The Importance Of Long Standing National Traditions On School Performance And Educational Attainment

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studies typically compare the outputs produced by school systems, often measured in school performance or educational attainment. These comparisons are important for educational research and policy making. Therefore, insufficient attention is paid to the changing contexts in which these outputs are created. In particular the institutional arrangements of educational systems are highly relevant for educational and social stratification processes within societies ( Meyer 1977, Kerckhoff 1995, Van der Werfhost and Mijs 2010). The relevance of long standing national traditions in educational institutions persists even in an era of globalization ( Mayer 2001) At the same time, difference abound within federal countries, such as the United States and Germany, requiring explanations below the nation state level. Specifically in federal countries with internal differentiation, typologies offer a useful tool to understand patterns of institutional development, especially in periods of political and social transformation. German unification after 1989 provides a unique occasion to investigate the effects that reforms of educational institutions have on educational opportunities and their impact on social inequality. The transformation of eastern Germany resulted in a developmental field experiment (Humphreys and Weinstein 2009) After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification standardized and uniform national educational system of the German Democratic Republic, in particular

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