14 SES 11 B, School Related Transitions across Cultural Contexts
The pupil mobility (non-normative transition, school change) is defined as "a child joining or leaving a school at a point other than the normal age at which children start or finish their education at that school, whether or not this involves a move of home" (Dobson, 2008). Some authors use the term "transfer" to describe such events of mobility different from normal transition (promotion) to higher level of education. The school mobility is an established research topic as school changes have a significant impact both on the mobile pupil and on the stable pupils, classrooms and schools (Strand & Demie, 2006, 2007; Gibbons & Telhaj, 2011; Rumberger, 2003; Mehana & Reynolds, 2004). Our review, however, shows that most of the research data come from a small number of countries, mainly the USA and the United Kingdom. Far less information is available from the continental Europe. Besides, the dominance of quantitative surveys and the lack of qualitative or ethnographic studies is an important characteristic of this research field (Gasper, DeLuca, & Estacion, 2012). In our study we want to bring out both qualitative and quantitative information on the frequency and the processual characteristics of school changes in the Czech school system i.e. a central European school system tracking the pupils at an early age.
While the pupil mobility itself is an important problem worth studying, our research is focused on the school changes between the different tracks that are not related to the family spatial mobility (the children change the school only). The Czech Republic belongs to the group of countries where the first selection of pupils occurs early – at the end of primary school. Even more school types/tracks are available to pupils at the upper secondary level. Besides, relatively many Czech pupils attend the schools for children with special educational needs (approx. 3,5%). That is why in some cases the school change might be motivated by an effort to correct the previous choice of the school type or track. The pattern of mobility could be different in rural and urban settings as more school types are available in large towns.
Our research questions for the qualitative phase are: What types and causes of (non-residential) school mobility can be found within the horizontally stratified school system? How is the pattern of mobility influenced by the school context (rural/urban)? How are the school changes perceived by the teachers, pupils and their parents? In the quantitative phase, our aim is to provide descriptive statistics of the under-researched phenomenon based on the census of pupils in primary and secondary schools.
Dobson, J. (2008). Pupil mobility, choice and the secondary school market: assumptions and realities, Educational Review, 60(3), 299-314. Gasper, J., DeLuca, S., & Estacion, A. (2012). Switching schools: Revisiting the relationship between school mobility and high school dropout. American Educational Research Journal, 49(3), 487-519. Gibbons, S., & Telhaj, S. (2011). Pupil mobility and school disruption. Journal of Public Economics, 95(9-10), 1156-1167. Mehana, M., & Reynolds, A. J. (2004). School mobility and achievement: a meta-analysis. Children and Youth Services Review, 26(1), 93-119. Rumberger, R. W. (2003). The causes and consequences of student mobility. Journal of Negro Education, 72(1), 6−21. Strand, S., & Demie, F. (2006). Pupil mobility, attainment and progress in primary school. British Educational Research Journal, 32(4), 551-568. Yin, R. K. (2013). Case study research, 5th ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
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