2012. no2

Educational Policies


Andreas Schleicher, Head of the Indicators and Analysis Division, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, France. Email: andreas.schleicher@oecd.org
Address: 2, rue André Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France.

These are the final chapters of the OECD report. International experience is used to describe possible methods to increase status of the teaching profession and the caliber of its recruits.

Successful reform of education system cannot wait for a new generation of teachers; it requires investment in the present teacher workforce, providing quality professional development, adequate career structures and diversification, and enlisting the commitment of teachers to reform. The analysis looks at how individual development of teachers can be improved and how greater collaboration among teachers can improve the quality of teaching. School systems should provide a careful coordination between training, evaluation and compensation of teachers.

Methods of successful staff management and criteria for teacher appraisal applied in different countries are described. Teacher evaluation is essential for improving the individual performance of teachers and the collective performance of education systems. Criteria for teacher appraisal need to be aligned with the objectives of the system and the schools. Improved appraisal and feedback can have beneficial effects on teachers, improving their job satisfaction and personal development as well as their effectiveness in implementing priorities for improvement. Moreover, appraisals can help teachers build confidence in themselves.

Teacher engagement in the development and implementation of educational reform is crucial. The paper describes how collaboration among teachers, politicians and ministry officials is achieved in different countries to make the reform happen.

Theoretical and Applied Research


Timur Natkhov, Ph.D. in Economics, Associate Professor in the Subdepartment of Institutional Economics, National Research University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: timur.natkhov@gmail.com

The paper presents a brief evolution of studies on the relationship between education and social capital in different countries. A distinctive feature of these studies is their interdisciplinary nature, as they combine theories and methods of different social sciences.

To identify mechanisms of interrelation between education and social capital, three levels of interaction are examined: family (microlevel), local communities (mezolevel), and the country as a whole (macrolevel). It appears that social capital at the family and local community levels is an important factor of boosting the educational level and the accessibility of high quality education. At the microlevel, social capital explains most variations in academic performance, even with regard to financial and human capital of parents. Moreover, social capital in families determines efficiency of spending on education. At the mezolevel, social capital improves academic performance and raises chances of getting higher education as a result of intense parent-teacher and parent-parent communication. Close social ties of families provide them with access to institutional resources (graduate communities, engagement in academic milieu, etc.) which may become valuable social assets.

Empirical studies at the macrolevel have revealed that education, in its turn, has positive external effects, such as building trust, learning civic norms, or engaging more actively in public and political life. That is, effects of education are not limited to economic returns. Education plays a powerful role, being both the result and the factor of social capital accumulation at different levels. 


Aleksandr Tatarko, Psy.D., Associate Professor at the Department of Organizational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, National Research University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: atatarko@hse.ru 

An empirical survey of Russians and North Caucasians (Chechens, Balkarians, Ossetians) has shown that social capital is related to the so-called productive economic behavior patterns. Thus, economic behavior of people who contribute a lot to social capital is more valuable for the society, too. Such people do not seek profits by unlawful means, as they are genuinely interested in economics and are more economically independent. This phenomenon is universal for representatives of both cultures surveyed.

Most relations between social capital and various economic behavior patterns differ in nature across the two cultural groups. Similarities are only found in the classical dimension of social capital, which is trust. Interpersonal trust in both groups is negatively related to the willingness to accept the behavior pattern of prioritizing profit over the law and to the emotional component of prioritizing the size of remuneration over creative thinking at work.

It has been found out that social capital prevents development of patterns of prioritizing profit over compliance with law and developing economic indifference in Russians. In Caucasians, social capital prevents developing economic paternalism (except for the intensiveness of civic identity).

An analysis of the differences revealed in economic behavior patterns of the groups allows to suggest that they are caused by cultural contrasts. 


Tatyana Abankina, Ph.D. in Economics, Director of the Center for Applied Economic Research, National Research University —Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: abankinat@hse.ru 

Anna Krasilova, Ph.D. in Economics, senior researcher at the Laboratory for Comparative Analysis of Post-Socialist Development, National Research University —Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: akrasilova@hse.ru 

Gordey Yastrebov, Ph.D. in Sociology, junior researcher at the Laboratory for Comparative Analysis of Post-Socialist Development, National Research University —Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: gordey.yastrebov@gmail.com 

The paper presents results of the first phase of an international project on comparative study of rural education in Russia, China and Kazakhstan. The research of educational, migration and career strategies of rural high school students, as well as of factors underlying these strategies, is based on an empirical model of intergenerational social mobility which reveals the way elements of social and cultural environment influence formation of life trajectories. The research used results of a total survey of rural schools in five regions of Russia differing in climatic, environmental and transport conditions, levels and patterns of socioeconomic development, demographic trends, and types of rural settlements. All regions involved in the survey evidenced absolute prevalence of the strategies to continue learning, mostly in higher education institutions or in colleges, and then to get a job in the city. As rural students find the ‘social parachute’ educational, career and migration strategies very attractive and workable, Russia might soon suffer a significant drain of youth from the country to the city and another wave of urbanization. Early admission to labor and chances to inherit parents’ business are the only factors that can correct the overwhelming aspiration of rural high school students to get higher education and to move to the city and make them stay in the country. 


