Is there a differentiation of teachers in Russian school system?
National Research University Higher School of Economics in St.Petersburg, Saint-Petersburg, Russia firstname.lastname@example.org
National Research University Higher School of Economics in St.Petersburg, Saint-Petersburg, Russia email@example.com
Through the last 25 post-soviet years with the rise of economic inequality, Russian school system became highly stratified, and numerous studies have demonstrated that so called ‘elite’ schools (i.e. schools with advanced curriculum – gymnasiums, lyceums, specialized schools) are very different from schools with standard curriculae. The differences pertain to socio-economic status of students as well as to a number of academic outcomes: achievement on standardized tests, particularly Unified State Exam; percentage of students pursuing higher education; quality of chosen higher education institutions. However it is unknown whether teachers from standard and ‘elite’ schools do differ. We undertook our study to answer this question. Data and method: Data was collected in St.Petersburg in 2014–2015. In total, we surveyed 769 teachers from 39 schools (18 schools with standard and 21 with advanced curriculum) randomly selected from two city boroughs. The questionnaire included items on education and professional trajectories, social capital, self-efficacy and professional commitment, attitudes towards teaching profession and students, lifestyles, cultural consumption, sociodemographics. We used ANOVA for statistical analysis of differences between categories of teachers, and factor analysis (PCA) for multi-itemed scales. Results and conclusion: In spite of existing differentiation between ‘ordinary’ and ‘elite’ schools, differences between their teachers are almost non-existent and concern mainly cultural preferences. Teachers tend to stay in the same school for many years, horizontal mobility is rare. However, mobility between schools of different types occur as often as within the same type. It is important to emphasize that such essential characteristics as self-efficacy, professional commitment, attitudes towards students, disciplinary practices are the same for all teachers regardless the school type or socio-economic composition of schools. We conclude that professional group of teachers is not stratified. Results are discussed in the framework of educational inequality.