02 SES 11 B, Transitions: Reflections on VET Programs and Practice
The decision for a specific school type during the transition from compulsory school to secondary school depends on different reasons and motives. Vocational secondary schools are often chosen by interest (Lüdtke/Trautwein 2004) but there are other reasons and motives to choose one’s education as well. Students’ choices for a specific school type may also be led by pragmatic or instrumental thoughts like “it is easier to get the aspired grade, good marks etc.”. Even if it is legitimate to do extrinsically motivated school choices such decisions during educational transitions are not without problems.
There is some empirical evidence that the reasons for a decision in vocational transitions have consequences for the perception of the educational environment and at last for the educational outcomes as well. Eder/Bergmann (2004) argue for the example of vocational schools in Austria that students’ vocational interests influence the perception of the learning environment and hence is a relevant factor of students’ socialization in school. According to Kutscha et al., German apprentices who chose their occupation as a second best solution, to avoid unemployment etc., perceive more problems during their first year in vocational education than others (Kutscha et al. 2009). Similar to what Neuenschwander and Nägele indicate that it is not only important to begin an apprenticeship but to get an apprenticeship which fits with one’s interests and competencies in order to increase organizational commitment (Neuenschwander/Nägele 2014). Moreover, there are some results that student ratings on educational quality tend to be better when students are interested in the topic of their lessons (Ditton 2002; Greimel/Geyer 2005; Wagner 2008).
In accordance to those empirical results we expect that motives for decisions in transition processes do affect students’ perception and evaluations of their educational environment. Therefore, we analyze in this paper whether students’ motives for transitional decisions influence their ratings on educational quality. Our hypothesis is that instrumental decisions in transition processes lead to poor estimation of the quality of teaching.
The overall question if the reasons and motives to choose a school type do determine student ratings on teaching quality or not, will be discussed in our paper at the example of the transition process to German secondary vocational schools which enable students to get their General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (A-levels). Although grammar or comprehensive schools are the more ‘traditional’ track to get A-levels, the different types of vocational schools such as Schools for Education, Economics or Electrical Engineering become a more and more interesting choice for students.
Daniels, Z. (2008). Entwicklung schulischer Interessen im Jugendalter. Münster: Waxmann. Ditton, H. (2002). Lehrkräfte und Unterricht aus Schülersicht. Ergebnisse einer Untersuchung im Fach Mathematik. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik. 48(2), 262-286. Doyle, W. (1977). Paradigms for research on teacher effectiveness. Review of Research in Education, Vol. 5, 163-198. Eder, F. & Bergmann, C. (2004). Der Einfluss von Interessen auf die Lehrer-Wahrnehmung von Schülerinnen und Schülern. Empirische Pädagogik. 18(4), 410-431. Gray, M. & Bergmann, B. R. (2003). Student teaching evaluations: Inaccurate, demeaning, misused. Academe, Vol. 89, 44-46. Greimel-Fuhrmann, B (2003). Evaluation von Lehrerinnen und Lehrern. Einflussgrößen auf das Gesamturteil von Lernenden. Innsbruck/Wien/München: Studienverlag. Greimel-Fuhrmann, B. & Geyer, A. (2005). Die Wirkung von Interesse und Sympathie auf die Gesamtbeurteilung in der Lehrevaluation. Direkte und indirekte Effekte unter Berücksichtigung des Lehrverhaltens. Empirische Pädagogik, 19(2), 103-120. Kutscha, G., Besener, A. & Debie, S. O. (2009). Probleme der Auszubildenden in der Eingangsphase der Berufsbildung im Einzelhandel – ProBE. Essen: UDZ. Lüdtke, O. & Trautwein, U. (2004). Die gymnasiale Oberstufe und psychische Ressourcen. Gewissenhaftigkeit, intellektuelle Offenheit und die Entwicklung von Berufsinteressen. In: Wege zur Hochschulreife in Baden-Württemberg: TOSCA - eine Untersuchung an allgemein bildenden und beruflichen Gymnasien. Opladen: Leske und Budrich, 367-401. Nägele, C. & Neuenschwander, M. (2014). Adjustment Processes and Fit Perceptions as Predictors of Organizational Commitment of Young Workers. Journal of Vocational Behavior. 85(3), 385-393. Wagner W. (2008). Methodenprobleme bei der Analyse der Unterrichtswahrnehmung aus Schülersicht. Am Beispiel der Studie DESI (Deutsch Englisch Schülerleistungen International) der Kultusministerkonferenz. Koblenz-Landau: Univ., FB Psychologie.
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