To Those Who Have, Will More be Given? A Longitudinal Study Concerning the Development of School Achievement and the Effects of Social Background during Primary School

Hartmut Ditton, Jan Krüsken


Students from a stratified random sample in Bavaria and Saxony (N = 1 247 in 77 classes) were tested in German (reading, comprehension, spelling) and mathematics at the end of the school year from second to fourth grade. Sizeable achievement gains were observed in every language domain and in mathematics, and there was a considerable reduction in variance of the reading and mathematics scores. A trend toward compensation was evident for both German and mathematics, a development resulting from a larger gain in achievement by the weaker pupils. Achievement consistently and substantially correlated with the social background of the pupils, although the relationships were weaker in Saxony than in Bavaria. Despite the general trend toward compensation, the effects of social origin slightly increase over time, controlling for initial achievement.


development of achievement, reading comprehension, achievement in spelling, achievement in mathematics, primary school, socio-economic status, Matthew effect

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Journal for Educational Research Online/Journal für Bildungsforschung Online (ISSN 1866-6671)