedure - and on the other hand, how local conditions might bear an impact on the implementation of the reform and achieving the intended educational political objectives.

Principally, the study is designed as a qualitative research project, drawing on data assessed by the researcher subject to expert interviews, group discussions and participating observation. Furthermore, case studies are investigated to integrate an account of the historical development of individual schools

Project Management

Project Details

Project type: Qualification project
Current projects
01/2012 – 09/2019
Research field: Ethnographic Research in Education
Contact: Tilman Drope
last modified Oct 05, 2018