Martin Carnoy, professor at Stanford University - about school and educational inequality
Members of our Laboratory presented their research in the international conference “Trajectories in education and careers”
Martin Carnoy, academic supervisor of the Laboratory, professor at Stanford University:
In a democratic society it is a common belief that education does not allow the society to be divided into classes and allows everyone to get ones chance regardless of his or her background. But the school is a bureaucratic system that is not effective enough to achieve this goal. Teachers do not know how to teach children from low-income families and the school principals do not expect much from them.
At the same time, even in the international PISA survey results are presented without considering the socio-economic status of children. But we must understand that if you, for example, live in Shanghai, you are guaranteed to be the best in the world in the PISA tests, even if you are from a poor family - simply because there is a good educational system.
Thus, this notion of school - this is the idealistic view of a democratic society, but this ideal is of great importance. School affects the economic success of the students, regardless of their initial economic status. Good test results, not socio-economic status of a child, guarantee a high salary. So if we can improve the education system, then children from low-income families will have better results. This will increase social mobility, and the society will feel much better.
Martin Carnoy_HSE_9_16_2016 (PPTX, 627 Кб)
Andrey Zakharov, deputy head of the Laboratory – on factors affecting the choice educational trajectory after 9th grade:
Approximately 60 percent of inequality in the access to the academic track in elite schools, and 30 percent in regular schools can be explained by secondary effects. This is quite a lot if compared with European countries and the United States.
This means that for the children who have approximately the same educational achievements the choice of their further trajectory is still determined by the cultural capital of the family. It is understandable – in elite schools results and performance is better since there are some self-selection and selection mechanisms and this selection concerns cultural capital. And in general, the academic achievements are not always the cause of the educational trajectory choice.
Zakarov-Vocational-school-choice-Russia-3 (PDF, 129 Кб)
Yulia Kuzmina, research fellow of the laboratory – on how differently boys and girls estimate their abilities in mathematics:
Interest in mathematics and understanding of its importance is more significant for girls rather than for boys both when choosing a STEM profession and making success in mathematics. Marks and interest in the study of mathematics for girl can grow if she is confident of the importance and usefulness of mathematics. For the boys it is less significant. The good news - interest in mathematics has little to do with previous achievements, so this interest can be aroused in every student despite his or her previous results if his or her self-confidence are high enough.
Girls are more likely to suffer from feelings of helplessness while solving math tasks, they are more sensitive to bad marks and general self-esteem of their abilities in mathematics suffers from this more.
In addition, girls are less likely to choose a track related to mathematics and technology. And even if they choose technical education they rarely work in their specialty.
Tatiana Chirkina, research intern of the laboratory:
We examined educational inequality in choices of students of their further trajectory after the 11th grade. The most important factor is the economic resources of the family. It should be understood that if the university is located in another city or region it imposes additional restrictions due to rising costs for parents. Simply put, the academic track is chosen mostly by those students who have enough resources to study at the university. There is a certain role of indicators related to the cultural capital of parents. Thus, students from families with higher socio-economic status and cultural capital tend to enter more prestigious universities. Students who choose vocational education explain their choice by the desire to enter the job market more quickly.