05 SES 10, Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
ecently schools in disadvantaged districts have increasingly attracted attention in Germany as well as internationally (e.g. Muijs et al., 2004; Harris et al., 2006; Lohfeld & Hamburger, 2008; Ainscow & Goldrick, 2010; Arnz, 2012). Due to their position in socially segregated districts, these schools are characterized by an accumulation of negative compositional features. These areas offer fewer opportunities for children and teenagers due to restrictive living conditions, such as job insecurity, high unemployment rates and low educational success. Schools in these areas are more likely to be faced with students showing language deficiencies, problematic school careers, social behavior problems and parents who are not able or willing to encourage and support them (Harris et al., 2003; Muijs et al., 2004; Leithwood & Steinbach, 2003; Gray, 2000; Gore & Smith, 2001). The unfavorable contextual influencing factors are further intensified by additional factors within the school such as problems in recruiting good teachers, high staff turnover, behavioral problems on the part of the students and a high truancy rate. Further reasons are seen in the students’ low prior knowledge when starting school, a high ratio of students who have been excluded from other schools as well as popular schools in close proximity (Teddlie & Stringfield, 1993; Hopkins, 2001; Learmonth & Lowers, 1998; Englefield, 2001; Reynolds et al. 2001; Chapman, 2002; Muijs et al., 2004; Reynolds et al., 2004).
The accumulation of these unfavorable conditions gives rise to difficult learning milieus and hampers a desirable learning and performance development on the part of the students attending these schools. Therefore the performance of these schools is often worse than the performance of schools with more favorable context conditions (Muijs et al. 2004; Baumert et al., 2006). A relation between characteristics of social background and school success is internationally consistently verifiable and has been discussed ever since the Coleman Report was published (Coleman et al., 1966). In Germany, this correlation is continually above OECD-average (OECD, 2011).
It becomes obvious, that the school’s context plays an important role, especially with regard to the learning and performance development of its students. Nevertheless, we would like to emphasize that a disadvantaged or deprived socio-economic context does not in itself determine school failure or predispose a school towards underperformance. Therefore, schools in challenging circumstances are not automatically failing schools and vice versa.
In order to overcome this tendency, it is of utmost importance to identify strategies enabling schools to work successfully despite unfavorable conditions. Only by doing so a good future for students from socio-economic disadvantaged families can be promoted. Muijs et al. (2004), for instance, collected research findings concerning schools in challenging circumstances from Great Britain, Canada and the Unites States. One of the factors they identified for being supportive to those schools is a focus on teaching and learning. Describing effective lessons in Germany, Helmke (2012) established empirical based quality characteristics, internationally Hattie’s metananlysis (2009) has to be pointed out. Nevertheless, it is not yet clear in what way those quality factors are crucial to schools in deprived contexts.
Although evidence of teaching-related characteristics of successful schools in segregated areas is generated in international research, we do not know in what way these results relate to German schools in comparable conditions. Our research objective is thus to elaborate parameters enabling German schools to work successfully despite unfavorable conditions. In our presentation we will be focussing on lesson characteristics. This results in the following comprehensive research question:
How are instructional teaching and learning processes designed in order to address the context-related unfavorable learning and performance requirements of students in segregated districts?
Ainscow, M. & Goldrick, S. (2010). Making sure every child matter: enhancing equity within education systems. In A. Hargreaves, A. Lieberman, M. Fullan & D. Hopkins (Eds.), Second international handbook of educational change (pp. 869-882). London: Springer. Arnz, S. (2012). Turnaround von Schulen in kritischer Lage. Erfolg ermöglichen und organisieren. In S.G. Huber (Hrsg.), SchulVerwaltung spezial (2), pp. 17,f. Baumert, J., Stanat, P. & Watermann, R. (2006). Herkunftsbedingte Disparitäten im Bildungswesen. Differenzielle Bildungsprozesse und Probleme der Verteilungsgerechtigkeit. Vertiefende Analysen im Rahmen von PISA 2000. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Chapman, C. (2002). OFSTED and school improvement: Teachers' perception of the inspection process in schools facing challenging circumstances. Coventry, UK: University of Warwick Institute of Education. Coleman, J. S., Campbell, E. Q., Hobson, C. J., McPartland, J., Mood, A. M., Weinfeld, F. D. & York, R. L. (1966). Equality of educational opportunity. Washington: National Center for Educational Statistics. Englefield, S. (2001). Leading to Success: Judging Success in Primary Schools in Challenging Contexts. Nottingham: National College for School Leadership. Gore, T. & Smith, N. (2001). Patterns of educational attainment in the British coalfields. Sheffield, UK: Department for Education and Skills. Gray, J. (2000). Causing Concern but Improving: A Review of Schools' Experiences. London: Department for Education and Skills. OECD (2011). PISA 2009 Ergebnisse: Potenziale nutzen und Chancengerechtigkeit sichern – Sozialer Hintergrund und Schülerleistungen (Band II). http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264095359-de [Zugriff: 08.10.2013]. Harris, A. Muijs, D. Chapman. C. Russ, J. & Stoll, L. (2006): Improving Schools in Challenging Contexts: Exploring the possible School Effectiveness and School Improvement (4), pp. 409-425. Helmke, A. (2012). Unterrichtsqualität und Lehrerprofessionalität. Diagnose, Evaluation und Verbesserung des Unterrichts (4. überarbeitete Aufl., Schule weiterentwickeln – Unterricht verbessern. Orientierungsband). Seelze: Klett-Kallmeyer. Hattie, J. A. C. (2009). Visible Learning. A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London & New York: Routledge. Hopkins, D. (2001). Meeting the challenge. An improvement guide for schools facing challenging circumstances. London: Department for Education and Skills. Leithwood, K., & Steinbach, R. (2003). Leadership for especially challenging schools. In B. Davies & J. West-Burnham (Eds.) Handbook of educational leadership and management. London, UK: Pearson; pp. 25-45. Lohfeld, W. & Hamburger, F. (Eds.), Gute Schulen in schlechter Gesellschaft. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 47-58. Reynolds, D., Hopkins, D., Potter, D., & Chapman, C. (2001). School improvement for schools facing challenging circumstances: A review of research and practice. London: Department for Education and Skills.
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