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Upper secondary education for youth at risk: a comparative analysis of education and training programmes in Austria, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland

Upper secondary education for youth at risk: a comparative analysis of education and training programmes in Austria, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland

One of the challenges of individually adapted programmes is ensuring they are recog- nised by youths, parents, teachers, advisers and, not least, employers. In Switzerland, indivi- dually adapted pathways were replaced in 2002 by standardised two-year programmes. The individualised training scheme was not attractive enough to youths and their parents, and the level of recognition in the labour market was considered to be too low (Kammermann, 2017). This is also a major challenge in Norway. The introduction of a type of formal compe- tence at a lower level than a full vocational qualification and the introduction of the training candidate scheme were not welcomed by the labour market. Seventeen years after the scheme became statutory, the number of training candidates in this pathway – in relation to the num- ber of students who drop out of upper secondary education due to inadequate performance – is still very low. The scheme does not thus appear to be an attractive option among youths and parents (Markussen et al., 2018). Labour market prospects are vital to the support that individually adapted programmes enjoy among youths, parents, teachers, advisers and in the labour market. The transition to the labour market appears to be more difficult for those who have completed an individually adapted pathway than for those with a full vocational quali- fication, in both Norway and Austria. The majority are nonetheless in employment, in both Norway and Austria, three years after completion (Dornmayr, 2017; Markussen, 2014). This shows that this type of certificate has value in the labour market. In the examples studied, these pathways do not qualify as completed and passed upper secondary education. Young people who have completed this type of upper secondary education are thus not included in national and international completion rate statistics but end up in the category “early leaver from education and training”.
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Working at a different level? Curriculum differentiation in Irish lower secondary education

Working at a different level? Curriculum differentiation in Irish lower secondary education

3 Introduction The Irish educational system has been characterised as ‘general’ and relatively undifferentiated in nature (Hannan, Raffe, Smyth 1996). However, international research points to the potential for curriculum differentiation even in general systems, with such differentiation operating through subject choice (Iannelli 2013) or through the ability to take subjects at more advanced levels (Lucas 1999). In Ireland, the requirement to take lower and upper secondary exam subjects at higher or ordinary level acts as a form of curriculum differentiation, with students differing in the complexity of the material to which they are exposed and in their access to particular pathways in upper secondary education and beyond. This paper draws on a mixed methods longitudinal study of students in twelve case-study schools to trace the school and student factors influencing take-up of higher level subjects within lower secondary education. The analyses explore the way in which school organisation and process shape the extent to which young people actually have a ‘choice’ or whether this is circumscribed by the school they attend or the class group to which they are allocated. In doing so, the paper focuses on the extent to which approaches to ability grouping and access to higher level subjects reflect the social mix of the student population and disentangles the effects of individual social class background and school context.
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Educational Family Background and the Realization of Educational Career Intentions - the Participation of German Upper Secondary Graduates in Higher Education over Time

Educational Family Background and the Realization of Educational Career Intentions - the Participation of German Upper Secondary Graduates in Higher Education over Time

Numerous studies have reported that the educational decisions of young adults depend on their social origin which leads to differences in educational careers and achievement. For Germany, this finding has been confirmed even for the highly selective group of young adults qualified for higher education and their decision about participation in tertiary education (Mayer, Müller, & Pollak, 2007: 118; Schindler & Reimer, 2010). Social background, such as parental occupational status or parental education, also predetermines participation in multiple educational programmes and educational career patterns (Jacob & Weiss, 2010b). Although social origin does not only influence the level of education which is achieved but also the timing of entry into higher education, the majority of the literature omits this aspect (Carneiro & Heckman, 2003: 118). However, later entry into college results in foregone earnings (Mincer, 1974) and can be an additional dimension of social inequality. On the other hand, a high participation rate of young adults from a lower family background in later enrolment into education could decrease the impact of differences in social origin on educational achievement. Only few quantitative studies on this topic exist and they leave several research questions open. Among these open questions is the development of young adults’ intentions to participate in higher education within the period that was initially planned as a temporary stop-out. For example, Brint and Karabel (1989) observe a decline of educational ambition over time when students are not in the stream which prepares them for further studies at a four year college and refer to this phenomenon with the term “cooling out”. Changes in young adults’ educational intentions for post-secondary education could follow a similar pattern in Germany. Even though community colleges are quite different to any institution in the German system, vocational training or other stop-outs prior to entry into higher education have something in common with them. They delay the decision about higher education and, in the case of vocational training, improve labour market chances – and may thus result in a similar change of educational aspirations as Brint and Karabel have described.
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A distributional analysis of upper secondary school performance

