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The effect of student body composition on academic achievement International and National Evidence

  • This paper reviews empirical evidence on the effect of the composition of a student body on academic achievement of students. After defining the term composition effect, methodological aspects regarding the study of composition effects are considered. International and national evidence for the composition of a student body with respect to students' abilities, social, and ethnic background is then presented. Whereas international studies find evidence for social, ethnic, and achievement composition variables, national studies reveal that mean achievement level of a school or class is the most important composition variable in Germany. However, this effect is confounded with school track and social composition, which itself exerts a small incremental effect. Ethnic composition, however, does not seem to play an important role. The paper closes with a presentation of the underlying processes of composition effects and a discussion on how the composition of a student body is considered in school governance practices.

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Author:Hanna DumontORCiDGND, Marko Neumann, Kai Maaz, Ulrich Trautwein
Parent Title (German):Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht : Zeitschrift für Forschung und Praxis
Place of publication:München
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2013
Year of Completion:2013
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Composition effects; academic achievement; tracking
Page Number:21
First Page:163
Last Page:183
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Bildungswissenschaften / Department Erziehungswissenschaft
Peer Review:Referiert
Institution name at the time of publication:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft