Implementation of the study
ReGES focuses on two key stages in the educational process. The first is early childhood education, which is particularly important for the acquisition of German language skills and the start of an educational career. Second, attention is drawn to the transition from lower secondary school to the vocational training system, which is of central relevance for the medium- and long-term integration into the labor market. Both stages are represented in the study by a corresponding age cohort – Refugee Cohort (RC1 and RC2) – of approximately 2,400 individuals from different countries of origin. In addition to the target persons of children and adolescents, the surveys were also addressed to context persons such as parents, teachers, other professionals and volunteers.
The data collection was carried out in five German Federal States that differ systematically with regard to factors considered important for the integration of refugees: Bavaria, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony (outlined in red in the figure). An important criterion for the selection was the number of refugees received in the Federal States according to the official distribution key. In addition, characteristics such as the unemployment rate, opportunities on the vocational training market and traditions in the area of early childhood care as well as social structures such as population density and the proportion of migrants in the population were also taken into account.
In a first step, the surveys were realized in eight different languages in order to enable the broadest possible initial measurement. Only in the later course of the study a restriction to three languages was applied. Due to the high mobility of the target groups and the changes to be expected, especially at the beginning, a close-meshed survey was used at six-month intervals with different survey modes: While the adolescents and parents were primarily interviewed face-to-face, the other context persons participated in the study by means of paper-based questionnaires. In addition, the children and adolescents were tested on their language skills and general cognitive abilities.