A distributional analysis of upper secondary school performance

6 In other earlier studies, Lounkaew (2013) used PISA literacy test scores in Thailand to show significant variation in the impact of socioeconomic and school level factors across the achievement distribution, while Haile and Nguyen (2008) investigated determinants of high school students’ academic attainment in mathematics, reading and science in the US, finding that Blacks and Hispanics tend to fare worse in their attainment at higher quantiles, particularly in science. They also showed that the effects of family background factors such as parental education and father’s occupation varied across quantiles of the test score distribution. Eide and Showalter (1998) explored the impact of school characteristics on the change in math performance in US high school students from sophomore to senior year and found significant differences in the impact of variables such as school expenditures and school year length across the distribution in comparison to the average effects. For instance, they found that increased per pupil expenditures helped increase maths performance for those in the lower end of the achievement distribution but had no impact on those at the upper end, while the average effect was not found to be significant. Such findings illustrate the value of moving beyond the mean when considering student academic performance, something that is done in this paper.
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Perceived learning environments and metacognitive strategy knowledge at the upper secondary school level

Perceived learning environments and metacognitive strategy knowledge at the upper secondary school level

nitive strategy knowledge (MSK) begins at a very early age and continues over the entire life span (Alexander, Fabricius, Fleming, Zwahr, & Brown, 2003; Schneider, Kron-Sperl, & Hünnerkopf, 2009). Research has indicated that MSK of adolescents develops mainly through constant learning experiences and education and not so much due to improvement with age (Schneider, 2015). In line with this, studies found that teachers who focused on metacognitive instruction enabled students to gain greater insights into MSK for succeeding at academic challenges (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2003; Hartmann, 2001). For one, MSK can be promoted direct- ly through specifi c training programs or explicit instruction. Researcher-designed instructional interventions and training programs were found to be eff ective in sev- eral studies and meta-analyses (Dignath & Büttner, 2008; Hattie, Biggs, & Purdie, 1996). For another, teachers can promote MSK indirectly through the design of the learning environment (De Corte, Verschaff el, & Masui, 2004; Kistner et al., 2010). However, there is a lack of studies examining the eff ect of diff erent characteris- tics of a learning environment in a regular classroom context at the upper second- ary school level. Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyze the relationships be- tween perceived learning environments and students’ MSK.
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Upper secondary education for youth at risk: A comparative analysis of education and training programmes in Austria, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland

Upper secondary education for youth at risk: A comparative analysis of education and training programmes in Austria, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland

At a political level, VET is recognised as playing a key role in combating early leaving from education and training (Cedefop, 2016; European Commission, 2014). There are several rea- sons why efforts to reduce early school leaving especially applies to VET: for one thing, VET shows higher dropout rates than general education in many countries. One of the reasons for this is the selectiveness of education systems, which tend to direct those who are at greater risk of early school leaving towards VET. In most countries, VET hosts a much larger share of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Other reasons may be the perceived quality or the attractiveness of VET programmes which for many young people are considered a second choice (Cedefop, 2016; European Commission, 2014). However, the important role of VET in preventing early school leaving is not only related to reducing dropout from VET, but also to its potential to attract and reintegrate young people in education and training, including those who drop out of general education (Cedefop, 2016; European Commission, 2014). For many young people, VET may constitute a positive alternative to general education. It offers a more practical way of learning and the opportunity to work towards a specific profession. Moreover, vocational courses represent a community of practice, which the students recog- nise and value, and where their previous knowledge is recognised (Korp, 2012).
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"I wish I knew ..." - Misperceived Ability, School Track Counseling Services and Performances in Upper Secondary Education

