Germany: How do socially-determined gaps in achievement develop over time?

When do socially-determined gaps in cognitive achievement emerge, how large are they before children enter school, and how do they develop over schooling?

These questions are addressed by ISOTIS researchers Jan Skopek and Giampiero Passaretta in the recent article "The social stratification of skills from infancy to adolescence – Evidence from an accelerated longitudinal design". The researchers studied the evolution over time of achievement gaps related to the socio-economic status (SES) in children between 7 months and 16 years of age, in Germany.

Findings indicate gaps as early as 7 months of age, which expand before children enter school. However, these gaps remain fairly stable as children navigate through school. The researchers tentatively conclude that schooling decreases social inequality in learning. 


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