Aygul Kurmangaliyeva, Ph.D. in Economics, Director of the Education Development Institute, International Business Academy, Almaty, the Republic of Kazakhstan. Email: aisha@iab.kz Address: 227 Rozybakiyeva St., Almaty, 050060, the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Galina Abdrakhmanova, Ph.D. in Economics, Professor at the Finance Chair of the International Business Academy, Almaty, the Republic of Kazakhstan. Email: galina.ab12@gmail.com Address: 227 Rozybakiyeva St., Almaty, 050060, the Republic of Kazakhstan.


The paper analyzes empirical data obtained in an international project on research of educational, migration and career strategies of rural high school students and expectations of their parents in Russia, China and Kazakhstan. A total questionnaire of graduate and pregraduate high school students and their parents in two rural regions of Kazakhstan was carried out in 2011 using the tools developed by the Education Development Institute of NRU HSE. The questionnaire revealed that most rural high school students had an intention to continue learning in universities and colleges of nearby cities.

The main factors of this choice include the strong belief that high quality education is only available in the city and the awareness of the difference between life and opportunities in the city and in the country. Most students look to receive government grants, as their families cannot afford paying for their studies and living expenses. Seeing the advantages of living in the country can hardly affect the teenagers’ choice. Neither are they afraid of the negative aspects of city life, such as high prices, risk of falling in with a bad crowd, or dislike towards rural people.

The prevalent strategy to continue learning in urban HE institutions has led to a persistent migration of youth from the country to the city, which might result in disappearance of many rural settlements in the medium term. 


Huang Bin, Ph.D. in Philosophy, Deputy Director of the Center for Public Purpose Financing Research, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Jiangsu, China. Email: James7526@hotmail.com Address: 128 Railway N St, Gulou, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, 210003.

Xu Caiqun, Master’s degree, Finance and Taxation Institute, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Jiangsu, China. Email: xcqzy518@sina.com Address: 128 Railway N St, Gulou, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, 210003.

The paper investigates empirically the intention of Chinese rural students for the Secondary Vocational Education (SVE) and its determinants by using the survey data of Zhejiang, Anhui and Shanxi provinces collected in 2010.

Results show that Chinese rural students nowadays have a strong tendency to accept the Secondary General Education (SGE), but their intention for SVE is relatively low.

A list of variables is found to influence junior students’ intention in analysis of multinominal logistical regression. Students’ choice between SGE and SVE is mostly affected by personal academic performance, while family economic status exerts a significant effect on the choice between Employment and SVE. Whether junior students know about the government’s financial aid for rural SVE students or not won’t alter their intention. According to the survey results, it is strongly recommended to abolish the policy that aims to maintain the roughly equal enrollment between SGE and SVE. In addition, the central government should consider increasing the amount of financial aid for rural SVE students, especially for those in Central and Western China. The authors suggest that these measures will help students from low income families choose SVE and get professional education instead of entering the labor market too early. 


Isak Froumin, D.Sc. in Pedagogy, Professor, Director of Research and Development at the Institute for Educational Studies, National Research University —Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: ifroumin@hse.ru

Maria Dobryakova, Ph.D. in Sociology, Head of the Design and Learning Laboratory ‘Development of Universities’, National Research University —Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: mdobryakova@hse.ru 

The paper reviews changes in Russian higher engineering education over the last decade. Four target groups are investigated to determine drivers of internal transformations in universities in response to fundamental changes from the outside. These groups are: university administrators, students, graduates, and employers.

An analysis of empirical data has revealed that in general, stakeholders positively assess the quality of education in Russian universities. The only unsatisfied group is employers who are not happy with the level of graduates applying for job as they lack specific knowledge and practical skills. Sociological questionnaires conducted over the last fifteen years have proved that employers are consistently unsatisfied with the quality of higher vocational education. An analysis of final year students’ self-assessment has evidenced that they lack desperately competencies required for a successful career in today’s economy. As the authors suggest, academic experience of students does not include learning activities that help develop such competencies.

Sticking to the idea of engagement and the theory of concerned students, the authors argue that most Russian universities interact with students through an unspoken “disengagement compact”, where each party accepts the existing situation as the most comfortable one and refuses to change anything. The authors identify factors of poor engagement into the educational process and dig into the history to explain stagnation where all internal players are interested in preserving everything as is. Prospects of further research into institutional development of Russian universities are discussed. 