"I wish I knew ..." - Misperceived Ability, School Track Counseling Services and Performances in Upper Secondary Education

1. Introduction In some educational systems students are tracked by ability in schools of different types (e.g., academic vs. vocational schools). There are various reasons why tracking may be an effective way of organizing secondary education. Advocates of tracking maintain that mixing students that have too different levels of abilities may create very heterogeneous groups, and teaching would become more difficult. A teacher will have to target instruction on the “av- erage” student in a class, a level which might be too difficult for the low-ability and too easy for the high-ability student. This may lead to levels of student achievement which are lower than those that could be potentially obtained in a tracked system. Moreover, the absence of tracking (i.e. a comprehensive high school) may also induce some of the least academically oriented students not to continue in secondary education, in case it is not compulsory. De- tractors of tracking have opposite thoughts. Their view is that segregating low ability students in “worse” schools in terms of quality of both the peer group and the teacher body may limit their academic potential, and raise social inequality. Cross-sectional evidence shows that both
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Development of achievement disparities in Czech primary and secondary education

Development of achievement disparities in Czech primary and secondary education

This situation signifi cantly infl uenced the development of the education system after 1989. This period has been characterised by further, entirely uncontrolled, differentiation (creation of new educational pathways, the formation of educatio- nal opportunities of vastly different qualities) on the level of compulsory education and by the opening of access to full upper secondary and university education; this was viewed negatively by a portion of the population. Society still retains the belief that intellectual abilities are inherited. Rising access to higher education is often considered a threat to the quality of education. A signifi cant part of the population considers higher education appropriate only for the best. High tracks are seen as an important tool in the cultivation of elites (Matějů & Straková, 2005) and the to- pic of equal opportunity is dismissed, often with references to socialist ideas. These opinions in society have not been changed by international comparisons, which re- peatedly show that in the Czech Republic there is a stronger dependence of achie- vement and attainment on family background than in other countries. These re- sults are supported by surveys both among students (OECD 2001, 2004, 2007a) and adults (e.g. Koucký, Bartušek, & Kovařovic, 2007).
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Fully Integrating Upper-Secondary Vocational and Academic Courses: A Flexible New Way?

Fully Integrating Upper-Secondary Vocational and Academic Courses: A Flexible New Way?

courses can potentially limit their access to university (Eichhorst, et al. 2012). 1 In countries where there is strong emphasis on university study, the result is that upper-secondary VET courses are stigmatised as being a ‘second-choice option’ (OECD 2000; Kogan 2008). There are several ways in which countries are attempting to deal with the stigmatisation of VET courses in upper-secondary school. For example, Ireland and Finland introduced technical colleges (Institutes of Technology in the 1970s and Polytechnics in the 1990s respectively) that sit alongside universities and provide higher education pathways (qualifications at the ISCED 5A) for upper-secondary VET students. Alternatively in England (since 2014) and Australia (since the early 2000s), the focus has been to make it easier for upper-secondary VET students to access university. In England, new ‘tech level’ Diploma level VET courses have A-level status and count towards entry in specific University courses. Australia has progressed further down this path by integrating upper-secondary VET and academic courses in areas such as
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The Impact of Attending an Independent Upper Secondary School: Evidence from Sweden Using School Ranking Data

The Impact of Attending an Independent Upper Secondary School: Evidence from Sweden Using School Ranking Data

