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Determined to Succeed?Performance versus Choice in Educational Attainment$
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Michelle Jackson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804783026

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804783026.001.0001

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Inequality in Transitions to Secondary School and Tertiary Education in Germany

Inequality in Transitions to Secondary School and Tertiary Education in Germany

(p.56) Chapter Three Inequality in Transitions to Secondary School and Tertiary Education in Germany
Determined to Succeed?

Martin Neugebauer

David Reimer

Steffen Schindler

Volker Stocké

Stanford University Press

This chapter considers class inequalities in Germany for cohorts born in the 1980s and 1990s. It focuses on the transitions from primary school to the classical academic track, Gymnasium and from Gymnasium to university, and relates the influence of primary and secondary effects in the transition to university on the decisions made at previous transition points. The discussion emphasizes two institutional characteristics that are most relevant for understanding inequality in educational opportunity in Germany: first, the early and very consequential sorting of students into stratified secondary school tracks after primary school, where school performance serves as the prime allocation principle; and second, the existence of an attractive system of vocational training that constitutes a popular educational alternative even for those students who obtain the qualification to go on to university.

Keywords:   German education, educational inequality, stratified secondary school, Gymnasium

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