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See detailSchool tracking in Luxembourg: the longitudinal impact of student characteristics and school composition
Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke UL; Ottenbacher, Martha UL; Alieva, Aigul et al

Scientific Conference (2022, December 05)

Research question: The current study aimed to investigate the influence of student and school level factors on school tracking in secondary education. We were especially interested in the association ... [more ▼]

Research question: The current study aimed to investigate the influence of student and school level factors on school tracking in secondary education. We were especially interested in the association between student characteristics and school composition in Grade 3 and school track in Grade 9. Data source: Data were collected as part of the Luxembourg school monitoring programme “Épreuves Standardisées” (ÉpStan; Fischbach et al., 2014). The study cohort include all students enrolled in the Luxembourg public education system in Grade 3 in November 2013 combined with data from the same students in Grade 9 in November 2017-2019 for students following advanced or regular educational pathways, completed with data from November 2020 and 2021 for students that repeated once or twice (N≈3600). Theoretical approach: The study draws upon theoretical frameworks and empirical findings (e.g., Boudon, 1974; Bourdieu, 1984), that have demonstrated students´ socio-demographic characteristics are associated with (dis)advantages for specific groups of students in education systems as well as more recent work focusing on school composition (e.g., Baumert et al., 2006), especially as tracked school systems are known to be prone to social segregation (e.g., Hadjar & Gross, 2016). To date, most research on school segregation in tracked education systems such as Luxembourg has focused on individual student´s characteristics. However, with increasing heterogeneity of student cohorts and known differences in educational opportunities related to the social and ethnic composition of the school’s student body (e.g., Thrupp et al., 2002), the current research extents the existing literature by considering both individual (including prior academic achievement and socio-demographic characteristics) and school level factors (mean academic level and percentage of students from lower socio-economic and migration background) in predicting school track placement. Main findings: Results of a multilevel random effect logistic regression analysis in which we estimated marginal effects on the probability to be placed in the highest, middle or lowest track in Luxembourg show that even after controlling for student´s academic achievement, track placement is affected by the gender and socio-economic background of the student, whereby boys and students from low SES families have less chance to be placed in the highest track. The association with socio-economic background is not only visible on the student level but also on school level, whereby students attending primary schools with a higher percentage of low SES families have less chance to be orientated to the higher track compared to the middle track, regardless of the student´ individual academic performance. [less ▲]

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See detailEarly Childhood Education and Care in Luxembourg - Is attendance influenced by immigration background and socioeconomic status?
Kaufmann, Lena Maria UL; Fischbach, Antoine UL; Ottenbacher, Martha UL et al

Poster (2022, November 10)

For decades, researchers have been raising awareness of the issue of educational inequalities in the multilingual Luxemburgish school system. Especially children from families with a migration background ... [more ▼]

For decades, researchers have been raising awareness of the issue of educational inequalities in the multilingual Luxemburgish school system. Especially children from families with a migration background or a lower socio-economic status show large deficits in their language and mathematics competences in comparison to their peers. The same applies to children who do not speak Luxemburgish or German as their first language (Hornung et al., 2021; Sonnleitner et al., 2021). One way to reduce such educational inequalities might be an early and extensive participation in early childhood education and care (ECEC). Indeed, participation in ECEC was found to be positively connected to language and cognitive development in other countries, especially for children from disadvantaged families (Bennett, 2012). However, these children attend ECEC less often (Vandenbroeck & Lazzari, 2014). There are indications that lower parental costs might go hand in hand with a greater attendance of ECEC in general (for a Luxembourgish study, see Bousselin, 2019) and in particular by disadvantaged families (Busse & Gathmann, 2020). The aim of this study is to spotlight the attendance of ECEC in Luxembourg during the implementation of the ECEC reform after 2017 which increased free ECEC hours for all families from 3 to 20 hours a week. We draw on a large dataset of about 35.000 children from the Épreuves Standardisées (ÉpStan, the Luxemburg school monitoring programme) from 2015 to 2021 and investigate which children attend any kind of regulated ECEC service (public, private or family daycare) in which intensity, taking socio-economic and cultural family factors into account. The findings might help to understand in which contexts ECEC attendance should be further encouraged. Implications for future policy decisions are discussed with the goal of further promoting equal educational opportunities for all children. [less ▲]

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See detailDo your magic, Harry Potter! popular fiction books and their impact on students’ reading performances
Krämer, Charlotte UL; Rathmacher, Yannick UL; Ottenbacher, Martha UL et al

Poster (2022, November 10)

Previous surveys on the reading habits of Luxembourgish secondary school students (conducted within the framework of the national school monitoring programme Épreuves Standardisées (ÉpStan) in 2016 and ... [more ▼]

Previous surveys on the reading habits of Luxembourgish secondary school students (conducted within the framework of the national school monitoring programme Épreuves Standardisées (ÉpStan) in 2016 and 2019) revealed better reading comprehension results in French and German for those students who frequently read printed narrative texts in their leisure time. However, these studies only focused on different reading modes and text types. They did not investigate which digital and/or printed books students actually read for pleasure, nor which text features determine the positive impact narrative texts have on their reading performances: Is it, for example, the language quality, the richness and complexity of content, or simply the amount of written language they need to process? Therefore, we conducted an explorative follow-up survey within the framework of ÉpStan 2020 and asked secondary school students (Grade 7: n=3055; Grade 9: n=5781) to indicate up to three book titles – printed and e-books respectively – they had read in their leisure time. Despite the omnipresence of digital media, preliminary findings show that both age groups prefer paper-based reading activities when reading longer texts (or books) for pleasure. Nevertheless, the most popular text types and book titles are the same for printed books and e-books: Among them, we find the novel series “Harry Potter”, the rather comic-like book series “Gregs Tagebuch”, and the mangas from the “Naruto”/“Boruto” series. The linkage between students’ leisure time reading activities and their ÉpStan reading performances will be drawn, and some first linguistic text analyses of extracts from the most popular book titles will be conducted in order to reveal some of the text features that foster reading comprehension skills. [less ▲]

