The study “Tradition and innovation: Academic and psychosocial development in vocational track schools in the states of Baden-Württemberg and Sachsen” (TRAIN) examines the affordances and constraints of specific learning environments on a variety of outcomes variables. TRAIN is a multi-cohort longitudinal study which concentrates on the development of achievement, motivation, interest, as well as emotional, social, and physical wellbeing during lower secondary level. It also examines students’ transition into vocational training and their professional career. The study’s longitudinal design allows for an analysis of the influence of heterogeneous teaching and learning conditions in the different school forms. Also, it helps to answer questions about the effect of learning environments on the personality development of young individuals.
The TRAIN study allows to address questions such as:
Data collection began in 2008 with a sample of 60 lower secondary schools and 24 middle schools in the state of Baden-Württemberg as well as 22 intermediate schools in the state of Saxony. In the first cohort, data collections took place each year between grade 5 and grade 8. A second cohort started in grade eight with a second measurement point in grade eight. In 2016, the TRAIN study was continued with a follow-up study. Former students from cohort 1 were then approximately 19 years old, those from cohort 2 were about 22. Most participants from both cohorts had by then completed their transition into vocational training or a professional career. The follow-up assessment thus aimed at a comparative analysis of educational paths and career development.