Vladimir Averkin, D.Sc. in Pedadogy, Professor, Rector of Novgorod Institute of Educational Development, Veliky Novgorod, Russian Federation. Email: niro.niro@mail.ru
Address: 27 Novoluchanskaya St., Veliky Novgorod, 173001, Russian Federation.

Oleg Zaychenko, Ped.D., Associate Professor, Head of the Chair of General Education Theory and Methodology, Novgorod Institute of Educational Development, Veliky Novgorod, Russian Federation. Email: oleg170770@mail.ru
Address: 27 Novoluchanskaya St., Veliky Novgorod, 173001, Russian Federation.

The role of personal interest as a factor of teacher motivation is explained. The paper identifies approaches to developing teacher salary increase strategies to replace the existing strategy of correlating teacher salary with the average interindustry wage in a relevant federal subject of the Russian Federation. The approaches proposed in the study suggest considering salary expectations of Russian teachers and university graduates, as well as European teacher salary standards, and the cost of teacher labor in paid educational services.

The authors believe that creating efficient motivation mechanisms could integrate the human factor more deeply in education and thus allow for higher achievements in educating Russian school students. If teachers are given an opportunity to satisfy their personal interest, the public interests will be satisfied, too. However, an increase in teacher salary alone does not guarantee any improvement in quality of school education. Rewards and incentives should also be applied to boost teacher morale.

School administrators are supposed to be interested in creating an efficient teacher pay system. To provide this, salaries of school administrators should be determined by achievements of the educational system, i.e. by teaching quality and teacher motivation to work for great results in order to satisfy their personal interest.


Elena Konobeyeva, fourth-year student in the Faculty of Sociology, National Research University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation, second prize winner in the 2011 Young Scientists Research Paper Competition. Email: e.khvoinaja@gmail.com 

Interviews with owners and employees of home-based kindergartens served the basis for an analysis of private preschool education, its forms and manifestations.

Respondents have a fairly clear idea of the public needs and requirements. This idea may be realized either as a civic initiative or as a social enterprise. A survey of practices applied in such organizations has shown that a home-based kindergarten is a self-sustaining project, while its financing is rather characteristic of a civic initiative. An analysis of relationships between owners of home-based kindergartens has revealed no exchange of information or experience, which is typical of both civic initiatives and entrepreneurship, for different reasons.

The author evaluates prospects of developing home-based kindergartens as a form of social entrepreneurship. She also determines their potential to solve social problems of the modern Russian society, such as overcoming the lack of kindergarten places or providing employment for specific population groups. Under favorable conditions, home-based kindergartens may serve a good source of unique preschool methods and programs.

The paper proves that home-based kindergartens are now much closer to civic initiatives than to social enterprises. Problems retarding development of this market include absence of legal regulations and municipal support, lack of public trust in home-based kindergartens, and short life cycle of each individual enterprise.

Education Statistics and Sociology


Dinara Borodina, senior research fellow at the Centre for Statistics and Monitoring of Education, Institute for Statistical Studies and the Economics of Knowledge, National Research University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: dborodina@hse.ru Address: 18 Myasnitskaya St., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation.

This report presents data collected by the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) according to form # 2-GS (GZ) ‘Information on further vocational training of federal public servants and public servants of federal subjects of the Russian Federation’ and contained in the statistical bulletin ‘Further Vocational Training of Federal and Municipal Public Service Staff in 2010’. Information on public servants who received further vocational training (FVT) is classified according to branches of government and types of training received. The majority of students were represented by the federal executive branch. Absolute majority of federal public servants passed advanced training, with 90% of total students being represented by regional federal public servants. Business was the most demanded field of further vocational training in 2010. Public servants received FVT mostly in public educational institutions.

Information on public servant FVT financing is provided: 98.9% of staff training was financed from the federal budget.

Further vocational training received by public servants is described based on the nature of the process: off-the-job training, on-the-job training, combined on-and-off training using distance learning techniques.

The report presents the top ten federal subjects of the Russian Federation by the number of public servants who received further vocational training in 2010.

All values considered in the report were compared to the corresponding values in 2009. 

Regional General Education System as Seen by Its Players

Yuri Galeyev, Deputy Director of the Social Projects, Strategic Initiative Agency, Kazan, the Republic of Tatarstan. Email: yurigaleev@gmail.com
Address: 52 Peterburgskaya St., Kazan, 420074, the Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation.

Albert Guilmutdinov, D.Sc. in Mathematical Physics, Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan. Email: albert.gilmutdinov@tatar.ru Address: 10 Karla Marksa St., Kazan, 420111, the Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation.

Timirkhan Alishev, Ph.D. in Sociology, teaching assistant in the Sociology Department of Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University, Kazan, the Republic of Tatarstan. Email: talishev@gmail.com
Address: 18 Kremlyovskaya St., Kazan, 420008, the Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation.

