Efficacy of the Academic Competition (Olympiad) System of Admission to Higher Educational Institutions (in Chemistry)
The association between the academic competition (Olympiad) results and subsequent academic performance during the first two years at a higher educational institution was examined. The data for three cohorts (N= 738) of students of the Chemistry Department, Moscow State University, were analyzed, including the results of international and nationwide academic competitions in chemistry, university grade point averages, and Unified State Examination scores. It was shown that students admitted on the basis of academic competition results (winning or prize-winning) perform significantly better during the first two years at the university than those admitted on the basis of Unified State Examination scores. It was shown that the results of academic competitions of different levelsare not equal in predicting subsequent academic performance for students.
This article attempts to analyze the requirements of modern society living at the time of innovation-driven economy to education and determines the main objectives that, as the authors believe, should become the cornerstone in reforming the system of education.
The article deals with the problems related to combination and close interweaving of two mechanisms of functioning - official and unofficial (corruption) - in modern education in Russia. The assessments of illegal payments paid by households on different stages of the educational process are given in the article. The main attention is paid to the stage of entering the HEI and partly to the process of learning. Certain aspects of influence of wide spread occurrence of enrolment system based on Russian National Exam results over the illegal component of costs are demonstrated and discussed on a qualitative level. Results of representative surveys of households, interviewed regularly by «Public Opinion» Foundation and NRU - HSE ordered by Department of Education and Science of Russian Federation in 2002-2008, form the empirical basis for the article.
Sociologists have argued that high-stakes tests open the door to high levels of educational inequality at transition points: in a high-stakes testing regime, parents and students are able to focus all energy and resources on test preparation, thus enhancing pre-existing inequalities in academic performance. But arguments about a special role for high-stakes tests are often prosecuted without explicit comparisons to other types of tests and assessments, usually because information on other tests is not available. In this article, we analyze a unique dataset on a contemporary cohort of Russian students, for whom we have PISA and TIMSS scores, low-stakes test scores, and high-stakes test scores. We compare the role each test plays in mediating socioeconomic background inequalities at the important transitions in the Russian educational system: the transition to upper secondary education and the transition to university. We find evidence in favor of a special role for the high-stakes test at the transition to university, but we also find evidence that gives cause to question the standard assumption that high-stakes tests should be a primary focus for those concerned about inequality of educational opportunity.
The distractive effects on attentional task performance in different paradigms are analyzed in this paper. I demonstrate how distractors may negatively affect (interference effect), positively (redundancy effect) or neutrally (null effect). Distractor effects described in literature are classified in accordance with their hypothetical source. The general rule of the theory is also introduced. It contains the formal prediction of the particular distractor effect, based on entropy and redundancy measures from the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 1948). Single- vs dual-process frameworks are considered for hypothetical mechanisms which underpin the distractor effects. Distractor profiles (DPs) are also introduced for the formalization and simple visualization of experimental data concerning the distractor effects. Typical shapes of DPs and their interpretations are discussed with examples from three frequently cited experiments. Finally, the paper introduces hierarchical hypothesis that states the level-fashion modulating interrelations between distractor effects of different classes.