We are currrently looking for a HiWi student to join and support us in the following project at our group SNE, Prof. Alessio Gagliardi.
Despite a large effort in recent years, educational inequalities persist between socioeconomic and
demographic groups. Considering the relevance of education in future career in modern society, it is
no surprise that this effect has been the focus of an intense investigation in the last decades. Since
learning processes are cumulative, the way inequalities evolve is of particular interest as it can help in
identifying which processes and parameters affect the development of these inequalities among
children of different social groups and thus how to reduce their impact with effective strategies. Beside
national assessments to measure the performance of students during their educational path in school,
it has been more and more evident the need of a standardized way to measure these achievements
across many countries in order to have a more consistent picture. The development of international
surveys like PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS have considerably helped in providing a global overview in terms
of educational achievements internationally and even across different groups within the same country.
In particular these assessments have provided the first “big datasets” to observe on a global scale the
educational process both in terms of variability of children´s competencies and how individual
characteristics affect learning as well as to investigate how educational systems influence student´s
achievements in school.
Among the many aspects that can be studied one that had an intense attention was the one about
tracking in school. Different countries adopt different school structures, but tracking in school is one
of the institution which had been most debated in recent years. By school tracking we mean the age
at which students have to choose (or it is chosen for them) which educational path to follow in the
future and thus a separation among students in terms of education and curricula starts to develop.
Countries have adopted very different solutions to this problem. Some countries, like Germany and
Austria, adopt an early tracking: students start to differentiate their school path at the age of 10, other
countries have adopted a later tracking, e.g. Spain or Norway, at the age of 16. Several others are
positioned “in the middle”, like Italy (14) or Netherland (12). Moreover, the choice for the next
educational path in some countries (Netherland), or part of a country (some Länder in Germany), are
regulated by school´s recommendations or proficiency tests. In other countries (Italy) the choice is
practically completely free, where the school only provides suggestions based on the past
achievements of the student.
The present work will investigate the effect of tracking system using a model called Change-in-Change.
The model is then used to investigate the effect of tracking on students results. The data from three
different international surveys are used: PISA (2015), TIMSS and PIRLS (2011).
The work aims to analyze the effect of different tracking using 7 countries and splitting the students in
different groups (rich-middle class/poor; immigrants/not immigrants; high education/low education
If you are interested in the HiWi job, please contact Prof. Alessio Gagliardi: email@example.com