Institutional Deadlocks of the Russian Teacher Training System

  • Anatoly Kasprzhak HSE University
Keywords: school teachers, occupational prestige, career opportunities, teacher training models, teacher training system reforms, educational programmes


Anatoly Kasprzhak - Director, Center of Leadership Development in Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics. Address: 13 Milyutinskiy bystr., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation. E-mail:

The article deals with the analysis of barriers which do not let to form the Russian teacher training system in line with today’s requirements. The author con­siders reforms of teacher training systems in 12 countries of Asia, Europe and North America which were carried out during last decades of the XXth century: grounds for these reforms, main trends of changes that took place, their nodal elements which in the author’s opinion need to be taken into account when planning a teacher training reform in Russia. All actions of reformers come to three main directions: a system of measures aimed at increasing teachers’ oc­cupational prestige, a package of measures aimed at retention of teachers in schools and transition to such a design of teacher training educational pro­grammes that would help with performing the first two tasks. The reforms resulted in the following changes: the teacher training system ceased to be departmental, and a base unit (a design unit) is now an educational programme ready for continuous variation, and not a structure which fulfills it. The author discuss­es such indicators of occupational prestige as teacher wage rates in different countries and a training level of applicants at teacher training higher education institutions. There are systems of measures in many countries which have a good track record and make the occupation look attractive for youth: monthly allowances for pupils in the final year of secondary school under the condi­tion that after graduating from a higher education institution they will work not less than three years at school; a special enrollment procedure for those who apply for teacher educational programmes which includes, along with a cen­tralized testing, interviews — in order to appraise acceptability for the teaching profession — creativity competitions, recommendations are requested; possi­bility to get a teacher education in dif ferent ways; provision of career oppor tu­nities. The ar ticle shows that there are no institutional arr angements in Russia which would ensure youth retention in the occupation. All changes, including positive ones (formation of a training system for new experts in terms of the Rus­sian school — psychologists, tutors, consultants), are extraordinarily difficult to formalize as legislative acts. And if it still happens, then a new standard is given as a rule according to the old logic which rigidly determines a type of a per­former’s activity. Under such conditions rise of any institutions which would en­courage initiatives, reflection concerning results of an innovative search, would induce transformation of the existing structures is just impossible.


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How to Cite
Kasprzhak, Anatoly. 2014. “Institutional Deadlocks of the Russian Teacher Training System”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 4 (February), 261-82.