Raising Evidence-based Policymaking and Internationalization of the Russian Higher Education System : Note 3 - Prepare Higher Education In Russia To Future Skills Needs
It follows from an analysis to identify trends in the labor market that the number of jobs calling for soft skills is growing. The need to develop soft skills is reflected in implemented government initiatives of 2013-2020 to boost competitiveness of Russian universities. This is an evidence of the country’s willingness to support initiatives designated to foster soft skills in university graduates. But in spite of this evidence, it is as yet not possible to assert that good practices of developing soft skills are mainstreamed everywhere in the Russian higher education sector. Research shows that the level of development of some soft skills in Russian students remains critically low.This note consists of three major sections. The first section describes the general skills mismatches and the current situation with the development soft skills in Russian universities. The second section includes an overview of international best practices of developing soft skills. The third section presents recommendations on how to create enabling environments for developing soft skills in Russian universities.
This book consists of seven chapters, each providing a different point of view on the topic of critical thinking, which is defined as the analysis of facts to form a judgment. Chapter One aims to develop a method for improving students’ critical thinking skills using cooperative learning. Chapter Two focuses on an education program designed to develop students’ creativity and critical thinking skills and the impact this program had on teachers in Portuguese public schools. Chapter Three discusses the methods of teaching critical thinking that are most suitable for the Russian educational community. Chapter Four analyzes the importance of critical thinking skills for fighting misinformation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, around which many unscientific rumors and conspiracy theories are propagated alongside truthful information. Chapter Five also concerns the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically in connection with the natural human bias towards optimism and how this bias distorts risk assessment in health-related decisions but also provides a sense of control and hope. Chapter Six discusses how teachers can leverage Donald Trump’s proclivity towards manipulative rhetoric, glaring fallacies, and conspiracy theories for teaching critical thinking skills, as well as the potential pitfalls of doing so. Finally, Chapter Seven aims to rethink Essential Learning Outcomes by examining what skills are valued by employers and proposes a strategy of cross-listing courses to facilitate skill acquisition across disciplines.
This book contains abstracts and complete papers of 4th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2017.
We discuss the interpretation of the concept of “learning outcomes”. Theoretical analysis widely represents the interpretations of the learning outcomes of a high school student: academic skills: understanding, application of knowledge to solve problems, synthesis, analysis and evaluation; basic skills and basic knowledge, and skills of a higher order and advanced knowledge; skills of a higher order represented as a system of critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving and written communication; wide abilities interpreted as verbal, quantitative and spatial thinking, understanding, problem solving and decision making. We conclude that each considered approach distinguishes meta-subjective skills, i.e. skills to interact with the quality of information regardless of the context. The ability to measure the meta-skills is discussed on an example of the “Collegiate learning assessment”, realized in the United States.
The book is designed to provide assistance to economics students (CEFR correlation: B2-C1) in studying English for Specfic Purposes (ESP) and arouse their interest in global economic problems. Authentic texts on economic conditions of selected OECD member-countries alongside Brazil, China, India, Mongolia are aimed at developing reading, writing, speaking, lexical and critical thinking skills through a variety of exercises.
Introduction. This study represents the first stage in a larger study where we address the problem of teaching writing in a foreign language as a social practice within changing higher education context in Russia. The aim of the study is to identify core values and levels of motivation, self-regulation and self-reflection skills, as well as core writing skills, which together characterize writing as a type of social practice, with first-year undergraduate students at a non-linguistic university. Materials and Methods. The study is based on activity theory and the communicative approach to foreign language acquisition as well as on the ideas from the field of Sociolinguistics. Three empirical instruments have been developed: a self-evaluation questionnaire (students’ values and incentives for writing), a self-evaluation questionnaire (self-regulation and self-reflection on writing), and a written test. Results. The authors have studied the notion of writing as a social practice and defined its values and meaning, motivation, cognition and behavior aspects in order to develop the empirical tools for the study. Drawing on the questionnaire and written test data sets, we have revealed the absence of core values and motivation, which influence how an author represents his/her identity in a written text during the process of meaning making. A low level of self-regulation and self-reflection within a text production cycle among the students have also been revealed. The written test data indicate that even if students meet grammar and vocabulary accuracy criteria, they still have poor skills of reasoning and applying counter arguments, structuring the text as a single unity at micro and macro levels, using cohesion devices and expressing the their stance according to the field of knowledge. Conclusions. The authors conclude that first-year students at a non-linguistic university fail to demonstrate the core values, motivation, self-regulation and self-reflection as well as academic writing skills, which characterize writing as a type of social practice, based on certain values and meaning making process, motivation, cognition and behavior.
In this article the author considers some current issues of the state of legal education in Russia. As the main problematic aspects the author singles out the weak theoretical development of Russian legal doctrine, which makes it difficult to instill in students a culture of critical thinking and basic legal skills. Retrograde legal theory, based on a formalistic approach, denies the possibility of choosing between different options for interpreting norms and thus comes to deny the significance of analyzing such options and the need to justify the choice between them. While imparting to students knowledge of legal texts and their system of organization in the legal order, the current system of legal education does not provide students with the knowledge of how to make legal decisions in situations where there is no applicable norm, its ambiguity, or its moral, logical, or other defects. Traditional reasoning about analogy (of law or law) does not allow for the development of adequate methodological tools for dealing with such situations.
In responding to the need for internationally comparable data on higher education student learning outcomes, some modules of the HEIghten® Outcomes Assessment Suite, developed by Educational Testing Service, have been translated and adapted for international use. This recent development points to a critical need to validate the use of translated and adapted HEIghten assessments in international contexts. This chapter reports on validating the use of the Russian HEIghten Quantitative Literacy (QL) assessment with a representative group of students majoring in electrical engineering and computer science from 34 higher education institutions in Russia. Our findings provided preliminary evidence in support of the use of the assessment for the target population as a measure of QL. Future research is suggested to further investigate the test’s ability of reflecting changes in the target construct as a function of learning in the context of Russia.
Assessing student learning outcomes has become a global trend in higher education. In this paper we report on the validation of the Chinese HEIghten™ Critical Thinking assessment with anationally representative sample of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science students from 35 institutions in China. Key findings suggest that there was a test delivery mode effect favoring the paper tests over the online tests. In general the psychometric quality of the items was satisfactory for low-stakes, group-level uses but there were a few items with low discrimination which awaits further investigation. The relationships between test scores and various external variables such as college entrance examination scores, university elite status, and student perceptions of the test were as expected. We conclude with speculations for the key findings and discussion of directions for future research.
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.