‘Formalizing the unformalizable’: Discursive resistance to Unified State Examination by the teacher community
This article attempts to analyze the requirements of modern society living at the time of innovation-driven economy to education and determines the main objectives that, as the authors believe, should become the cornerstone in reforming the system of education.
The article deals with the problems related to combination and close interweaving of two mechanisms of functioning - official and unofficial (corruption) - in modern education in Russia. The assessments of illegal payments paid by households on different stages of the educational process are given in the article. The main attention is paid to the stage of entering the HEI and partly to the process of learning. Certain aspects of influence of wide spread occurrence of enrolment system based on Russian National Exam results over the illegal component of costs are demonstrated and discussed on a qualitative level. Results of representative surveys of households, interviewed regularly by «Public Opinion» Foundation and NRU - HSE ordered by Department of Education and Science of Russian Federation in 2002-2008, form the empirical basis for the article.
There is great need for modern neuropsychological standardized tests for language assessment in aphasia in Russian. Our group is working on the development of the Russian Aphasia Test (RAT), Here we provide data on standardization of the subtests for single-word comprehension of actions and objects. The task for the both subtests was a word-picture matching task. The subtests were normed on people with aphasia and the control group. This resulted in the final set of 30 diagnostic trails for actions and objects matched on relevant psychometric properties that will be included in the final version of the RAT.
Full preparation for taking the Russian State Exam in English with diagnostic tests, exam-type exercises and several full-size practice tests.
Russia has been experiencing the results of an acute economic crisis since 2012. However, the government has not been explicit in its declarations regarding austerity policies. On the contrary, it tends to represent its measures as "normal" and generally justifies cuts to public expenditure and reduced spending as part of a new understanding of the welfare state and socio-economic relations. Nevertheless, there is a clear connection between the crisis and the introduction of conservative discourse and the "traditional values" concept that targets gender equality both in public and private domains.
The Russian case study is exemplary and didactic. As Russia is new to market economics and has never developed a consistent neoliberal agenda, the shift to conservative ideologies came unexpectedly easily. Gender has become a battleground for the government to fight over social problems and austerity measures. Unlike the EU countries, the Russian government does not hesitate to challenge human rights and gender equality, easily shifting the blame to leftist ideologies – primarily feminism – that are held responsible for family instability and the poor state of demography and health. Using the concept of "traditional values" as a cover for increasing austerity measures, the government relies on short-term strategies. However, this shift to conservative public discourse has not been readily accepted by the Russian population, least of all by women. There is clear resistance from various social groups, including women. This resistance is not just taking the familiar form of public protests (although they have been taking place as well), but rather in the form of withdrawal from public space to minimise dealings with the state, a strategy familiar from the Soviet experience of resistance. Therefore, on the surface, Russian public discourse seems to be dominated by officially promoted ideologies, but this does not mean that society just accepts or even implements those ideologies eagerly.
At the same time, there is a clear tendency to follow supranational austerity measures by cutting public spending, amending social security policies, privatising care, and forcing women to return to the double-burden situation in the Soviet-type social contract by openly attacking feminist ideologies, gender equality, and human rights. In this situation, Russian NGOs, especially those with a human rights and gender-sensitive agenda, need more subtle strategies to deal with public policies, starting at the local government level.
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.