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Article

Developmental Patterns of Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills of Russian First-Graders

International Journal of Early Childhood. 2018. Vol. 50. No. 3. P. 297-314.
Orel E., Irina Brun, Kardanova E., Antipkina I.

This study explores patterns of development in cognitive, as well as social and emotional skills for children in the first year of school in Russia. The data analyzed are drawn from the International Performance Indicators in Primary Schools project. This is a large-scale assessment project involving 2741 children from two Russian regions. A k-means cluster analysis identifies four groups of children according to their cognitive and non-cognitive profiles, assessed at the beginning of the school year. Additional analyses explored how levels of children’s skill in each cluster differed by gender, phonological awareness and receptive vocabulary, maternal education, number of books in the home, parent involvement in home learning activities, and attendance at kindergarten in the year prior to school. The clusters proved to be stable acro ss the end of the school year when a follow-up assessment was completed. The distinctive developmental characteristics of children from different clusters might be used to inform teachers in the first year of school about how they can adapt their teaching approaches to address the distinct ive learning needs of different groups of children to reduce educational inequalities through primary school.