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See detailSchool Segregation in Primary and Secondary Education in Luxembourg: Track Placement and Academic Achievement
Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke UL; Hadjar, Andreas UL; Alieva, Aigul et al

Scientific Conference (2022, November 09)

Known as a highly stratified education system with early tracking (similar to Dutch, German, Austrian, and German-speaking Swiss systems), Luxembourg features additional properties that add to its ... [more ▼]

Known as a highly stratified education system with early tracking (similar to Dutch, German, Austrian, and German-speaking Swiss systems), Luxembourg features additional properties that add to its complexity in the educational realm (Backes & Hadjar, 2017). It is a simultaneously multilingual system that also has the largest share of students born outside of Luxembourg or parents born abroad. While most migrants come from within Europe, they frequently come from either a particularly high or low socio-economic background. It has been scientifically established that the educational inequalities in Luxembourg are driven mostly by social origin and immigration/language background. Gender is another critical dimension of disadvantage; for example, boys are less motivated to obtain higher education than girls (Hadjar, Scharf, & Hascher, 2021). In addition, gender often intersects with other factors such as immigrant background in shaping disadvantages. However, evidence shows that – beyond individual background characteristics – schools’ social composition also perpetuates inequalities in student achievement (Martins & Veiga, 2010). Therefore, we focus on the role of school-level segregation on student’s academic outcomes over time using data of a longitudinal cohort from the School Monitoring Programme (Éprueve Standardisée (ÉpStan)) with 5097 students in Grade 3 observed in 2013 and later in Grade 9 observed in 2019 (regular pathways) and 2020 and 2021 (irregular pathways, i.e., class repetitions). School segregation is an aggregate measure of the proportion of students who belong to low socio-economic background and the proportion of students born abroad and/or do not speak instruction language at home. Our contribution aims to provide insights into the following questions: 1. Does school-level segregation in primary education (G3) predict student’s track placement in secondary education? 2. Does school-level segregation in primary education (G3) predict student’s math and German achievement in secondary education (G9)? 3. How strongly are achievement outcomes in G9 correlated with within- and between-track segregation in G9? The findings will serve as a complementary base for tailored policy making with respect to the long-term impact of school composition for teaching and learning, especially within a tracked school system. References Becker, S., & Hadjar, A. (2017). Educational trajectories through secondary education in Luxembourg: How does permeability affect educational inequalities? Schweizerische Zeitschrift Für Bildungswissenschaften, 39(3), 437–460. https://doi.org/10.25656/01:16659 Hadjar, A., Scharf, J., & Hascher, T. (2021). Who aspires to higher education? Axes of inequality, values of education and higher education aspirations in secondary schools in Luxembourg and the Swiss Canton of Bern. European Journal of Education, 56(1), 9–26. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejed.12435 Martins, L., & Veiga, P. (2010). Do inequalities in parents’ education play an important role in PISA students’ mathematics achievement test score disparities? Economics of Education Review, 29(6), 1016–1033. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2010.05.001 [less ▲]

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See detailBig Five personality traits and sex
Jirjahn, Uwe; Ottenbacher, Martha UL

in Journal of Population Economics (2022), online first

Sexual well-being plays an important role in the quality of life. Against this background, we provide an economics-based approach to the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and various ... [more ▼]

Sexual well-being plays an important role in the quality of life. Against this background, we provide an economics-based approach to the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and various dimensions of sexuality. From a theoretical viewpoint, personality influences sexual well-being not only by how a person feels about sex, but also by how the person behaves in a sexual relationship. Personality shapes information sharing about sexual preferences, the way dissonant sexual preferences of the partners are handled, and the extent to which a person is committed to promises made to a partner. Using a large representative dataset from Germany, we find that personality traits play a role in a person’s own sexual satisfaction, in (the self-assessment of) fulfilling their partner’s sexual needs and desires, in sexual communication, in actual and desired frequency of sex, and in extradyadic affairs. Conscientiousness contributes to a mutually beneficial sex life and increases a person’s commitment to their partner. The opposite holds true for neuroticism. While extraversion and openness to experience help realize a mutually beneficial sex life, we find no evidence that they have a commitment value. On the contrary, extraversion is associated with lower commitment to the partner. Agreeableness contributes to higher commitment. However, agreeableness appears to make people more reluctant to express their sexual needs and desires. [less ▲]

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See detailRetirement Intentions: The Role of Conflict With the Boss and Health
Ottenbacher, Martha UL

in Sozialer Fortschritt (2017), 66(10), 699-722

This paper explores the retirement intentions of employees and the factors that influence those intentions. Conflicts between employees and their superiors, as well as the role health plays in this ... [more ▼]

This paper explores the retirement intentions of employees and the factors that influence those intentions. Conflicts between employees and their superiors, as well as the role health plays in this conflict, were analysed using Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) data. The results showed that both conflicts and individual's health status play a role in retirement decisions. Conflict with superiors is significantly associated with the intent to retire after accounting for control variables. Similarly, employees in poor or bad health are more likely to retire. Furthermore, health plays a moderating role: Employees in poor or bad health are likely to express retirement intentions, whereas conflict only slightly raises intention. Retirement intentions of healthy employees, however, rise steeply if there are conflicts with superiors. This suggests that healthy people may well be able to continue to work, but not necessarily do so because conflict with superiors has a greater impact on their retirement decisions than for unhealthy people. [less ▲]

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