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Research on the topics of the ‘New school’ expert group’s work

2011
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

This work covered three themes: 1. The study and evaluation of the potential for supplementary and informal education to help children’s socialization. 2. Assessment of the adult population's competencies. 3. Research into the educational and career trajectories of junior secondary school graduates. 

Each part of the report describes the results of each dimension of studies.

Direction 1. The study and evaluation of the potential for supplementary and informal education to  help develop socialization skills. 

The subjects of the study are students, teachers and experts in the field of supplementary education.

Research objectives:

To analyze the influence of supplementary education institutions on students’ performance, development of their social skills and social capital, building self-esteem,  feelings of belonging and contentment within the school.

To explore the availability of supplementary education facilities, their specifics, students’ motivation and engagement.

To evaluate the potential for supplementary education in the market, and segment it according to types of services and institutions, including calculation  of potential ratios  of all segments.

In order to reach the above defined objectives, the following activities were carried out: questionnaire surveys of 9th graders; interviews with staff and heads of supplementary and informal education institutions; interviews with experts in the field of education.  

As a result of the study, for the first time reliable tools were identified for measuring the influence of supplementary education activities on students’ socialization; three empirical research projects were carried out involvingstudents, staff and experts in the field of supplementary education; an assessment of the influence of supplementary education activities on Russian students’ social skills, performance, building self-esteem, feelings of contentment and belonging within the school; unequal chances of access to supplementary education for students from various socio-economic statuses and from different geographical areas were analyzed, as well as opportunities for access, motivation and engagement in supplementary education activities; an understanding of barriers and possibilities of supplementary education facilities was obtained; analysis of supplementary education market was carried out.    

Direction 2. Assessment of the adult population's competencies.

The subjects of the study are the approaches, methods, and tools for researching competencies, and the competency of the adult population.

The research objective was to assess the competencies of the adult population, develop a necessary and sufficient statistical and analytical base to deal with key political issues in the field at hand. From this viewpoint, the study is a unique resource that assists authorities responsible for designing educational and employment policy.

Research tasks:

Assess the overall level of literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills.

Assess mechanisms that enable acquisition of skills or cause loss of skills.

Assess skills and competencies of the adult population of active working age in the RF, the data to be correlated with the data from OECD countries.

In order to fulfill the tasks a concept was developed for studying the competencies of the adult population; the main approaches and requirements were defined for developing test materials to evaluate reading literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills in a technologically rich environment; relevant research tools were developed; a full-scale testing of adult population was carried out; skills and competencies of adult population of active working age in the RF were evaluated.

As a result of the research, it will be possible to:

Define and measure the extent of the differences between citizens and countries in regard to key skills and other economic and social outcomes, which are considered to be the basis of both personal success and success of society as a whole.

Evaluate the impact of competencies on economic and social results, including personal outcomes, such as integration in the labor market, employment and income, participation in educational and life-long learning programs, as well as overall complex results, including promotion of economic development, social equality in the labor market and social participation.

Evaluate the effectiveness of the educational systems and learning to develop necessary skills on a level relevant to social and economic requirements.

Design policy mechanisms that will help to raise the level of key competencies within the framework of the educational system, in the workplace or by creating stimulus for the population as a whole.

Direction 3. Research into the educational and career trajectories of junior secondary  school graduates. 

The area of this research includes educational and career trajectories of school graduates. The subjects are the impact of extracurricular education on students’ socialization; the influence of social, economic and other contextual factors on individualization and life trajectories.

The goal of the study is to analyze the trajectory of school graduates. The research will fill the current information gap as regards to  typical outcomes of school education and strategies to further the individualization of educational and career (professional) trajectories.

Research tasks:

To identify and analyze trajectories in the field of education, employment and family life, highlighting factors that impact the choice of trajectory.

To analyze the interaction of trajectories in the three fields.

To track the sequence and pace of development of trajectories, changes in fields, motivations and values.

The study involves collecting information about students: social and economic status of their  families; their education status and experience, work, habits, relationships and health. The idea  of the research is  to analyze life trajectories of  young people during the most challenging and dynamic period of their lives  and on this basis to understand and interpret processes impacting upon their individual  career paths . Having studied contemporary methods and instruments of competence studies  we have developed a concept approach to selecting research instruments  such as questionnaires and tests and  have then implemented a full scale testing. The concept and tools for researching educational and professional trajectories of graduates will allow us to prepare and conduct longitudinal monitoring, which will help in evaluating the influence of economic, social and psychological factors upon development ofgraduates’ future pathways, and identify the barriers and resources that hinder/help the choiceof successful and unsuccessful trajectories.

Keywords: socio-economic development of Russia, continuing and informal education institutions, children’s socialization, adult population’s competencies, educational and labor trajectories among high school graduates