Lydia KleineNicole BirnbaumMarkus ZielonkaJörg DollHans-Peter Blossfeld

The Effect of Varying Institutional Settings on Parental Aspirations and Teachers' Recommendations


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This article examines the effect of varying school placement policies after primary school in two German federal states, Bavaria and Hesse. At first, federal projections of school leavers revealed that the more open educational system in Hesse will lead to a higher proportion of students with higher educational degrees (like Abitur) compared to the more rigid Bavarian system. Secondly we take a look at state specific differences regarding the factors behind the transitional decision: Parental aspirations and the recommendation of the elementary school teacher. In Hesse, recommendations and parental schooltrack expectancy are focused on higher education and reflect the higher federal projections. In Bavaria the recommendation of the elementary school teacher is binding for the parents; thus, beside the lower projected number of graduates with Abitur and the higher number of graduates with lower secondary education (like Hauptschule), the expectancy of Bavarian parents is also lower. Finally we found strong evidence for social inequality regarding teacher recommendations in both states and for parental aspirations predominantly in Hesse.

educational decision, educational system, teachers’ recommendation, educational aspiration