ResearchTeam Social/Special Needs EducationResearch
Berufsbildende Schulen und die Integration von jungen Geflüchteten - Strukturmerkmale und Praxiserfahrungen in Niedersachsen (BBS-InGe Niedersachsen)

Vocational Schools and the Integration of Young Refugees - Structural Characteristics and Practical Experiences in Lower Saxony (BBS-InGe Niedersachsen)

Led by:  PD Dr. Stefan Wolf, Professor i.V.
Team:  Dr. Martin Koch, Nora Pressler
Year:  2016
Funding:  Eigenmittel
Duration:  10/2016 bis 08/2018

Results of the project:

In October 2015, the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs of Lower Saxony announced a school trial to test a new pedagogical and organizational concept: the language and integration project (SPRINT) for young refugees.

An essential feature of the SPRINT project is that it involves the implementation of a measure and not teaching in the actual sense, which means that the offer can also be implemented by teachers without the appropriate training for the school service. In addition, individual parts of the project can be outsourced to independent educational institutions, for example.

The participants in the SPRINT project are young refugees between the ages of 16 and 21 (cf. Kultusministerium Niedersachsen, 2015, p. 2). The measures begin independently of the current school year and last one year with 25 school hours per week. There are between 9 and 17 young people in each run (cf. Ministry of Culture of Lower Saxony, 2017, p. 6).

Apart from the three modules (language acquisition, introduction to the regional culture and living environment, introduction to professional and working life), which were predefined, the vocational schools were to develop work plans for the measure on their own responsibility.

The content with which the schools filled the modules, the need for further training that the teachers surveyed saw, and how successful they considered their SPRINT classes were to be investigated with the help of a survey of the LUH.

Of the 97 schools that are/were involved in the Sprint project according to the Lower Saxony Ministry of Education, information is available from the teachers of 82 vocational schools, which corresponds to an exhaustion rate of 85%. A total of 361 persons completed the questionnaire.

The results of the survey are briefly summarized on a poster.

Project Description:

With the strong influx of young refugees in 2015 and 2016, vocational schools have been faced with particular challenges. In Lower Saxony, in particular, the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs quickly developed concepts to cope with the large influx of new students in vocational schools. A language and integration project for young refugees at vocational schools in Lower Saxony (SPRINT) was launched in summer 2015. Currently, around 4,000 young refugees are being taught in this project.

Here, an open concept was designed as a school trial to facilitate language and integration support in Lower Saxony for vocational schools. The SPRINT project is being implemented at nearly one hundred vocational schools in Lower Saxony. This school experiment works with an open concept with the three components (1) language acquisition, (2) introduction to the regional cultural and living environment and (3) introduction to professional and working life. It is characterized by the fact that the schools can design the contents and the internal organizational resources such as personnel and service provision to a large extent independently. This allows for a high degree of flexibility, but also results in a high degree of confusion among school stakeholders and the controlling administration.

Within the framework of the research project, a questionnaire survey will first be conducted at all schools in order to determine the framework conditions for the implementation of the school experiment, as well as any structural regional differences. At the same time, internal structural moments of school action will be determined, as well as practical experiences including necessary training needs. Thus it will be possible to gain a regional structuring of the implementation of the SPRINT project in Lower Saxony, as well as to give feedback to the vocational schools about their activities in comparison.

If it is possible to obtain additional external funding, the second stage of the project will be to use qualitative research methods to examine the practice of integrating young refugees at selected school locations in more detail. Through the participatory research design used, the study contributes to vocational school development in Lower Saxony and to interpretative school research.

With the collaboration of:

Sabine Janssen and Benedikt Jäckel.