Patterns of School Choice: Two Districts in St. Petersburg

  • Daniil Alexandrov HSE University (St. Petersburg)
  • Ksenia Tenisheva HSE University
  • Svetlana Savelyeva HSE University
Keywords: school diversity, parental choice of primary school, neighborhood context, structural opportunities


Parental choice of primary school is analyzed using the example of local education systems in two districts of Saint Petersburg. The empirical basis of the research is provided by the results of a survey of parents conducted in 34 schools (1,055 respondents). The following data is described and compared successively: whether parents make educational choices at all, whether they consider alternative options, what school characteristics they believe to be important, what sources of information they use, and what actions they take. The study explores how characteristics of choice are related to parental education and socioeconomic status as well as to the fact of selecting a school of a specific status. Insight is provided not only into how the desire of parents to analyze all possible school options and sources of information correlates with their educational and socioeconomic backgrounds in general but also how parental choice is affected by neighborhood structural characteristics (school diversity, proportion of higher-status schools). Districts with broader structural opportunities and a larger middle class demographic feature a variety of choice strategies, which is not observed in districts with limited structural opportunities even if they are socioeconomically heterogeneous.


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How to Cite
Alexandrov, Daniil, Ksenia Tenisheva, and Svetlana Savelyeva. 2018. “Patterns of School Choice: Two Districts in St. Petersburg”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 4 (November), 199-229.
Education Statistics and Sociology