08. December 2021

Exzellenz-Podcast: Pandemic exacerbated unequal educational opportunities Exzellenz-Podcast: Pandemic exacerbated unequal educational opportunities

In its latest episode, the science podcast “Exzellent erklärt – Spitzenforschung für alle” provides insights into the research of the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute of the Universities of Bonn and Cologne. Studies show: Pandemic-related school closures intensified unequal educational opportunities.

Exzellenz-Podcast © Exzellenzpodcast: Exzellent erklärt - Spitzenforschung für alle
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Children’s success at school in Germany also depends on how much their parents earn and their academic background. Professor Dr. Pia Pinger and Professor Dr. Matthias Sutter, researchers at the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute at the University of Cologne, talk about this structural problem in the new episode of the podcast of the Clusters of Excellence in Germany “Exzellent erklärt – Spitzenforschung für alle” (in German). Together with host Larissa Vassilian, they explore the question of how fair the German education system is.

Children from socioeconomically weaker households suffer more from the pandemic

The scientists also address the consequences of the Corona pandemic on the educational opportunities of children and adolescents. “I was very surprised about how far some children fell behind,” says Pia Pinger about the consequences of school closures during the first lockdown. While children from better-off households were able to catch up on missed learning with their parents, other children were unable to keep up, she says. Matthias Sutter comes to a similar conclusion: young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in particular have behaved significantly less prosocially than those from better-off backgrounds if a family member fell ill with the virus. But there are also possible solutions to this problem: In the new episode, Pia Pinger explains how a mentoring program can partially compensate for unequal educational opportunities.

Podcast explains research of the excellence clusters

In each episode, the science podcast “Exzellent erklärt” provides insights into one of the 57 research clusters funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Researchers talk with podcaster Larissa Vassilian about how cutting-edge research seeks scientifically sound answers to relevant questions of our time. The fourth episode with ECONtribute can be found on all popular platforms such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify starting Wednesday, December 1, 2021. Further episodes of the joint podcast series of the Clusters of Excellence deal with different questions like how humans and machines can work together or what we know today about the disease Alzheimer.


Lisa Oder
ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy
Tel. +49 221 470 89965

Carolin Jackermeier
ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy
Tel. +49 221 470 7258

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