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"How far can you go?": Socio-spatial factors shaping households' schooling decisions in Ankara

Aim of this project is to examine the factors likely to influence households' decisions to enroll their children in primary schools (grades 1-8) which would compel those parents to employ various means of transportation to take their children to school. In particular, the project focuses on the relationship between the parents' expectations from the quality of education to be provided by a particular school and the degree of their preparedness to bear the costs of sending their children farther than the nearest school (monetary and psychological) as they seek administrative and physical access to that school. The empirical focus will consist of four primary schools in Ankara, to be selected on the basis of the following categorisation: 1) popular public school (enrollment coverage broader than the neighbourhood); 2) neighbourhood public school; 3) popular private school; 4) neighbourhood private school. Popularity, broadly understood, is to be measured as a combination of a number of factors: success of the school in sending their graduates to high profile secondary education institutions; rate of enrolled students "who are not from the neighbourhood"; and other potential factors. About a minimum of forty interviews are planned with parents from those four schools for that purpose, and about twelve interviews with school administrators (including parents' unions). The research, thus, also aims to detect the socio-spatial implications of recent education policy in Turkey.