Education and Documentary Films
From November 5th – 12th a group of lecturers from Moscow and Saint Petersburg HSE campuses participated in an intensive continuing education course at the Central European University (Budapest).
The Curriculum Resource Center at the Central European University (CEU) organizes educational sessions on curriculum development and modern teaching methods. The result of the sessions is a series of ready-to-use curriculums which have passed international evaluation by the specialists of this university. Participants of the sessions are lecturers from universities of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Post-Soviet countries.
A group of lecturers and postgraduates students from the Moscow and Saint Petersburg campuses of the HSE (Elena Iarskaia-Smirnova, Professor at the Department of General Sociology, Pavel Romanov, Professor at the Department of Socio-Economics Systems and Social Policy, Zhanna Chernova, Associate Professor at the HSE Saint Petersburg Branch Department of Sociology, Roman Abramov, Deputy Head of the Analysis of Social Institutions Department and Daria Prisyazhniuk, a postgraduate student) participated in a session entitled ‘Teaching Social Policy with Documentary Films’.
The session took place in Budapest from November 5th – 12th 2011. The participants acquired new knowledge and skills in teaching methods and the evaluation of education results. During classes, complex problems of group and individual evaluation of different forms of student activity were discussed. In addition to this, the session included a discussion of the opportunities and limits of integrating documentary films into the study process. During the session some course syllabuses were presented, such as ‘Corporate Social Policy’ by P. Romanov, ‘The Sociology of the Public Sphere’ by E. Iarskaia-Smirnova, ‘Visual Methods’ by Zh. Chernova and ‘The Sociology of Education’ by R. Abramov. Some of these courses are already being taught at various HSE faculties, while others are currently under development.
The participants of the session thoroughly examined the potential for integrating documentary films into the educational process. Which films can stimulate a discussion in a class? Is it necessary to show films in the class or can students watch them at home? What in the contents, plot or cinematographic language should be the subject of discussion? Can students themselves become authors of documentary films focused on social problems? These were among the questions actively discussed at the CEU.
In addition to this, as part of the session a prominent historian T. Lahusen, Professor at the University of Toronto, and author of documentary films on the themes of collective memory and everyday life, gave a master class. His films are a form of anthropologic study and can be successfully used in the study process. Lahusen even organized his own film production company Chemodanfilms.com, which specializes in documentary ethnographic films.
During the summarizing roundtable discussion, E. Iarskaia-Smirnova and P. Romanov shared their experience of integrating documentary films into the study process. Of course, it was impossible to discuss all the methodical aspects of the use of documentaries in the educational process, but session participants have made serious progress in broadening the range of active education technologies used at the HSE.
It is also worth saying that the session in Budapest coincided with a documentary film festival which featured new works from different countries. The programme participants met some directors and producers of these documentary films at a roundtable discussion where they discussed this genre as a way to understand social reality and other topical questions.
Researchers at the HSE Institute of Education have used regional data to describe, for the first time in Russia, how inequality in access to education affects different parts of the Russian Federation. The research findings reveal that the key determining factors are the local economy and the proportion of people with a university degree: urbanised regions with well-developed economies and educated inhabitants are more likely to have good-quality schools, with a large proportion of students scoring highly in the Unified State Exam and going on to university. In contrast, poorer regions with low human capital see many of their school students drop out after the 9th grade, limiting their chances of further education.
Additional certification and training courses can not only affect an employee’s pay grade and career, but their sense of control over their life. Employees who have ‘upgraded’ their professional knowledge and skills find it easier to manage problems both in their personal lives and in the workplace. However, the trend does not hold equally for men and women. A study by Natalia Karmaeva and Andrey Zakharov of the HSE Institute of Education shows that men reap more benefits than women.
Unlike many other countries, Russian children’s educational path is decided from an early age. Starting with the first grade, parents try to send their children to schools where they can remain until they graduate after either the 9th or 11th grades. Moreover, many families do not use the opportunity available to them to transfer their children to a better school partway through their education. The result is that inter-school mobility remains low and a child’s educational path is often hard-wired early on, HSE University sociologists in St. Petersburg found.
Children from families with high professional and educational status are twice as likely to enter a prestigious university as their peers from low-resource families, HSE University researchers have found. The ‘privileged’ adolescents benefit from strong family attitudes towards a good education, parental investment in their studies and the high academic performance associated with it. At the same time, even when they have good grades, students from poorly educated families do not even try to get into prestigious universities.
Russian doctoral school — that only recently switched to the model of structured programmes — is once again at a crossroads. Which is better: the new model or traditional mentoring? And should postgraduate students be considered young scholars or ‘mature’ students? In her report to the Tenth International Russian Higher Education Conference, Natalia Maloshonok shared the views of doctoral research advisors on these and other questions.
HSE University’s Executive Programme in Sports Management held its fifth graduation ceremony on campuses in Moscow and St. Petersburg. This year, the programme awarded Master’s degrees to 45 graduates who completed final projects that focused on the advancement of the sports industry in Russia.
On June 18, the third International Partners’ Week ‘Academic Agility: Preparing Students for an Uncertain Future’ began at HSE University. The event brings together representatives of more than 30 universities from 16 countries, including France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, the USA, Finland, the United Kingdom, and China. They have all come to Moscow to learn more about the kind of learning experience HSE University can provide, as well as to discuss practical challenges and solutions regarding international mobility.
On May 23-24, following the Days of the International Academy of Education held earlier this week, the General Assembly of the International Academy of Education took place at HSE University Moscow. The assembly brings together education researchers and experts from all over the world, and this is the first time that the biannual meeting was held in Russia. Over the course of two days, members discussed joint projects and publications and met newly inducted members who had the opportunity to introduce themselves and present their research. Members also took part in small group discussions on a variety of topics, including digital literacy and math education.
On May 20, the Days of the International Academy of Education commenced at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Experts from all over the world engaged in identifying global education policy trends will hold a series of meetings, master classes, seminars and open lectures. They will share their experience with Russian researchers, instructors and education policy makers over the course of three days.
The more a student engages with various activities on campus, the higher their odds of success post-graduation. According to a study by HSE researchers, not only academic but also research and social engagement, such as participation in student organisations and events, can be linked to the development of critical thinking skills which are essential for general wellbeing as well as career advancement.