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National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort 3—Grade 5 (SC3)

Research Question

The lower secondary level plays a connecting role between elementary school and the general or vocational upper secondary level (or directly entering the job market). Nevertheless, important questions have not been answered clearly and conclusively yet due to the lack of appropriate data. This pertains, for example, to the chosen type of school, to switches to another type of school, or to grade repetition, but also to the central issue of educational paths through lower secondary level and the transition into upper secondary level.

In this study, representatively selected students attending mainstream or special schools who are willing to participate are questioned and tested in annual waves. It is generally intended to sample students in mainstream and in special schools and to follow them up within those originally selected institutions until they leave school or the general school system. After leaving school, these students will be further questioned and tested individually outside the educational institution. The testing and questioning of individuals requiring special education is a challenge because only rudimentary experiences with such measures have been made so far. In addition to the questioning and testing of students, the questioning of context persons such as parents, teachers, and school principals is planned. Competence tests cover several domains: language (spelling, reading, and listening comprehension in German, knowledge of first language and English for students with migration background), mathematics, sciences, and metacompetencies (ICT literacy and cognitive problem-solving ability).

Key research questions:
Key questions of this study include the development of students’ competencies, conditions, and prerequisites of educational processes, as well as possible personal consequences on the success and on the future path of education and the integration of students into social networks. The teaching staff’s and school principals' questionnaires in the participating schools collect, for example, data on class size, the composition of the student body, and the school equipment, but also questions about lessons in general.

Test Language

German, Turkish, and Russian

Test Period

Panel entry fall 2010; at least one survey per year

Test Area

Nationwide

Target Persons

Grade 5 students at mainstream schools and Grade 5 students attending special schools

Context Persons

Parents, class teachers, German and mathematics teachers of the selected students, and the principals of the selected schools

Population / Sample

Population:
Schools of general education

Sample:
Multistage stratified cluster sampling with the following selection stages:
1. Random sampling of mainstream schools at lower secondary level. During this stage the mainstream schools drawn in Starting Cohort 4—Grade 9—are exploited again. With the help of a size-proportional random selection, mainstream schools are selected from this pool for Grade 5. In addition, we draw on schools teaching students in Grade 5, but not Grade 9.
2. Random selection of Grade 5 classes within the selected schools. Two Grade 5 classes are selected per school—if available.
3. All students of the selected classes are invited to participate in the study.

Multistage cluster sampling with the following selection stages:
In the first stage, a random sample of special schools is taken. During this process, the special schools already drawn in Starting Cohort 4—Grade 9—are exploited again. With the help of a simple random selection, special schools are selected from this pool for Grade 5.
In the second stage, all students attending Grade 5 at selected schools are invited to participate (= full sample survey of Grade 5).

Sample Size

Ca. 5,778 Students attending mainstream schools and about 498 students attending special schools. This information refers to the first wave of the panel.

Survey Procedure and Instruments

(1) Competence tests and written questionnaire for students (PAPI): Competence tests cover several domains: language (spelling, reading, and listening comprehension in German, knowledge of first language and English for students with migration background), mathematics, sciences, and meta competencies (ICT literacy and cognitive problem-solving ability).

(2) Written questionnaire for teachers and school principals (PAPI): The teaching staff’s and school principals' questionnaires in the participating schools collect, for example, data on class size, the composition of the student body, and the school equipment, but also questions about lessons in general.

(3) Computer-assisted telephone interview of the parents (CATI)

Link to the Detailed Description of the Study

https://www.neps-data.de/en-us/home.aspx

Persistent Identifier

DOI: 10.5157/NEPS:SC3:2.0.0
DOI: 10.5157/NEPS:SC3:1.0.0

Data Accessible via Research Data Centre

To the Study Documentation at the Research Data Center LIfBi:
https://www.neps-data.de/en-us/datacenter/dataanddocumentation/startingcohortgrade5.aspx

Information about the user conditions can be found here:
https://www.neps-data.de/en-us/datacenter/dataaccess.aspx

Contact

Dr. Daniel Fuß
Phone: +49 951 / 863 - 35 11
Email: fdz[at]lifbi.de

Training

The aim is to establish a diverse community of data users with different backgrounds, rather than a restricted group of experienced analysts. All researchers interested in working with the data must be accommodated to ensure not only equal research opportunities but also high-quality analyses. The training courses introduce the research design of the NEPS, the structure of data sets, terms and conditions of data usage, issues of privacy and data protection, and so on.
Day 1: obligatory for first time participants (basic program)
Day 2: for interested data users (optional)

More information and the current program is available here: https://www.neps-data.de/en-us/datacenter/usertraining.aspx

Related Data

National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort 1—Early Childhood (SC1)
National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort 2—Kindergarten (SC2)
National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort 4—Grade 9 (SC4)
National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort 5—First-Year Students (SC5)
National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort 6—Adults (SC6)

Additional studies:
National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): G8 Reform Study in Baden-Wuerttemberg (BW)
National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Organizational Reform Study in Thuringia (TH)

Research Area(s)