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  • The characteristics of teachers and schools, educational results of students and the choice of educational trajectories in the context of social inequality

The characteristics of teachers and schools, educational results of students and the choice of educational trajectories in the context of social inequality

Priority areas of development: sociology
2018
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Goal of research

Direction 1. Analyze the potential mechanisms of the social inequality reproduction in the educational system.

Direction 2. Analyze the characteristics of teachers’ practices in teaching mathematics as a factor of differentiation in students' educational outcomes.

Methodology

Direction 1. The results of published studies of factors determining the choice of educational trajectory are analyzed and systematized. To analyze the mechanisms that mediate the relationship between social origin and the academic achievements, multilevel regression and structural equation modeling were used. To describe the educational strategies of resilient schools, an in-depth analysis of a series of interviews and focus groups with principals, teachers, students and their parents was carried out. The regional inequality in educational results was analyzed using descriptive methods and regression analysis. Finally, the mechanisms that mediate the relationship between the socioeconomic position of the family and the individuals’ results in adult life analyzed using logistic regression (cohort analysis).

Direction 2. An analysis of the associations between the teachers’ usage of routine practices, their professional characteristics, as well as other professional practices in teaching mathematics, and the educational results of students was conducted using the method of structural equation modeling. To develop the typology of the practices of students’ involvement in the learning process, video recordings of mathematics lessons in secondary school were analyzed.

Empirical base of research

Direction 1. The longitudinal study “Trajectories in Education and Careers” (TREC), The Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), European Social Survey (ESS), regional characteristics obtained from the Federal State Statistics Service, the Ministry of Education and Science, regional ministries and departments of education, centers for assessing the quality of education, interviews and focus groups with principals, teachers, students and parents.

Direction 2. Longitudinal study “Trajectories in Education and Careers” (TREC), video recordings of mathematics lessons from 25 schools which have participated in TREC.

Results of research

Direction 1. It is shown that education remains an important channel for maintaining the status-quo of the most privileged groups - the hypothesis about the “maximally maintained inequality” was confirmed. The positive relationship between the socio-economic school composition, on the one hand, and academic performance and the choice of the post-school trajectory, on the other, is revealed. Mediators of this relationship are defined at the school level. It is shown that the effect of this relationship on academic performance varies in the short-term and in the long-term perspective. It was confirmed that the consistency of the school’s educational policy concept as seen by the team, and their perceived responsibility for increasing the life chances of their students are important conditions for resilience. The differences in the roles played by schools and social contexts in relation to educational results in various subjects are revealed: it is shown that the results in the Russian language are more socially determined. As for the number of school characteristics, the results of the region in the Russian language are largely related to the characteristics of the teachers’ experience and they are related to the characteristics of the educational program in mathematics. Finally, the robust significant effects of parental education as a factor related to the children’s level of education are identified, with a gradual decrease in the effect of parental education on children’s professional mobility.

Direction 2. The data analysis for students in the 11th grade has identified a significant relationship between the tendency of teachers to routine practices and the results of the Unified State Exam (USE) in mathematics. As a mediator of the relationship between the tendency to routine and the students’ educational achievements is the frequency of use of the part C tasks from the Unified State Exam in the classroom. The data for students in the 8-9 grades revealed a strong relationship between the students’ scores and practices that suppose independent work for solving an unfamiliar or a complex task, or establishing the connection of mathematics with other fields of knowledge. At the same time, it was found that the teachers use practices focused on low-order cognitive skills with children from families with low cultural capital more often; this can be one of the mechanisms for the social inequality reproduction. The relationship between the teachers’ “perceptions of students” abilities and the degree of these students’ involvement in the learning process in the classroom is shown: teachers are much less likely to give an opportunity to “weak” students to participate in classroom interaction during the lesson. It was also revealed that teachers tend to polarize their judgments about students' abilities - in the process of differentiation, less attention is paid to the group of students “with average abilities”.

Level of implementation, recommendations about the implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results

Direction 1. The results of the direction may be used to inform the development of tools for assessing the quality of education through taking into account the characteristics of the social context of school functioning.

Direction 2. The results can be used by the school and regional administrators for developing measures aimed at improving students’ academic results as well as in developing training courses for pedagogical staff (teachers, school administration).

Publications:


Хавенсон Т. Е., Алексеева К. В. Практики профориентации // В кн.: (Не)обычные школы: разнообразие и неравенство / Под общ. ред.: М. Карной, Г. С. Ларина, В. М. Маркина. М. : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2019. doi С. 77-103.
Morsy L., Khavenson T., Carnoy M. How international tests fail to inform policy: The unsolved mystery of Australia’s steady decline in PISA scores // International Journal of Educational Development. 2018. Vol. 60. P. 60-79. doi
Dushina A. D., Kersha Y., Larkina T. Y., Provorova D. D. The Legitimation of Commercial Surrogacy in Russia // Russian Social Science Review. 2018. Vol. 59. No. 2. P. 153-175. doi
Khavenson T. Postsocialist Transformations, Everyday School Life, and Country Performance in PISA: Analysis of Curriculum Education Reform in Latvia and Estonia, in: Comparing Post-Socialist Transformations: purposes, policies, and practices in education. Oxford : Symposium Books, 2018. doi P. 85-103. doi