The transitions in Israel and Germany
In the two countries, we focus on the following three educational passages:
Israel has a comprehensive school system without external differentiation until grade nine, including one year of compulsory kindergarten followed by six years of primary school and three years of lower secondary school afterwards. The first transition takes place in grade nine. At this point students can choose between general (academic) and professional educational streams attended for three years (upper secondary school). The general (academic) path prepares for tertiary education and ends with an exam that qualifies for university entrance. The technical stream consisting of preparatory professional training usually results in the acquisition of a technical diploma. This diploma does not qualify students for university entrance, thus being less valued in comparison to the academic alternative. Both qualifications bear the title of ‘matriculation exam’ (Bagrut).
The general school system in Germany traditionally has three tracks. After four years of primary education students go on either to the Hauptschule, the Realschule or the Gymnasium and in some federal states also to the comprehensive school. The Hauptschule leads to a minimum qualification, while the Realschule results in a medium-range qualification. Both degrees prepare for an apprenticeship in the German dual system of vocational training, albeit each with traditionally different occupational fields. The Gymnasium leads to the Abitur, the general qualification for university entrance, traditionally followed by university studies. The professional training system is dominated by vocational training in the ‘dual system’, that is a combination of general education in vocational schools and vocational training in companies. Training within the dual system lasts between two and three years depending on the educational level accomplished so far and on the type of apprenticeship chosen.
Two-wave-panel: Before and after the transition
The empirical study consists of a two-wave panel. In the first wave we collect information on central conditions relevant to the educational decisions of students and their parents. In additional achievement tests we assess students’ performance in different competence realms such as the host-country language and cognitive skills. For this purpose, we conduct face-to-face interviews with children and their mothers in grade 4 as well as with adolescents and their mothers in grade 9 and 11 in Israel and in grade 9 and 10 in Germany. One year later, after the educational decisions are made, we again capture the various relevant conditions and the eventual transition outcomes and consequences via a telephone survey (CATI).
The target groups in Israel and Germany are:
For Israel, we apply a multi-stage sampling procedure which includes the following steps:
For Germany, the sampling proceedings also involve several steps:
N Israel: 3000; N Germany: 4000