Money versus the soul: neoliberal economics in the education modernisation reform in post-soviet Russia
Drawing on the case of Russia’s post-Soviet education reform, the paper explores the interaction between borrowed reformatory solutions and culture codes in the process of neoliberal educational modernisation. Through the examination of the concept of ‘commercial service’ the article shows how bottom-up societal resistance is maintained and normalised in the real-life language of the reform debate among policy-makers, teachers, parents and the general public. Building on policy-as-discourse studies, the analysis unpacks specific conceptual frames behind societal interpretation of educational commercialisation. The article finds that the public debate is stalled by an extreme polarisation and a seeming intractability of such conceptual categories as ‘money’, ‘commerce’, ‘moral upbringing’, and ‘the soul.’ It further argues that instead of mediating borrowed and domestic social meanings, the official reform narrative serves to strengthen the polarisation of opinions, while leaving under-conceptualised a number of important links between market values of competitive individualism, material profit and entrepreneurship and domestic values of egalitarianism, collegiality, moral education and non-materialist values. The article concludes with a discussion of the role of the state in transmitting borrowed policy ideas to the public and the interplay between grassroots resistance and national education policies.
Spatial ability (SA) is known to be closely related to mathematical ability (Tosto et al., 2014). Maths anxiety (MA) has been shown to affect both mathematical and spatial ability (Maloney, 2011). The present study investigated the relationship between maths performance and spatial ability, as well as the effects of MA and gender on the association between them. General cognitive ability and trait anxiety were added as control variables. Data were collected from 146 twins (32% males) aged 17-33. Maths performance was measured with Problem Verification Task (PVT). SA was measured with Mental rotation task. MA was measured with sMARS questionnaire. General cognitive ability was measured with Raven's matrices. Trait anxiety was measured with Spielberger anxiety rating scale. There were no correlations between SA and maths performance, except a negative correlation between SA and PVT reaction time variance. MA did not moderate the association between SA and maths performance. Interestingly, the interaction term between trait anxiety and SA was significant as a predictor for PVT reaction time. Posthoc analysis showed that higher spatial ability was associated with lower reaction time in PVT for high trait anxiety individuals only. Neither main effects of gender and maths anxiety, nor the interaction term between them were significant while predicting spatial ability. Altogether, our results indicate that the interplay between anxiety and mathematical cognition is complex and requires further research.
The authors examine how the social status of the university professor has evolved in Russia in recent centuries in light of the historical concepts about the enslavement and emancipation of social groups proposed by Sergey Solovyov and Aleksandr Gradovsky. They use the metaphor of the “slave” [nevol’nik] to describe the dependent position of the professor in the university. The word encapsulates administrative tyranny, the spread of subordinate and submissive mentality in the university environment, and the curtailment of opportunities for professional selffulfillment. The authors present the university administration as the main agent responsible for enslaving professors. Administrators represent bureaucratic power and act to advance their own social ambitions.
Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
The British socioemotional economy is marked by a tension between cosmopolitan humanitarian sentiments and the denial of sympathy for geographically close, but socially distant, strangers in need. The essence of this tension can be captured by the Dickensian notion of 'telescopic philanthropy'. A proper understanding of this tension would benefit from examining both short-term and secular trends - proximate and distal causal mechanisms. The paper is not explanatory in nature, but aims to generate sensitizing concepts, while at the same time seeking to steer the altruism, morality, and social solidarity literature towards a more active engagement with history, power, and ideology.
Nowadays, mind mapping is a rather popular educational technique. Moreover, mind maps became a part of modern educational trends like blended learning and computer-supported collaborative learning. Lots of mind mapping software tools are adopted to teaching and learning routines such as educational content delivery or assessment. This paper focuses on the additional automatic evaluation of digital educational mind maps gained from the existing procedures of assessments. The review of automatic graders which support the evaluation process demonstrated that some systematical work is done in automation grading by comparing students’ mind maps with a template. But lots of questions about automatic mind maps’ scoring by retrieving the data from a scored mind map are still open. This paper introduces the automatic grader for educational mind maps (AGEMM) which acts like a teacher’s assistant and calculates several quantitative metrics. The AGEMM is implemented as a web-service and interacted with digital mind maps prepared in the Coggle web-service through its API. The AGEMM is adopted to the Scientific Research Seminar of “Marketing” bachelor program in National Research University Higher School of Economics (Perm). Results demonstrate that scores from the AGEMM may be transformed to scales or criterial levels which are used to evaluation. Moreover, the AGEMM application revealed several problems and shew lines of development which we discuss in the paper.
Contemporary compulsory schooling emerged in the nineteenth century for the needs of an industrial age. Compulsory schooling has always relied on the Panoptic schema described by Michel Foucault. In recent decades, the development of surveillance technologies has made Panoptic schemas in schools even stronger. Information technology and the transition to an information society has significantly undermined schools' power structures. Teachers no longer possess a monopoly on knowledge. Students have learned to escape the teachers' gaze and can lead virtual lives through their own smartphones inside and outside formal educational settings. One form of modern peer-to-peer interaction takes place on social networking websites that give users the option to be 'hidden', 'passive' or 'inactive' if they wish. To examine the influence of social networking on education we rely on the Foucault's Panopticon theory. Whilst the traditional Panoptic regime may be crumbling, the social network phenomenon can transform modern learning environments for productive educational engagement. Foucault's framework does not take into account the social networks phenomenon. Therefore, empirical evidence is required to articulate the nuances of the modern-day Panopticon. In this chapter we use interviews with teachers to illustrate the reflection of Panoptic logics and practices onto the social networks in classrooms. We explore the possibility for developing dialogically based and student-led pedagogies through social networking websites. 'I do not know how I should communicate with students online, when they write me a private message and call me by my first name. Should I play by their rules on this space? Or, do I need to use the constructs from school?
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.