Above Barriers: A Survey of Resilient Schools

  • Мarina Pinskaya HSE University
  • Tatiana Khavenson HSE University
  • Sergey Kosaretsky HSE University
  • Roman Zvyagintsev HSE University
  • Aleksandra Mikhailova HSE University
  • Tatiana Chirkina HSE University
Keywords: educational trajectories, educational strategies, academic resilience, school effectiveness, physically challenged school students, socioeconomic status


A field study was performed by experts from the Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics, as part of the Monitoring of Education Markets and Organizations conducted by HSE in cooperation with the Levada Center. Interviews and focus groups were organized with school principals, teachers, students and their parents in three schools teaching the most challenging type of students from low socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, who nevertheless achieve high learning outcomes. This is a follow-up of the 2015 study of environment characteristics, management and education strategies of schools operating in unfavorable social contexts. Such schools are defined as resilient, meaning that they successfully resist the disadvantaged context beyond their control. The schools surveyed differ in the number of students, education programs, and the level of regional deprivation, yet all of them pursue similar strategies that are well-targeted and recognized by all educational process participants. Such strategies include: introducing limited selection and levelling off the student body, imposing high expectations and transparent requirements to learning outcomes, providing individual support and encouragement to students, and developing the skills boosting graduates’ chances of successful socialization. Consistent implementation of these strategies will create conditions to promote academic resilience among students. Studying the experience of such schools appears to be crucial for solving the problem of inequality in education.


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How to Cite
PinskayaМarina, Tatiana Khavenson, Sergey Kosaretsky, Roman Zvyagintsev, Aleksandra Mikhailova, and Tatiana Chirkina. 2018. “Above Barriers: A Survey of Resilient Schools”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 2 (July), 198-227. https://doi.org/10.17323/1814-9545-2018-2-198-227.
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