The Study Has Revealed Slacker Lecturers
On September 13th 2011 a seminar by the HSE Institute for Educational Studies took place. Martin Carnoy, Professor at the University of Stanford and Academic Supervisor at the HSE International Laboratory for Educational Policy Research, spoke on ‘The Low Achievement Trap: Comparing Schools in Botswana and South Africa’.
The seminar was the first of the new academic year. It was organized by the HSE Institute for Educational Studies and ‘New School’, the expert group which provides recommendations for the problems of Russian socio-economic strategy up to 2020.
In his presentation Professor Martin Carnoy unveiled the results of some recent research, the methods of which are useful in terms of studying the problems of education quality and accessibility.
For the researcher, the initial situation is that the pupils who participated in the study speak one language but since they live in two different countries, face different educational systems. At the same time, two parallel educational systems have evolved in South Africa for white and black students
In total, 60 randomly selected schools in each country were studied. 126 teachers and 5000 pupils were involved in the study. The main material for analysis was the results of math tests at the beginning and at the end of an academic year. The teachers also passed test tasks.
The speaker called the data on teachers’ absence at classes ‘shocking’. It became clear that teachers in South Africa spend only 40 percent of the time that they should in the class, and in Botswana about 60 percent. This can be explained by bad professional training and a lack of a structured system of continuing education and retraining in both countries.
Martin Karnoy believes that the study has revealed what actions in education can bring results and what cannot. For example, it is difficult to force the pupils to learn more, that’s why the teachers need special skills. It is extremely difficult to prepare good teachers, but if they do not know the educational material themselves, accordingly, the level of the pupils’ knowledge will not be high. The results of the pupils in Botswana were noticeably better, and this can be explained by the fact that the country spends more resources on education than South Africa.
Isak Froumin, Academic Advisor for the HSE Institute for Educational Studies, called Martin Karnoy’s study an exemplary one which gives a clear view of what is taking place in the education system.
Andrey Shcherbakov, HSE News Service
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On August 12, the Territory of Ideas all-Russia youth education forum will come to a close in the town of Solnechnogorsk in the Moscow region. HSE Rector Nikita Anisimov spoke at the fifth session of the forum, declaring this year’s admissions campaign to be the most successful in the university’s history.
‘Up and Ahead’: Students in New Master's Programme to Study Psychometrics and Developmental Sciences
Enrolment is underway for the HSE Institute of Education’s new Master's programme, Science of Learning and Assessment, which was developed at the intersection of developmental science, advanced methods of neuroscience and psychometrics, and the theory and practice of testing and measurement. Students will learn to assess human development and adjust the learning process, relying on evidence-based approaches of neuroscience and current concepts of measuring skills, personality characteristics, competencies, and other complex constructs.
Educational inequality is a universal problem, but it manifests itself in different countries in different ways. Comparing the issue across different contexts is always interesting—even more so if the person doing the comparing has a diverse set of examples to draw upon. Adam Gemar earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the US before earning his Doctoral degree at Durham University (UK). Now he is a Postdoctoral Fellow at HSE University’s Institute of Education, where he is studying educational inequality in Russia with the Centre for Cultural Sociology. In his interview, he spoke about his research, life in Moscow, and Russian winters.
Four-year, instead of five-year, degree programmes shave off a year of study, thus saving considerable time and money, and allowing graduates to find employment and build work experience earlier, which eventually translates into a higher salary. This raises the question of whether a fifth year of undergraduate studies brings any returns at all.
In 2012, many universities started signing incentive contracts with their staff in order to stimulate research and active inclusion in the global academic market. Together with orders issued by Russia’s president in May, this has led to growth in university salaries. But exactly which responsibilities increase pay — teaching, research or administrative work? The answer to this question will help improve the effective contract system to make it profitable both for teachers and universities.
Most international students in Russia come from CIS countries, or former Soviet republics in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe. The preserved social and cultural links promote this, as well as students’ good command of Russian. Students from outside the former Soviet Union come to Russia primarily due to economic reasons and the strong reputation of Russia’s leading universities. At the same time, however, they often see Russia as an unsafe country and consider it a backup plan.
2020 has definitely become a year of online learning. Children of all ages, as well as many adults, have had to study remotely. This has allowed researchers to look at education accessibility problems from a new perspective and evaluate how the massive transition to online learning aligns with existing norms and attitudes toward limiting screen time. Nadezhda Knyaginina and Evgenii Puchkov, researchers from the Education Law Laboratory at the HSE Institute of Education talked about their lab’s research on this matter.
Right now university students are taking their fall semester final exams. For various reasons, some students drop out. This is especially the case in advanced fields of study such as engineering. Researchers from HSE University’s Institute of Education Evgenia Shmeleva and Isak Froumin have published a paper on the decisive factors that cause students to abandon their university education.