A comprehensive public opinion poll was conducted among teachers, school children and their parents in the Republic of Tatarstan to explore collective ideas and attitudes of players of the educational process. An analysis of the data obtained has allowed to identify the key problems in the current state of school education system in the Republic of Tatarstan. A negative balance is revealed between the teachers ready to earn less in exchange for lower requirements to their quality, the school students largely disinterested in complicated educational techniques, and the parents paying to provide additional opportunities for their children to develop in them competencies required for admission to a university. In fact, school role is limited to serving a bridge towards the next education stage.

Insufficient equipment of schools is the reason why students underestimate qualification of teachers of natural sciences and have very little interest in the learning process. Education only makes students deal with factual material instead of providing conditions for them to master modern learning techniques.

Poorly institutionalized communication between parents and school administrators brings in the disagreement on the purpose of educational process and the impossibility to take collective actions to improve education quality.

Information obtained after conceptualizing the research results was used in building the Strategy of Developing Education in the Republic of Tatarstan up to 2015. 

History of Education


Boris Deitch, Ped.D., Associate Professor, Head of the Chair of Theory and Methodology of Educational Systems, Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation. Email: deich67@mail.ru
Address: 28 Vilyuiskaya St., Novosibirsk, 630126, Russian Federation.

The paper investigates development of out-of-school education in Russia, which was promoted to this or that extent by the State, zemstva and personal initiative. Out-of-school education included diverse institutions and activities: people’s houses, Sunday schools, people’s libraries, people’s readings, excursions, etc. The author believes that diversity in out-of-school education brings up the challenges of determining the scope, classifying the major policies and strategies, and choosing the best organizational model of out-of-school education. These are the issues that were raised in pedagogical journals and professional literature back in that period.

As judged by the articles written by leaders of social and pedagogical movement, scientists and teachers, the 1890s and the early 19th century witnessed gradual development of a theoretical basis for out-of-school education. A good deal of work was carried out to prove importance of this type of education, to introduce its fundamental concepts, to identify not only organizational but also academic issues and inconsistencies to be solved, and to find the best possible forms and methods of work. An analysis of theoretical viewpoints of that time has shown that the key ideas of researchers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries did not contradict each other or the fundamental principles of social and pedagogical movement. Moreover, they had a lot of common points and often complemented each other.

Book Reviews and Survey Articles


Anthony T. Grafton, Professor at Princeton University, NJ, United States. Email: grafton@princeton.edu
Address: Princeton, NJ 08544, United States.

Analyzing modern research papers devoted to assessment of the situation in higher education, Grafton discusses efficiency of learning in American colleges and universities. He groups the books and papers into two categories. The first set includes blasts and attacks on professors and administrators based on individual experience, while works of the second set are seriously researched and focus on particular aspects of the system. Authors of the first group rightly point out that faculty professors are largely mistreated, while numbers of administrators are growing too quickly, pushing up the cost that students and their families pay without enhancing the academic side of their experience. However, most conclusions are groundless and based on individual experiences which do not reflect the global aspects of university life.

Grafton is mostly focused on analyzing studies of the second category. He describes defects of higher education: education quality has been declining; students have no particular interest in their courses; traditional subjects and methods have a higher educational value than new ones; American higher education has no comparable system of assessment; the sideshows (such as competitive sports) have taken over the big tent; unemployment among graduates has been rising—as have rates of student loan default.

To achieve more efficiency in higher education research, Grafton recommends avoiding monocausal explanations while analyzing work and studies in university and presenting well-grounded analysis results in a form comprehensible to various categories of people.

Reflections on…


Vladimir Chiganashkin, teacher of physics at Pskov Technical Lyceum, Pskov, Russian Federation. Email: v-chiganashkin@mail.ru
Address: 9 Nekrasova St., Pskov, 180000, Russian Federation.

The author argues that the Unified State Exam (USE) is a unique and irreplaceable method of final testing created by the computer era to rate academic performance of graduates. The USE is in many ways more efficient than the preceding educational assessment system. Once introduced, the USE allowed to make assessment uniform and objective by using computer technology. The tasks are designed to get a full idea of student performance from the test, which was impossible with the conventional assessment system. A large number of test versions prevents cheating. A 100-point scale allows to classify students easily into groups according to their academic progress. Combining graduation examination in schools with preliminary examinations in universities makes it useless to put higher grades in academic certificates.

The author believes that the USE makes graduate students strive for better performance in order to get high points, teachers provide a higher compliance of students achievements with the uniform standard, and parents select schools for their children more consciously.

Factors affecting academic performance of school students are investigated. Widespread bias against the USE is discussed, as well as the high-profile scandal about the USE testing in 2011. The key failure in USE implementation is the possibility of using mobile phones with access to the Internet. As a result, cheaters obtain points sufficient to get state-funded places in universities reserved for honest and hard-working students.