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ISBN 978-5-7598-1122-0 (. 4) . ISBN 978-5-7598-1118-3 , 2014

E.M. Weeks-Earp Pathways into Teaching: Preliminary Findings

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G. Mandic Home Boundaries, Everyday Cultures and Capabilities

C. Morrison Beyond Nostalgia? Class Identity, Memory and the Soviet Past in Russia and the Near Abroad

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Ph. Bouquillion Financialization and the Linkages between Cultural Industries and Communication Industries

P. Diem Online Research for Electronic Media

J. Grimm, Ch. Grill Holocaust Reception and National Identity.

Results of a Media Effects Study in Russia

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N.A. Abramova, S.V. Kovriga, R.U. Portsev, T.A. Telitsyna On the Problem of Human-Induced Risks and Verification of Models of Social and Economic Systems

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PATHWAYS

E.M. Weeks-Earp

INTO TEACHING:

Columbia University Teachers College

PRELIMINARY FINDINGS

Introduction The effective recruitment of young people into the teaching profession is a top priority for Russia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, macroeconomic shocks, unemployment, and political turmoil produced deep, long-term impacts on schools and society across Eurasia, as Philip Jones wrote of Russia;

the devastation of the teaching profession has contributed to a lost generation [2000, p.xii]. Stephen Weber [2000] observed in his school level research in Yaroslavl, St. Petersburg, and Moscow, that school directors and teachers adopted a coping approach to change, with relatively little real reform during the 1990s. Gita Steiner-Khamsi et al. [2010] and the UNICEF study on teachers [UNICEF, 2011, p. 13] found that countries in the region suffer from massive teacher shortages, resulting in ineffective teaching, low teacher morale, and low teacher salaries.

Russia needs to recruit more teachers, and pedagogical institutions can help.

Nearly 80 percent of teachers in Russia hold a higher education degree, but this statistic hides a high level of variability. Most institutions deliver several forms of education: daytime, correspondence, evening, and non-residence. While correspondence teacher education is in high demand, empirical studies comparing the correspondence and daytime programs in Russia are rare. Using data from interviews with schoolteachers, and university faculty and students, this qualitative study compares the career paths of graduates of the two programs.

The swift rise in higher education enrollments during the 1990s, according to Hanushek and Mertaugh [2005], can be attributed to three market shifts: more open admission policies in universities;

the addition of fee-based courses;

and, the establishment of many new, private institutions. Growth in both daytime and correspondence enrollments were affected. For the 20112012 academic year, correspondence education represented 45 percent of public enrollments and 75 percent of private enrollments for all fields of study [Rosstat, 2011]. Correspondence degrees are often assumed to be of lesser quality than the full-time degree [Klyachko, 2007]. However, because correspondence education has potentially greater rates of transition into teaching, it should be treated with empirical scrutiny, particularly for teacher education.

Using interview and statistical data from schools and pre-service teacher education institutions in Samara Oblast, this study analyzes teacher recruitment at the state, district and school levels, emphasizing the school. Together these levels measure the selectivity and the efficiency of recruitment into teaching. For education policy analysis, research on recruitment into teaching is situated in in the framework of labor economics (the supply and demand for teachers). To evaluate dynamics between supply and demand, pathways into teaching are examined, and of particular interest is the production of teachers by correspondence education.

Research Questions:

Who enrolls in teacher education? Why?

What are the differences between correspondence and daytime enrollments in teacher education?

Who becomes a teacher in Russia? Why?

The research design was purposefully chosen to build on a 2011 six-country teacher policy report [UNICEF, 2011]. The sample includes three teacher education institutions and ten public schools, selected using a purposive two-step design.

First, a typical region, Samara Oblast, was identified with regard to per capita GDP, population, and employment statistics. Second, ten schools were selected, by the Ministry of Education in Samara, for maximum variation with regards to school setting (Urban, Semi-Urban, Rural), and school size.

Three indicators were used to analyze recruitment into teaching: Admission, completion and transition. For policy relevance, each indicator was considered at four levels: Individual, school, higher education institution, and, the policy making (government) level. Finally, the comparison uses responses from individuals, who are enrolled in or have completed daytime teacher education programs, and individuals who are enrolled in or have completed correspondence teacher education programs. Attraction, completion and transition provide a base for concluding remarks about recruitment into teaching, a cycle including: Attraction, selection, education, induction, retention, and development of teachers [OECD 2011].

Description of the data From September until December 2012, data were collected in Samara and Samara Oblast, Russia. The National Research University Higher School of Economics, namely the Institute for Education Studies in Moscow, and the Oblast level Ministry of Education in Samara, directly supported the research. The Ministry conducted school selection based on the principle of maximum variation. The ten schools selected were located in Samara city and two education districts of the oblast. Table 1 shows the number of reported vacancies in each district by subject.

Table 1. Teacher Vacancies in Two Districts and Samara City by Subject Source: Ministry of Education and Sciences Samara Oblast 2012.

The most reported vacancies are in Samara city for physical education. English language vacancies were reported more in District 2. In each school, administrators and teachers were interviewed, and school documents were gathered.

Table 2 lists the interviews conducted at the school level. School level interviews with administrators lasted approximately 60 minutes, while teacher interviews lasted about 30 minutes, varying between 20 and 40 minutes. Interview questions were organized in four blocks;

interviews were semi-structured allowing the number and type of questions to be different in each interview.

Table 2. Individual Interview Participants at the School Level Teachers of History and Russian Language and Literature were invited for interviews, but when those subject teachers were not available, teachers of Geography, English and Primary grades were included. The four blocks of questions used are:

1. Career path including education and attractiveness of teaching.

2. Specific decisions to join a particular school, first job.

3. Current education work including qualifications and professional development.

4. Comparison of self to others, education reforms, teacher shortage.

Interviews were conducted in Russian (by an American) without translation.

The interviews were not recorded. Interview notes were used to build a database of responses that includes 36 items across all respondents. Interview questions probed the life and career trajectories of respondents, questions were open ended but specific, examples include:

When did you decide to become a teacher? Why did you decide to be a teacher?

What was the context of that decision? Who influenced you?

How long have you been teaching?

Where did you complete your teacher education?

How does your teacher education influence you as a teacher?

School interviews combined with school documents provide a comprehensive empirical base to measure the ten-plus-one teacher quality indicators, and identify (or not) whether specific teacher characteristics are correlated with correspondence teacher education. The following school documents were collected to analyze school staffing across the entire school: tariff table, staff list, payment sheet, etc.

School documents were used to create a database including teacher qualifications (teacher category, education level) and working conditions (hours assigned per week, salary) to analyze school staffing within and across schools. The majority of teachers in the school sample (63%) hold a higher professional pedagogical education degree earned in a daytime program, while a lesser majority hold higher professional pedagogical education earned in a correspondence program (18%). The third largest education group included secondary pedagogical degree holders (12%), and other types of education were minimal.



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