• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site
For visually-impairedUser profile (HSE staff only)SearchMenu

Genesis, contemporary situation and tendencies of inequality in school education

Priority areas of development: sociology, state and public administration
Department: Pinsky Centre of General and Extracurricular Education

Aim of the work: identify key patterns in the genesis and reproduction of inequality in general education in a variety of geographic, demographic and socio-cultural situations, to determine the relationship of inequality in education with the institutional arrangement of education and the content of educational policy, to define the scientific basis for the formation of educational policies and concrete measures to change the situation.   

Methods used:

Methodology and methods of research:

  • theory of the reproductive function of education and cultural capital (Bourdieu P.);
  • theory of human capital (Becker G.),
  • typology of educational systems, based on selection models  (Hopper E.);
  • model of “effective school” (Mortimor P., Marzano R.);
  • model of  «school improvement» (Reynolds D.);
  • model of analysis of effects of модель анализа эффектов   «school improvemen t programs»  (Creemers P., Stoll L., Reezigt G.);
  • concept of «school choice»;
  • concept of educational resilience in nrelation to edicational institutions and social groups     (Greg Jennings, Paul Hernandez-Martineza,   Jami L. Jones).

Methods of research:


  • literature analysis;
  • secondary analysis of international comparative research data of academic performance  PISA  (Programme for International Student Assessment);
  • international monitoring research of school mathematics and science education TIMSS   (Trends in Mathematics and Science Study);
  • Data analysis of a longitudinal study of educational and employment trajectories  
  • Regression analyses;
  • Analysis of official statistics resources;
  • Case study.


Empirical basis of research:

  • Data of international comparative research   (PIRLS, TIMMS, PISA);
  • Data of profile sociological  (RLMS, Monotoring of the Economy of Education, Monitoring of educational and employment trajectories of graduates of schools and universities  
  • Data of education statistics of the Russian Federation (Rosstat, Materials National Population Census 2010 ).  
  • Strategic documents of educational policy of Russia and foreign countries;
  • Field data from pilot regions of the project (Yaroslavskaya oblast, Republic of Karelia).

Work results:

  • features of conditionality of educational outcomes from  social differences in settlements of various types (gradient and influences) are characterized;     
  • differentiation of the nature of using services of additional education (in particular focused on preparing for exam) depending on parents social status and type of settlement is disclosed; 
  • the groups of countries acting as an example of a successful combination of policies to reduce inequalities and improve the quality of education in different social, economic and cultural contexts, characterized by the best practices of policy implementation are defined;
  • the existing models of comparative analysis of national educational systems and educational policy from the perspective of the impact on educational inequality and the interests of various social groups are refined and supplemented;  
  • new empirical knowledge about the features of the institutional arrangements of national educational systems, types of educational policies and specific strategies that promote or hinder the emergence of educational inequality are obtained;
  • new forms and  effects of the implementation of models of "effective schools" and «school improvement» in the practice of educational institutions of various territories of the Russian Federation are characterized;  
  •  with regard to the conditions of Russian education opportunities and the best ways to apply "effective schools" and «school improvement» to build effective programs for capacity building of schools in improving the life chances of disadvantaged groups in general education are grounded;

The degree of implementation of recommendations or the results of the implementation of research results

Through the use of a unique empirical material (longitudinal studies of educational and employment trajectories of students on the basis of the Russian part of the projects TIMMS and PISA) on an individual level the regularities that govern the movement of individual students within the educational system, depending on individual circumstances (including socio-economic of families, the school context and the overall level of development of local educational infrastructure, including additional educational opportunities) are studied.

Incorporation in the analysis of information on the initial level of competence of students (based on TIMMS and PISA) allowed unlike other domestic works in this area to consider educational final results not onlyas astatic category but as a dynamic category as well.

Dynamics of achievements of selected groups of students from families with different levels of social, economic and cultural resources aretraced at several stages of an international comparative study PISA.

For the first time in the Russian Federation the results of study the practical models of "effective schools" and «school improvement» in Russian schools, including in comparison with the experience of the implementation of these models in other European countries are presented.

The results of the work are being implemented:

  • in   the quality assessment of education and effectiveness of educational organization system    (Moscow Region, Yaroslavl Oblast, Republic of Karelia, Tambov region, Krasnoyarsk region);
  • in practice of developing and implementing programs to improve the results of schools working in difficult social conditions, showing low educational outcomes (Moscow Region, Yaroslavl Oblast, Republic of Karelia, Tambov region, Yaroslavl region).

The results of the research are planned to be used in future for  analytical and methodological support of the state educational policy to ensure access to quality education, risk reduction education inequality.


Yastrebov G., Bessudnov A., Pinskaya М., Kosaretsky S. Contextualizing Academic Performance in Russian Schools: School Characteristics, the Composition of Student Body and Local Deprivation / Высшая школа экономики. Series SOC "Sociology". 2014. No. 55. 
Kosaretsky S., Grunicheva I., Pinskaya М. School System and Educational Policy in a Highly Stratified Post-Soviet Society: the Importance of Social Context / Высшая школа экономики. Series PA "Public Administration". 2014. No. WP BRP 22. 
Груничева И. Г., Пинская М. А. Кризисный менеджмент // Директор школы. 2014. № 8. 
Косарецкий С. Г., Пинская М. А., Груничева И. Г. Проблемы бедности и доступа к образованию. Оценка ситуации в России и международный опыт // Мир России: Социология, этнология. 2014. № 2. 
M.A. Pinskaia, S.G. Kosaretskii, G.A. Iiastrebov, I.G. Grunicheva Access to Education. An Assessment of the Situation in Russia // Russian Education & Society. 2014. Vol. 56. No. 11. P. 14-24. doi
Yastrebov G., Pinskaya М., Kosaretsky S. Using Contextual Data in the Education Quality Assessment System: Tools Development and Testing Practices // Russian Education & Society. 2015. Vol. 57. No. 6. 
Kosaretsky S., Pinskaya М., Grunicheva I., Harris A., Jones M. S. Leading Professional Learning to Improve Schools in Challenging Circumstances in Russia, in: Leading Futures Global Perspectives on Educational Leadership.: SAGE Publications India, 2015. С. 159-171.