INVESTIGATING THE DIMENSIONALITY OF TORR: A REPLICATION STUDY
Various indices and ratings describing democratic processes in countries around the world have been developed by international organizations (such as Freedom House) and analytical centers (such as the one afﬁliated with the journal Economist). The main drawback of such ratings is that they only provide a linear ordering of countries by averaging a multitude of criteria. Such approach does not make it obvious which particular problems exist in which countries and thus does not help comparing democratic processes in different countries. In this paper, we propose a multidimensional model for ratings based on the mathematical discipline of formal concept analysis, which deals, in particular, with automated taxonomy construction from object–attribute data. In our case, every node of a taxonomy would group countries similar in certain aspects, while at the same time providing a description of these aspects. The aim is not to question the existing ratings, but rather to provide a neutral instrument for uncovering the structure of the data underlying these ratings. The proposed representation is much more informative than linear ratings, since it shows the commonalities and differences in the democratic development of various countries. In addition, it provides a solid ground for discussing, comparing, and criticizing ratings. It can also help formulate theoretical hypotheses on the evolution of democracy, thereby advancing scientiﬁc discovery. We illustrate the proposed representation with the case study of countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
The authors estimate contribution of different factors in reading skills of 15?year-olds by using four models of multilevel regression analysis. It turned out that the most significant factor is family background — not only at the individual level, but at the school level as well (average school socio-economic status of schoolchildren families effects average reading skills). At the school level the aggregated family characteristics of students affect individual achievements, and this effect surpasses an effect of school resources and localization of schools — those school factors that show a significant contribution to achievement. Attitudes toward reading and learning are significant at the individual level, but at the school level children’s attitudes toward reading and school don’t make an independent contribution to the individual results.
In response to a growing demand for highly proficient speakers of foreign languages, both from private and government sectors, an added emphasis has been placed on developing communicative skills in the foreign language classroom. While time in a target language culture certainly plays a valuable and needed role, this research demonstrates that innovative curricular design and development in the university foreign language classroom can equal if not exceed uptake that occurs in extended immersion environments. A thorough description of the research design is provided, including the application of lexical items (connectors), listening, reading, written exercises, and videoconference debates involving students from National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Assessment instruments used to measure language uptake among students included pre- and post-written proficiency testing and oral proficiency interviews in one’s respective target language as administered by certified American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) raters. In addition, students completed a background language questionnaire designed to elicit data relative to individual learner motivation.
The book is to be used as a supplement to an Upper Intermediate course in General English aiming to develop academic skills of reading and writing around the topics and vocabulary of 5 Units in the course book «Upstream Upper Intermediate» by Bob Obee –Virginia Evans (1, 2, 3, 6 and 9). Each section of the book includes instructions on developing basic reading and writing skills and several tasks to practise the skills.
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.
The article examines the main trends in the study of the Stalinist period and the phenomenon of Stalinism in connection with the mass opening of the archives.