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Conditions and Consequences of Unequal Educational Opportunities in the Life Course: Results from the Cross-National Comparative eduLIFE Project

  • Hans-Peter BlossfeldEmail author
  • Nevena Kulic
  • Jan Skopek
  • Moris Triventi
  • Elina Kilpi-Jakonen
  • Daniela Vono de Vilhena
  • Sandra Buchholz
Abhandlungen

Abstract

Using longitudinal data, this chapter studies the development of educational inequalities over the life course in 12–17 different industrialized societies. By comparing highly-standardized country case studies in specific phases of the educational career, it provides evidence of major communalities in modern societies. First, the cross-national findings show that educational inequalities are created and perpetuated in family settings, early in a child’s life, long before children start school. Children from less privileged families are the ones who are least likely to attend high-quality institutions, and if they do, their gains are only moderate and generally too small to effectively counteract the family influence. When children are in school, the comparative analyses demonstrate that socioeconomically-advantaged families manage to secure the “pole positions” in education for their children, regardless of the organizational specificities of the school system across different countries. They always succeed in strategically exploiting various opportunities provided by different school systems. Finally, the cross-national comparisons of adult learning over the life course show a strong cumulative advantage: Adult learning tends to reproduce and reinforce the outcomes of initial formal education in the later adult life course.

Keywords

Educational inequality Matthew effect Variations in institutional configurations Comparative life course research Standardized country case studies Early childhood education Tracking Comprehensive schools Adult education 

Bedingungen und Konsequenzen ungleicher Bildungschancen im Lebenslauf: Ergebnisse aus dem international vergleichenden eduLIFE-Projekt

Zusammenfassung

Dieses Papier vergleicht für eine größere Anzahl moderner Gesellschaften deskriptive Befunde zur Entstehung und zu den Konsequenzen ungleicher Bildungschancen im Lebenslauf. Die international vergleichende Analyse basiert auf einer Reihe hochstandardisierter (und damit vergleichbarer) länderspezifischer Fallstudien, in denen jeweils spezifische Bildungsphasen (Kleinkindalter, Schulalter, Erwachsenenalter) mit Längsschnittdaten untersucht wurden. Ziel des Beitrags ist es, gemeinsame Mechanismen des Bildungsverlaufs in modernen Dienstleistungsgesellschaften herauszuarbeiten. Die Ergebnisse des internationalen Vergleichs zeigen zunächst, dass die Bildungsungleichheiten (insbesondere die Kompetenzunterschiede) bereits im frühen Kleinkindalter in den Familien entstehen, also lange bevor die Kinder überhaupt beginnen, zur Schule zu gehen. Die Grundlagen der Bildungsungleichheiten werden in modernen Gesellschaften damit weiterhin im Kleinkindalter von einer Generation auf die nächste übertragen. Kinder aus sozial privilegierten Familien gehen in den meisten modernen Gesellschaften danach auch häufiger in Kinderbetreuungseinrichtungen mit höherer Qualität. Generell sind die Kompetenzzuwächse für benachteiligte Kinder in den bestehenden Kinderbetreuungseinrichtungen aber zu moderat und zu klein, um die Kompetenzdifferenzen zwischen Kindern aus verschiedenen Herkunftsfamilien effektiv ausgleichen können. In der Schule zeigen die komparativen Analysen, dass sozio-ökonomisch privilegierte Familien dafür sorgen, dass ihre Kinder immer wieder die aussichtsreicheren „Pole-Positionen“ erhalten. Mit anderen Worten: unabhängig davon, wie das Bildungssystem in einem Land organisiert ist (als Gesamtschule, in Form interner Schul- oder Fächerdifferenzierung oder als dreigliedriges Schulsystem), gelingt es privilegierten Familien in allen Schulsystemen immer wieder, die jeweiligen Chancen und Vorteile, die diese unterschiedlichen Systeme bieten, für ihre Kinder zu nutzen. Damit sind institutionellen Reformen des Schulsystems zur Erreichung von mehr Bildungsgleichheit enge Grenzen gesetzt. Schließlich zeigt der internationale Vergleich, dass das formale und non-formale Lernen von Erwachsenen im späteren Lebenslauf in modernen Gesellschaften einen starken kumulativen Charakter aufweist. Das Bildungsverhalten von Erwachsenen tendiert damit generell dazu, die Bildungsunterschiede der Erstausbildung im Lebenslauf noch weiter zu verstärken, anstatt auszugleichen.

Schlüsselwörter

Bildungsungleichheit Matthäus-Effekt Institutionelle Konfigurationen von moderneren Bildungssystemen International vergleichende Lebensverlaufsanalyse Standardisierte Fallstudien Frühe Kindheit Bildungsstratifikation in der Schule Gesamtschule Erwachsenenbildung 

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Peter Blossfeld
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nevena Kulic
    • 2
  • Jan Skopek
    • 3
  • Moris Triventi
    • 4
  • Elina Kilpi-Jakonen
    • 5
  • Daniela Vono de Vilhena
    • 6
  • Sandra Buchholz
    • 7
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Soziologie I, Fakultät Sozial- und WirtschaftswissenschaftenOtto-Friedrich-Universität BambergBambergGermany
  2. 2.Via dei Roccettini 9European University InstituteSan Domenico di FiesoleItaly
  3. 3.Department of SociologyTrinity College DublinDublinIreland
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Sociologia e ricerca socialeUniversità di TrentoTrentoItaly
  5. 5.Unit of Sociology, Department of Social ResearchUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  6. 6.Population Europe, WissenschaftsForumMax Planck Institute for Demographic ResearchBerlinGermany
  7. 7.Deutsches Zentrum für Hochschul- und WissenschaftsforschungHannoverGermany

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