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Social selectivity in the allocation of curriculum modifications, accommodations and support from special education teachers

Sahli Lozano, Caroline; Wüthrich, Sergej; Wicki, Matthias; Brandenberg, Kathrin (2023). Social selectivity in the allocation of curriculum modifications, accommodations and support from special education teachers. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 26 (4), pp. 997-1027. 10.1007/s11618-023-01173-9

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Based on the social selectivity in external differentiation and the increasing shift of selection processes into the mainstream school classes, this study examines to what extent the students’ social background is associated with the allocation of different integrative school measures. This is a relevant question because measures such as accommodations, curriculum modifications (i.e., reduced learning objectives) and special education interventions focus on different target groups and can have different effects on students’ substantive and formal educational outcomes. The study is based on a sample of 1126 5th/6th grade students in 66 school classes in the canton of Bern, Switzerland. Of the students, 71 had reduced learning objectives, 51 received accommodations and 86 received special education. The analysis showed that students from families with a higher social status benefited more often from accommodations, even when controlling for individual academic performance and cognitive ability. In contrast, measures such as reduced learning objectives and special education support were allocated more often to students from families with a lower social status. This selectivity poses the risk that measures intended to reduce educational inequalities may even increase them. Hence, school administrators and teachers should carefully consider the risks and benefits of potentially stigmatizing measures such as reduced learning objectives and be sensitized to possible biases in the allocation mechanisms of more “advantageous” measures such as accommodations.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

PHBern Contributor:

Sahli Lozano, Caroline, Wüthrich, Sergej, Wicki, Matthias, Brandenberg, Kathrin




[14 w 003 01] Selektivität und Effektivität des Chancenausgleichs an Berner Schulen (SECABS) Official URL
[22 w 0002 01] Berner Längsschnittstudie Integrative Massnahmen (BELIMA) Official URL




Sergej Wüthrich

Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2023 13:10

Last Modified:

03 Sep 2023 00:10

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Integration, Soziale Selektivität, Nachteilsausgleich, Lernzielreduktion, Integrative Förderung




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