09 SES 07 A, Relating Homework Practices and Opportunities to Learn to Educational Achievement
Several European countries extend the school day to the afternoon. The basic idea is that more time in school promotes the employability of both parents and improves learning outcomes (e.g., Mahoney, Larson, Eccles, & Lord, 2005; Fischer, Theis, & Züchner, 2014). In the present study, we investigate the impact of all-day schooling on school achievement in German secondary schools. With respect to the outcome, we consider not only levels of achievement but also achievement inequalities as it is argued that all-day schooling is especially important for children who grow up in less stimulating home learning environments. We do not only compare different structures of all-day schools, but also investigate effects of all-day process characteristics.
Extended education is hardly comparable across countries, as the organization and use of time in the afternoon varies considerably between educational systems (e.g. Plantenga & Remery, 2013). Interestingly, there is also quite some variation within countries. In Germany, for example, all-day schools are defined as schools that provide on at least three days per week at least seven-hour schooling or other activities including lunch. Even though schools that do not meet these criteria are labeled half-day schools, they might still offer some schooling (of limited duration) in the afternoon. All-day schools that meet the prior definition are further distinguished by their all-day school structure: “fully mandatory” means that the time in the afternoon is obligatory, “partially mandatory” that it is obligatory for groups of students, and “non-mandatory” that it is voluntary. This natural variance within the German school system can be used to study the impact of structural characteristics of all-day schooling on educational outcomes.
All-day schooling can be compulsory or voluntary but no less important is the way the additional time in the afternoon is used. For example, the afternoon can be used to provide more or less explicit learning settings (e.g., remedial mathematics courses vs. sports club). However, even if a school provides learning opportunities in the afternoon, it is important to consider if and how students make use of these learning opportunities. Such process characteristics are considered to determine how pronounced the educational potential of an all-day school is (cf. e.g., Miller & Truong, 2009). Previous research indicates that the time students attend all-day programs varies considerably within Germany (e.g., Fischer & Klieme, 2013).
Previous research on the effectiveness of all-day schooling is inconclusive and only few robust studies have been conducted in Germany. Meta-analyses that summarize the findings from US-American studies show that all-day programs have a positive overall effect. The largest effect size was observed for programs that were specifically designed to promote learning (i.e., target at-risk students, time-intense, follow own curricula), while other programs were less or not effective (e.g., Lauer et al., 2006; Durlak, Weissberg, & Pachan, 2010). Only two studies from Germany apply robust analytical strategies (propensity score or longitudinal analyses) to compare student achievement at half- and all-day schools. No achievement increasing or inequality decreasing effects of the school structure were found in both a regional longitudinal (Reinders et al., 2011) and a representative cross-sectional study (Strietholt, Manitius, Berkemeyer, & Bos, 2015). No process characteristics were studied, though. Further studies are either not causally interpretable or do not compare all- and half-day schools.
In the present study, we aim to fill these research gaps by means of studying longitudinal data from a representative sample of German secondary schools. We investigate both structural as well as process characteristics of all-day education and estimate their effects on student achievement.
Blossfeld, H.-P., Roßbach, H.-G., & von Maurice, J. (2011). Education as a lifelong process – The German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft: Special Issue14. Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., & Pachan, M. (2010). A meta-analysis of after-school programs that seek to promote personal and social skills in children and adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology, 45(3–4), 294–309. Fischer, N., & Klieme, E. (2013). Quality and effectiveness of German all-day schools. Results of the study on the development of all-day schools in Germany. In J. Ecarius, E. Klieme, L. Stecher, & J. Woods (Eds.), Extended education – an international perspective. Proceedings of the international conference on extracurricular and out-of-school time educational research (pp. 27–52). Opladen, Berlin, Toronto: Barbara Budrich Publishers. Fischer, N., Theis, D., & Züchner, I. (2014). Narrowing the gap? The role of all-day schools in reducing educational inequality in Germany. International Journal for Research on Extended Education, IJREE, 2(1), 79–96. Lauer, P. A., Akiba, M., Wilkerson, S. B., Apthorp, H. S., Snow, D., & Martin-Glenn, M. L. (2006). Out-of-School-Time Programs: A Meta-Analysis of Effects for At-Risk Students. Review of Educational Research, 76(2), 275–313. Mahoney, J. L., Larson, R. W., Eccles, J. S., & Lord, H. (2005). Organized activities as developmental contexts for children and adolescents. In J. L. Mahoney, J. S. Eccles, & R. W. Larson (Eds.), Organized activities as contexts of development. Extracurricular activities, after-school, and community programs (pp. 3–22). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Miller, B. M., & Truong, K. A. (2009). The role of afterschool and summer in achievement. The untapped power of afterschool and summer to advance student achievement. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, 55(54th supplement book), 124–142. Plantenga, J., & Remery, C. (2013). Childcare services for school age children: A comparative review of 33 countries. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Reinders, H., Gogolin, I., Gresser, A., Schnurr, S., Böhmer, J., & Bremm, N. (2011). Ganztagsschulbesuch und Integration von Kindern mit Migrationshintergrund im Primarbereich: Erste Näherungen an empirische Befunde einer vergleichenden Untersuchung. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 14(S3), 163–183. Strietholt, R., Manitius, V., Berkemeyer, N., & Bos, W. (2015). Bildung und Bildungsungleichheit an Halb- und Ganztagsschulen. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 18(4), 737–761.
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