Are Russian Schoolchildren Good Readers?

  • Galina Kovaleva HSE University
  • Marina Kuznetsova HSE University
  • Galina Tsukerman HSE University
Keywords: PISA, reading literacy, PIRLS, schoolchildren


PIRLS and PISA tests assess the highly desirable but hardly achievable outcome of contemporary education — how instrumental become the skills and knowledge acquired at school, in particular reading literacy of the students, i.e. their ability to use written texts as the main source for self-education. The current international monitoring of educational results is focused on two crucial stages in the development of learning independence: PIRLS studies the transition from learning to read to reading to learn, and PISA — the transition from the world of school into the world of work. This paper analyzes the controversial data from the representative samples of Russian schoolchildren. The four-graders came out with the world’s top level of reading literacy, whereas 15-year-olds demonstrated poor results. Acknowledging the lack of Step-by-step improvement in Russian schoolchildren’s learning independence in the span of middle school, the authors discuss the possible reasons for ambiguous results of the educational reforms in Russia and propose prospective avenues for further modernization of school system.


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How to Cite
Kovaleva, Galina, Marina Kuznetsova, and Galina Tsukerman. 2010. “Are Russian Schoolchildren Good Readers?”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 4 (December), 240-67.
Education Statistics and Sociology