Abstract This paper provides a comprehensive study on how attending a Swedish independent upper secondary school, instead of a public school, affects students’ academic and short-term post- secondary outcomes. We apply two estimation methods to data on upper secondary applicants: 1) A value-added model (VAM), where we, in addition to detailed student background characteristics, also control for student preferences for independent provision, as stated in the application forms. 2) A regression-discontinuity (RD) estimation around admission cutoffs to independent versus public schools. As the RD-results are overall too imprecise to provide much guidance, they are presented in an appendix to the paper. The more precisely estimated results using VAM suggest a positive independent school effect on: final GPA, test results in English and Swedish, the likelihood of graduating on time, and attending post-secondary education. We however also find indications of more lenient grading practices among independent schools, and we cannot rule out that all of the independent school advantage reflects more generous grading standards. Results from a school level analysis reveals that the average independent school impact masks substantial variation. Notably, schools with a higher share of qualified teachers tend to exhibit smaller GPA-gains, but also show signs of adhering to stricter grading standards. JEL-Codes: H440, I210, I260, I280.
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State-level heterogeneity in returns to secondary schooling in West Germany

State-level heterogeneity in returns to secondary schooling in West Germany

3) lies between 33.1 and 43.6% (see Dustmann ( 2004 ) for comparable results). The last columns gives the number of clusters of survey year and cohort in each state and again the share of high school graduates. The estimates vary across German states. Whereas Bavaria is in the upper third of the ranking regardless of the education variable, Saarland consistently ranks 9th. For the other states the results are mixed. If the return to one of the degrees is high, also returns to years of schooling are in an upper range (see, e.g., Bremen). Interestingly, the return to high school degree and the corresponding shares of graduates are related. I observe high shares of high school graduates in Hamburg and low returns to high school degrees. In Bavaria I find the reversed pattern. Apparently, the share of high school graduates captures differences in transition mechanisms to high school and reflects the selectivity of school systems and ability in high school. The lower the share of high school students, the higher is average ability, and ability bias in returns to schooling. Thus, the negative relationship of returns to schooling and the share of graduates underpins an upward bias in returns to schooling. Also, it supports that the share of graduates captures ability bias. Consequently, controlling for the share of high school graduates in the second stage of the estimation limits potential consequences of ability bias for second stage estimates.
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Smart Learning with Smart Phones? The Relevance of Smartphones in EFL Learning in Austrian Upper Secondary Schools

Smart Learning with Smart Phones? The Relevance of Smartphones in EFL Learning in Austrian Upper Secondary Schools

Therefore, concerning mobile learning, Austria lags behind compared to other European countries. Denmark, The Netherlands, Estonia, and, in particular, the UK are leading countries for the promotion of mobile learning policies (CISCO, 2013). Nevertheless, not all of these countries have mobile learning programs that extend on a national level. The United Kingdom has implemented several mobile learning programs in many primary and secondary schools. Fur- thermore, cooperations with UK telephone enterprises have been initiated for the supply of rele- vant hardware. In Denmark, a national framework for mobile education was launched by the national e-learning (electronic learning) center as early as 2009. The framework consisted of equipping teachers with the necessary material and implementing Wi-Fi internet connections in every classroom. Furthermore, in 2014, Denmark published a national policy for BYOD (bring your own device) to accelerate mobile learning in educational institutions. The Netherlands’ government has funded several individual institutions that aim at advancing mobile learning in schools; however, no national-wide policy has been introduced so far. (CISCO, 2013). Estonia has developed several mobile platforms for educational purposes, of which Stuudium, Ekool and e-Schoolbag are particularly noteworthy (e-Estonia, 2019).
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Education and Criminal Behavior: Insights from an Expansion of Upper Secondary School

Education and Criminal Behavior: Insights from an Expansion of Upper Secondary School

Notes: Each cell represents a separate regression. In addition to municipality of residence and upper secondary school starting year fixed effects, all regressions include controls for: compulsory school GPA (quadratic), age at enrolment (dummies), each parent’s educational attainment (3 levels), whether both parents are foreign-born, each parent’s age (linear), missing data on parents’ education, the father’s employment status, the father’s earnings (linear), and whether the father has been convicted of crime. The (potentially) endogenous variable takes the value one if the individual enrolled in a three-year (or longer) track and zero if he/she enrolled in a two-year track. The instrument is the share of available vocational tracks in the municipality of residence at the time of enrollment which constituted three-year tracks. Robust standard errors in parentheses allow for clustering by municipality of residence. */**/*** denotes significance on the 10/5/1 percent level. In Panel B–C, the students are divided into sub-groups based on the grade distribution among the male upper secondary school students. The first stage coefficients in Panel A−C are .357 (.008), .586 (.012), and .141 (.012), respectively.
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Education and criminal behavior: Insights from an expansion of upper secondary school

