Карьерная траектория учителя в мегаполисе и проблема образовательного неравенства
It was shown in previous research that inequality of educational opportunities is increasing in Post-Soviet secondary education. This process if often described as forming of clusters of good (high-achieving, prestigious) and bad (low-achieving, less prestigious) schools with unequal chances of children from families of low income and social status to enter good schools.
The idea of our work is to trace the process of diversification of Russian secondary schools from the viewpoint of teachers as a professional group. Our hypothesis is that parallel to stratification of schools there should exist a process of stratification in the teacher’s professional community. As a key to the teacher stratification we use two points in individual teacher’s career: choice of the first school and decision to switch schools. Empirical data for the study was collected in Saint-Petersburg, in interviews with teachers (N=49) in schools of different type and in a survey of teachers (N=427).
The results of the study show that several models of job seeking coexist on the teachers’ job market. One model is similar to the market of qualified job, where professionals compete for more or less prestigious positions. The other model is based on the tacit assumption that all schools are equal and highlights the principle of geographical proximity of the workplace which makes it more similar to the unqualified job market. At the same time there exist two more models of the teaching position: as a kind of civil service and as a way to manifest one’s attachment to local community. This latter model is at the core of the very common inbreeding phenomenon when a teacher starts her career at the school she has graduated from.
The professional mobility as measured by the number of school switches in a teacher’s career and a typical time span spent in one school is very low in the surveyed population. Yet we found some evidence for both vertical (to the more prestigious schools) and horizontal mobility. Among factors causing mobility are: geographical moves of the teachers to the other region or city district, administrative promotions in schools causing colleagues to switch schools in groups, and conflicts among school staff. All these factors are unlikely to differ significantly in different types of schools.
The further quantitative study of the distribution of job seeking and school switching models in the schools of different type may support our hypothesis on the existence of the segregation processes in contemporary teacher’s professional community in Russia.