Institute of Education

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Challenges of the Teaching Profession Disccused in HSE Journal

The second issue of  Voprosy obrazovaniya/Educational Studies.Moscow  has been recently released. The issue features the following thematic section – Recruitment, Education and Retention of Teachers: Issues and Challenges in the Eastern/Central Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Mongolia.

Authors were invited and selected by the guest editors - Gita Steiner-Khamsi from Columbia University (US) and Elena Lenskaya of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. The papers discuss a wide range of issues related to the challenges facing the teaching profession in various Eastern European and Central Asia countries, sometimes presenting two different perspectives on the same issue (e.g., from a Russian and an international point of view).

HSE scholars Marina Pinskaya, Alena Ponomareva and Sergey Kosaretsky focus on the results of ТALIS‑2013, in which Russia formally took part for the first time. The authors discuss problems related to the training of young teachers and the various challenges they face. Furthermore, they also present compelling findings about how young teachers can suffer from a lack of active learning methods and group-based training programmes.

The article by Elena Lenskaya and Irina Brun, elaborates on school principals, uncovering that there is no pre-employment training for this key group of educational professionals.

Azerbaijani authors Ulviya Mikayilova and Elmina Kazymzade bring up quite a few interesting topics, such as teacher training, opportunities for networking in education, and developing a culture of collaboration within schools. They conclude that education researchers play an important role as facilitators, mediating dialogue between teachers and policy-makers, so as to build effective partnerships within the education community.

The article by Elena Aydarova of the University of Arizona (US) is dedicated to the situation in Russia. In particular, it examines the problem of teacher retention in situations where mass media can form a negative image of a given school. In addition, the author points out that teachers can often be burdened with bureaucratic responsibilities, thus adding a further layer of stress to this already demanding profession.

Raisa Belyavina’s paper deals with teacher remuneration. She investigates incentive supplements introduced by the Kyrgyz government as part of its fundamental salary reform in 2011.

In addition to this issue’s thematic section, the journal also takes a long journey to the other side of the world with an article by Brazilian scholars Arabela Oliven and Luciane Bello. Their study focuses on the experiences of African-Brazilians and native peoples at an elite university. In particular, the authors describe affirmative action programmes and their impact on students in Brazil.

In addition, the journal’s two traditional areas of focus, history of education and book reviews, are represented in this issue by the work of Maria Mayofis and Isak Froumin. The article by Maria Mayofis takes the reader back to the 1950s in order to uncover what prompted the Soviet government to establish schools with advanced study of foreign languages.

Isak Froumin, Academic Supervisor of the HSE Institute of Education, presents the latest book in the Voprosy obrazovaniya Library series - the Russian translation of Philip W. Jackson’s Life in Classrooms, which was first published in 1968 and has become a milestone work for Western teachers and researchers. Professor Froumin, who was lucky enough to have known the author personally, believes that Jackson’s lessons are just as relevant today as they were several decades ago.