Education and criminal behavior: Insights from an expansion of upper secondary school

Mean of dependent variable .040 .035 Number of observations 117,959 27,284 Notes: Each cell represents a separate regression. Individuals who have still not graduated six years after admittance are considered to have dropped out. In addition to municipality of residence and upper secondary school starting year fixed effects, all regressions include controls for: compulsory school GPA (quadratic), age at enrolment (dummies), each parent’s educational attainment (3 levels), whether both parents are foreign-born, each parent’s age (linear), missing data on parents’ education, the father’s employment status, the father’s earnings (linear), and whether the father has been convicted of crime. The (potentially) endogenous variable takes the value one if the individual enrolled in a three-year (or longer) track and zero if he/she enrolled in a two-year track. The instrument (pilot intensity) is the share of available vocational tracks in the municipality of residence at the time of enrollment which constituted three-year tracks. Robust standard errors in parentheses allow for clustering by municipality of re- sidence. */**/*** denotes significance on the 10/5/1 percent level. In Panel B–C, the students are divided into sub- groups based on the grade distribution among the male upper secondary school students.
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OPUS 4 | Effectiveness of Flipped Classroom Instruction in Secondary Education

OPUS 4 | Effectiveness of Flipped Classroom Instruction in Secondary Education

currently exists no theoretical model that delineates the relationships between FCI, student achievement and other potentially relevant constructs such as self-regulated learning skills. Future research should start to examine FCI from a theoretical perspective, as this would help both educational practitioners and researchers with the design and implementation of flipped classrooms. Second, due to the focus on grammar achievement, it remains unclear whether flipped or video-based instruction can be successfully implemented in EFL classrooms with a different language skill focus, e.g., reading or writing. While most flipped classroom studies in the context of secondary education have been conducted in the STEM fields, studies in the subject EFL are still in a nascent stage. Another major limitation is that it is unclear to what extent students in the flipped conditions actually worked with the videos, since we were not permitted to log user data due to data protection regulations. As observed in previous studies (e.g., He et al., 2016; van Alten et al., 2020), student’s non-compliance to the intervention is a serious issue in flipped classroom studies and might be responsible for smaller treatment effects. On the other hand, the participating teachers did not provide any negative feedback on this issue and watching a short instructional video as homework is indeed less work for students than completing grammar exercises. Nevertheless, future studies should make use of log file data or similar to control how students worked with the videos.
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Students’ Preferred Characteristics of Learning Environments in Vocational Secondary Education

Students’ Preferred Characteristics of Learning Environments in Vocational Secondary Education

Notes. N = 532. Final variance estimate Vβ reflecting variation within and between imputations, neutrality .50, all differences are significant alpha < .01 (Bonferonni corrected). 4 Discussion Student preferences are in line with most characteristics of the model of PLEs in vocational education. Students themselves are asking for challenging learning path- ways; they want to widen their horizons and take their learning into their own hands. They prefer to solve authentic problems with each other’s support. The de- sirability of differentiation was significant, but only with a small effect size. In our qualitative research (Placklé et al., 2013), students were struggling with the “fairness” of differentiation and their attitudes towards differentiation were ambiguous. The operalisation of differentiation in positive items, for example - my learning tasks are adapted to my needs, interest or talents - could be an explanation for the desirability towards the characteristic. Students expressed their preference for characteristics related to adaptive learning support as well: Evaluation for learning, and Coaching that offers structure and trust. Teachers accepting differences between students more often tend to consider differences as an integral part of learning (Hattie, 2005). Building on a class climate where differences are common and are discussible, could improve the students’ perception of different- iation as well.
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Formative assessment practices in mathematics education among secondary schools in Tanzania

