The Role of Extracurricular Activities in the Life of High School Students
Project coordinator: Valeria Ivaniushina
SESL has been studying extracurricular activities among students since 2012, when we started participating in a large research project initiated at HSE called “Studies on educational and vocational trajectories of high school graduates”.
SESL was responsible for developing research tools, as well as for the control of data collection in Tomsk and St. Petersburg.
As a result of this collaboration, we collected detailed data on extracurricular activities, motivations, academic performance and the socio-economic status of students in Tomsk, St. Petersburg and several small towns and settlements in the Leningrad and Tomsk regions.
In total, we surveyed 6992 students in the 9th grade from 162 schools.
In addition, we analyzed the following materials collected by our colleagues: interviews with students involved in a range of vocational clubs, and telephone surveys with staff members of said extracurricular and vocational groups.
The goals of the SESL project include:
(1)studying a range of extracurricular activities in different contexts (metropolises, small towns and settlements);
(2) to determine the impact of these activities on the academic performance and motivations of students. We are interested in the current supply and demand in this area. In particular, which institutions and organizations satisfy the need for additional occupations for various population groups, and which kinds of activities are in demand among the population.
Furthermore, we wish to establish the role of extracurricular activities that take place at the schools in the formation of the school environment, both in the academic and psychological atmosphere.
In additions, since 2008 we in SESL have been collecting our own data on the activities of extracurricular institutions in small towns and settlements of the Leningrad and Moscow regions.
Status Groups, Career Trajectories and Identities of Schoolteachers
This project is focused on the description and analysis of professional trajectories of St. Petersburg schoolteachers, on identifying the main status groups within the professional community, and the analysis of such professional identities. The inner stratification of the community is considered with regard to job placements at schools of different status, limits of social mobility, loyalty towards their profession and towards their specific organization. One of the goals of this study is to describe and analyze opportunities and obstacles in the professional career of a schoolteacher. The study's findings may have practical applications in organizing staff policies in the field of secondary education.
The research is based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection, which include interviews and surveys. The data obtained from the interviews (biographical data, data on early career, looking for jobs, changing places, competition within the teachers community) are aligned with the survey data.
A questionnaire developed specifically for the purpose of this survey includes the following question groups: educational and professional trajectory, professional and personal contacts and notions of discipline and disciplinary practices. It also includes questions on professional identity, on the choice of profession and loyalty to the profession, the image of a “perfect teacher” and a range of social and psychological constructs, such as abilities and self-confidence, control locus, confidence in their own professional qualifications, lifestyle and/or consumerism and socio-demographic block.
The research was based on surveys conducted in the Vasileostrovsky and Nevsky districts of St Petersburg. In total, the surveys covered 769 teachers from 39 schools (427 teachers from 23 schools of the Vasileostrovsky District, and 342 teachers from 16 schools of the Nevsky District.)
The preliminary data analyses include: (1) component analysis of question on consumerism and the socio-cultural capital of the respondents, and (2) correspondence analysis of basic variables on the educational and professional careers of teachers, and the professional identities of the responders. The analysis of the first stage of the study has shown that stratification in the teachers community is not connected directly to the school status (which is interpreted as an average score of the Unified State Exam taken by the school students.) At the current stage, we're researching the patterns of teacher distribution across different schools using methods of latent class analysis and structural equation modelling.
Survey of school social organization
Project coordinator: Daniel Alexandrov
The aim of this project is to create new instruments for studying social organization of contemporary Russian schools. In 2010 new instruments were created and tested using previously collected interviews and methodology of our American and European colleagues.
The inquiry was held in 4 city boroughs in St.Petersburg and Leningrad oblast. The schools in the boroughs were selected by quota samples. All-in-all 2700 questionnaires from teachers and students of 48 schools were collected. The data allow to compare effectiveness of various questions and to design different scales of perception and evaluation of interaction in school (for example, evaluation of collective efficacy and sense of belonging). For further research another test will be needed for scale perfection and model verification on more variative sample of schools.
Comparative Study of Schoolchildren Educational Expectations in Rural Russia and India
Project coordinator: Evgeny Kochkin
In 2009 SESL and BMCWS Mumbay social assistance centre conducted a survey to study educational expectations of 10-graders from 3 schools with various characteristics of small Indian town Rajgurunagar. The scholars had surveyed all the 3 schools in this town that differed in several factors. At hte same time empirical data was collected in a rural district in Leningrad oblast in Russia. The researchers plan to identify and compare educational and professional expectations of schoolchildren in contemporary Russia and India. It is also important to trace dependence of these expectations from academic achievements, gender, social and economic capital and type of the school in different countries.
Educational Tracks and Educational Choice after 9th Grade
Project coordinator: Svetlana Savelieva
In 2007 - 2010 the Laboratory was conducting a survey to study educational choice of the 9th graders basing upon the case of a district in Leningrad oblast. At first, the interviews with the graduates and their parents were collected and after that all the graduates in one of the schools were surveyed. Original research instrument was created basing upon this data. In 2009 all the graduates and their parents in that district were surveyed.
School and Community Interaction Mechanisms
Project coordinator: Inessa Tarusina
This project studies the process of integration of the local communities (one of the districts of Leningrad Oblast is taken as an example). SInce 2007 to 2010 SESL researchers collected interviews with community leaders from various social institutions as well as statistical data about the development of villages.
The aim of this project is to describe and analyse school and community interaction mechanisms. The scholars elaborate methods and instrument for such analysis as well as techniques for leader's revelation. The most part of the project is based on the qualitative data, but now we add network analysis to this study. It will help to describe specific characterictics of the local intitutions of the community.
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