Educational Equity in school education – Bochum

Virtual Place

Date

Start: 18.05.2021
End: 18.05.2021

Partners

City Bochum

Central Bochum actors, scientists, citizens and the city administration came together digitally to discuss the question: "How educationally appropriate is Bochum? The participants discussed the challenges and levers in more depth in thematic workshops, based on the stations of the educational vita.

34 including: researchers, university staff members, members/users of local associations, students.

  • 15 researchers
  • 4 politian
  • 14 participants of public institutions and organizations
  • 1 citizen

In the discussion, it became clear that educational equity at school depends on a variety of factors. In addition to the question of resources, the exchange focused on school forms, communication and cooperation structures, teachers and their training.

  • The situation regarding resources was described as difficult in Bochum. Classes are large, there is a lack of teachers. The lack of resources is also evident in the topic of digitization. The situation was already difficult before, but the pandemic revealed the problems and increased the urgency. One wish was that education policy should be less about lighthouse projects and school awards and more about approaches to distributing resources fairly among all schools and school types.
  • In addition, the discussion about appropriate school forms remains important and can contribute significantly to the equity debate. For example, it was suggested that there should be more reflection on the role of both special schools and inclusive schools, and a closer examination of their contributions to the educational landscape and to inclusion. The importance of all-day schools was emphasized several times; they were even mentioned as a "prerequisite" for educational equity.
  • Two education policy instruments were mentioned several times. The abolition of school catchment areas and the new parental choice law introduced would have negative consequences for educational equity and social cohesion. Regional concentration of educational equity is already high and would be further exacerbated by this, according to some participants. In turn, the already planned improved use of the social index with equalization mechanisms could have positive effects on the distribution of resources between districts and schools in the future, if it is accompanied by effective management and overall increased staffing.
  • Teachers have been identified as having a significant role in achieving educational equity. Teacher education should also help facilitate a change in mindset. In addition to subject knowledge, teachers need to learn more empathy and develop understanding for other life situations. More opportunities for this should already be created in the course of studies. It was pointed out several times that participation and recognition of students' efforts are enormously important for the context of educational justice. This should also be reflected more in the teacher training program.

The discussion also clearly showed that solutions in the field of educational policy cannot be sought solely in school-related issues. For example, it was suggested that alternatives to the current practice of child support should be considered in order to improve the social participation of children and young people. There was also a call for more attention to be paid to the importance and role of the family - according to one statement, two-thirds of the factors for successful or unsuccessful schooling are family-related. The Municipal Integration Center could also be more involved in education in order to provide even better support for children with a history of flight when it comes to school issues.

The group agreed in, that Bochum already has good cooperation structures, projects and many actors who want to and can contribute to solutions. However, we should bring these resources together and think together even more. Round tables and new, well thought-out communication structures between different actors in Bochum could be helpful for this, so that the existing resources could be used even more optimally and practices that have already been introduced could have a more sustainable effect.

Tags

UNIC CityLabs | Post-Industrial Cities | equity

Themes

Diversity and Inclusion

Type of case

discussion group

Languages

German

Organizing unic universities

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