Vocational and Academic Effects on Gender Segregation in VET - a Three Country Comparison, Germany, Norway and Canada

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 5:30 PM
Room: Booth 42
Oral Presentation
Christian IMDORF , University of Basel, Switzerland
Verena EBERHARD , Inst Vocational Education & Training , Bonn, Germany
Kristinn HEGNA , Section for Youth Research, NOVA Norwegian Social Research, Oslo, Norway
Pierre DORAY , Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
Gender segregated vocational education and training (VET) is usually attributed to gender stereotyped career choices of students at the end of junior high school. However, institutional logics may also promote gender segregation in VET. Empirical findings in German-speaking countries show that mixed-gender educational programs require higher school achievement compared to both male- and female-typed programs.

The paper investigates how institutional logics of the education system impact on the allocation of school leavers to gender-typed upper secondary (general and vocational) programs in Germany (DE), Norway (NO) and Canada (CA). We test the assumptions that (a) the more vocationalised an educational program, the more gender-typed the program (vocational effect), and that (b) mixed-gender education programs require higher academic school achievement than gendered-typed programs (academic effect).

The three countries were selected because of their different educational policies (vocational and academic principles in DE; academic and universalistic principles in CA; NO sharing the vocational principle with DE, and the universalistic principle with CA). We use youth panel data in all three countries (DE: BIBB Transition Survey 2006; NO:  Young in Norway YIN; CA: Youth in Transition Survey YITS) to analyse both the vocational and the academic effect on educational gender segregation. We apply multinomial logistic regressions for men and women separately, with gender-type of the educational program (male-typed, mixed-gender, female-typed) being the dependent variable to test our hypotheses.

Preliminary results show clear evidence for the vocational effect on educational gender segregation in all three countries, including Canada. In contrast, the academic effect on educational gender segregation is strong in Germany but relatively weak in Canada and Norway. We interpret our findings with the unique constellation of different educational principles (vocational, academic, universalistic) in each country.