The mismatch between student educational expectations and realities: prevalence, causes, and consequences
This article aims to answer three questions concerning (1) the prevalence of the mismatch between student expectations and real university life, (2) factors influencing this mismatch, and (3) the effect of the expectation-reality mismatch on academic performance during the first year of study at university. The results of this study suggest that a large share of first-year students overestimate their future academic experience. However, this mismatch cannot be predicted by personal background characteristics and motivation at the beginning of study. According to the findings, three mismatch characteristics affect students’ academic outcomes: (1) a mismatch between expected and real grades, (2) a mismatch between expected and real levels of interest in studying, and (3) a mismatch between expected and real time for extracurricular activities at university.
Future representations during transition into adulthood were investigated. 90 senior pupils from three different development contexts participated in the study, namely, respondents with diagnosis “infantile cerebral paralysis” (ICP), orphans, and normative adolescents. The “Purpose in life” scale (adapted by D.A. Leontiev) and essay “My future” were used. Longitudinal study included three measurements, when respondents were aged 15-16, 17, and 18. Two hypotheses were set up: the future representations content and dynamics depended on a) development context, and b) transition phase. The both hypotheses confirmed. The future representations have been becoming more negative in participants with ICP, contradictory and non-realistic in orphans, and positive and realistic in normative group during transition. In addition, future representations changes differed in the three groups very strong. In participants with ICP, the most intensive change was in phase between the first and second measurement, in normative group – in the end of the crisis, and in orphans the dynamics was all slowed.
Profiles of successful training in the framework of a separate basic discipline were investigated on the student sample (n = 150). The longitudinal and summary indicators of successful training were obtained using experts ratings and IRT-approach on the knowledge testing results that was carried out on the basis of student performance of closed and open tasks that require displaying academic intelligence, practical intelligence and creativity. Hierarchical linear models of growth curves of learning success demonstrated the heterogeneity of the dynamics of change in successful performance of various types of tasks. Four basic profiles of student successful training were obtained using the Q-factor analysis; each factor is characterized by a combination of strong and weak sides of the students. The similar lines of development – their consistent growth – of analytical and practical training success were shown in a small longitudinal study. Successful performance in open creative tasks has a fundamentally different dynamics: a creative usage of accumulated knowledge while working with unspecified material at first sharply decreases and then increases again towards the end of the training.
The chapter deals with the ambiguities of informal entrepreneurial activity and its specific contextual framing under transition in Russia as an example of a fragile mid-income economy. It stresses the transition-specific reasons of its sustainability, contrary to the most current literature explaining it as a the Soviet heritage etc. (the 'path dependence' argument). The author uses the results of the two first waves of the own longitudinal survey of 13 Muscovite entrepreneurs and start-ups (2013-2014). The paper contains some policy recommendations.
Using longitudinal data from the study Trajectories in Education and Career (TrEC) we analyse the probabilities of entering 10th grade for boys and girls as well as for students with different socio-economic backgrounds. In 2012 59% of pupils chose the academic track and continued their education in 10th grade upon completion of 9th grade, while others moved to vocational education. Girls were more likely to enter the academic track than boys. The probability of entering the academic track was considerably higher for students from more educated and wealthier families. We analyse total inequality in the educational transition as a sum of primary and secondary effects where primary effects refer to the inequalities in performance and secondary effects refer to the inequalities in making the transition controlling for performance. We find strong secondary effects of parental education and wealth on making a transition to the academic track. There is no evidence of secondary effects of gender. The paper discusses mechanisms of gender and socio-economic inequalities in the transition to 10th grade and makes policy recommendations aimed at reducing social inequality in education.
Institutions affect investment decisions, including investments in human capital. Hence institutions are relevant for the allocation of talent. Good market-supporting institutions attract talent to productive value-creating activities, whereas poor ones raise the appeal of rent-seeking. We propose a theoretical model that predicts that more talented individuals are particularly sensitive in their career choices to the quality of institutions, and test these predictions on a sample of around 95 countries of the world. We find a strong positive association between the quality of institutions and graduation of college and university students in science, and an even stronger negative correlation with graduation in law. Our findings are robust to various specifications of empirical models, including smaller samples of former colonies and transition countries. The quality of human capital makes the distinction between educational choices under strong and weak institutions particularly sharp. We show that the allocation of talent is an important link between institutions and growth.