Formative assessment practices in mathematics education among secondary schools in Tanzania

examination which is centrally administered by the National Examinations Council of Tanzania (NECTA). However, to overcome the overreliance on summative examinations Tanzania introduced in 1976 a Continuous Assessment (CA) program in secondary schools. It was intended to serve as a formative practice in secondary schools and to partly contribute to student’s final national examinations (NECTA, 2004; Njabili, 1999). The CA program emphasized that students should be continuously assessed and that the combined result should constitute a student’s success or failure (United Republic of Tanzania, 1974). Ottevanger, Akker and Feiter (2007) pointed out that although most Sub-Saharan African countries – including Tanzania – have integrated school-based continuous assessment, teachers lack insight and proficiency in assessment skills (also referred to as ‘assessment literacy’). Ottevanger et al. (2007) concluded that testing at the school level was mainly summative and hardly used for instructional purposes or to provide feedback to students. Furthermore, Kitta and Tilya (2010) noted that although several projects have been implemented by the Tanzanian Ministry of Education to support the teaching and learning process, little attention has been paid to supporting teacher assessment practices.
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Students' Preferred Characteristics of Learning Environments in Vocational Secondary Education

Students' Preferred Characteristics of Learning Environments in Vocational Secondary Education

This research focusses on the voices of students, as they are the major stakeholders in the educational process. If teachers and teacher educators are willing to support the learning of students they must first hear what these students have to say about learning (Cook-Sather et al., 2014; Dahl, 1995; Könings et al., 2011b). Even more, when students are heard and their voices are taken seriously, they feel engaged to collaborate constructively in their education (Cook-Sather, 2006; Shernoff, 2014). This study gives students an opportunity to express their educational preferences. With a newly developed questionnaire student preferences on the design of learn- ing environments in secondary vocational education will be measured. This instrument is new compared with previous instruments as it is based on a recently developed holistic model for PLEs in vocational education, based on literature and corroborated by students, teachers and teacher educators (Placklé et al., 2013).
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Marketing in the Hellenic private secondary education during the recession

Marketing in the Hellenic private secondary education during the recession

Abstract: The purpose of this research, is to investigate whether, during the economic crisis, various private secondary-education organizations in Greece including secondary tutorial schools, private schools, foreign language centers, special course delivery services (private tutorial schools) and study centers, develop and pursue a marketing strategy. Other points covered include demographics, characteristics of organisations, specific strategy focus, amount spent on such strategy and possible changes on both academic and financial level. Possible correlations between specific marketing actions and results were calculated. The statistical analysis of the data, showed that the implementation of a marketing plan (and the amount invested on this project) positively affect students' academic performance, new enrollments, organizations’ earnings and recruitment of new scientific staff. Twenty close- ended questionnaires were used to collect the data. During research period, many private schools had ceased their duties because of summer holiday time. As a result, a small number of the data was collected from these schools and it will not be possible to generalize any results for the ones.
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Marketing in the Hellenic private secondary education during the recession

Marketing in the Hellenic private secondary education during the recession

Increase in the organisation's earnings followed by intensified new enrolments and positive changes in the student's academic performance, were also noted. Private tutorial schools, private secondary or high schools and study centers more likely prefer outworkers for their marketing plan while tutorial schools prefer internal marketing. And from this research, mixed strategies mainly focus on the services offered and the school curriculum, while low cost strategies focus on the tuition price and the operation cost. As the survey was conducted during summer vacations’ period for private schools, there was little involvement at these educational organizations. This may result to conclusions that would not be representative of those organizations. Additionally, due to our limited time availability, the sample of 125 organizations can be considered relatively small, despite the achievable in relation to the total population and consequently should not be representative. For this reason, we suggest that this study should be repeated for a longer period. It is also suggested that a research which investigates students’ and parents’attitude towards active educational institutions in secondary education in Greece and the criteria on which they base decision to attend an organization.
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