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News from NEPS Results Compact


The Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories has been offering "NEPS Results Compact" for some years now—these short summaries of current research projects on the basis of data from the National Education Panel Study provide information in a concise form on some of the most important results.

Some recent highlights:

Rather not social background, but expectations and success shown to promote school careers

The Pisa study has shown for years that social background is crucial for school careers. Thomas Zimmerman from the Goethe University Frankfurt, however, uses data from NEPS students from seventh to ninth grade to show that expectations and success itself are decisive components for success at school.
High expectations of personal educational success motivate people to behave in such a way that success is achieved. But how are these educational aspirations influenced? The explanatory model of the Wisconsin School has established itself internationally. According to this model, educational aspirations depend on two factors: success at school (among students) and educational aspirations in their social environment. Zimmermann shows that this model can also be applied in the German school system: Success and expectations determine educational aspirations—the social background of the students, on the other hand, has little influence.
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If the teacher is convinced that success at school depends on talent, disadvantaged students often remain helpless in mathematics

Success at school and the development of competencies depend not only on the expectations of our environment or on what is typical for men and women but also on the interaction between teachers and students. The attitudes of the teachers are at the center of this.
Dr. Anke Heyder, Freie Universität Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Martin Brunner, University of Potsdam, have published an article about students in the ninth grade. They often develop a feeling of helplessness when, despite all their efforts in math, they perform poorly and know that the teacher considers a natural gift to be the key to success at school.
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Girls are better at reading, boys at math—at least if they have the traditional "little difference" in their minds

In their article, Lisa Ehrtmann and Dr. Ilka Wolter from the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories show the power of gender stereotypical expectations for the development of students at the beginning of the secondary level. At the same time, the researchers can also prove that girls in particular, who do not attach importance to these stereotypes and believe in gender equality, are on a par with their classmates in mathematics.
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Does attending all-day school have a positive influence on the development of students' competencies?

Dr. Tobias Linberg, ISB Bavaria, Prof. Dr. Olaf Struck, University of Bamberg, and Dr. Thomas Bäumer, Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories, have shown with the aid of NEPS data: It is not the all-day school, but the attractiveness of the services offered that promotes learning success. Attending all-day school alone does not affect children’s competencies in the fifth to seventh grades in the areas of reading and mathematics. However, extracurricular activities can have a huge impact, given that students like and enjoy them.
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What happens after school?

"Connections" do still help in the search for an apprenticeship. This is the conclusion of an article on the basis of NEPS data written by Dr. Thomas Roth, Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, especially when it comes to apprenticeships in the dual system that require a low or intermediate school-leaving certificate.
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