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Shadow Education in Germany: Compensatory or Status Attainment Strategy? Findings from the German LifE Study

Steve R. Entrich, Wolfgang Lauterbach

Abstract


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Abstract

In Germany we observe a strong increase in the enrolment in shadow education (‘Nachhilfe’) over the last two decades. To explain this development we draw on social reproduction theories identifying two strategies: (1) families seek competitive advantages for their children to maintain or achieve an advantageous education level (status attainment strategy); and (2) families seek performance improvement for their low performing children in order to meet the high demands in the pursuit of the highest school diploma (compensatory strategy). To test our theoretical ideas, we estimate regression models using data from the 2012 German LifE study. We find that shadow education is primarily used by disadvantaged educational strata to deal with higher demands in school. We conclude that the increased investment in Nachhilfe is an unintended but not yet negative outcome of educational expansion and recent educational reforms in Germany.

Keywords: shadow education, private tutoring, Nachhilfe, social inequality, Germany

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Bibliography: Entrich, Steve R./Lauterbach, Wolfgang: Shadow Education in Germany: Compensatory or Status Attainment Strategy? Findings from the German LifE Study, IJREE – International Journal for Research on Extended Education, Vol. 7, Issue 2-2019, pp. 143-159. 
https://doi.org/10.3224/ijree.v7i2.04


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