Attitude of Russian teachers towards the new standards

Date01 July 2019
Published date01 July 2019
AuthorDaria Khanolainen
Subject MatterEducation,Educational evaluation/assessment
Attitude of Russian teachers
towards the new standards
Daria Khanolainen
Institute of Psychology and Education, Kazan Federal University, Kazan,
Tatarstan, Russian Federation
Purpose In 2010, the Russian Federation began introducingthe new educational standards as a national
reform designedto improve education quality. This study aims to identify how teachersfeel about the reform
to evaluate its intermediateeffects.
Design/methodology/approach The study took place in Tatarstan,one of the regions of Russia. The
mixed-methods sequential explanatory design was used: the rst phase involved a survey for123 teachers
and at the second phase 10 teachers participatedin semi-structured face-to-face interviews.
Findings The ndings of the study reveal that most teachersare still adapting to the new standards and
feel only partly preparedto work within the new system. Teachers acknowledge that the reform is necessary,
but there are some confusionand disagreement about what the new standards imply and how they should be
Practical implications The study argues that teachers have to both feel positive about reforms and
perceive themselves to be prepared to address them before they can feel motivated to support them. The
results might have beenaffected by social desirability bias as the number of those viewing the new standard
positivelyis overwhelmingly high. At the same time, teachersreport low levels of motivation.
Originality/value There is a clear dearth in scholarly literature dealing with the Russian educational
contextand available in English. In addition, there is hardly any research on Russianteachersmotivation and
attitudetowards the new educational standards.
Keywords Teachers, Secondary education, Quality standards, International standards, Attitudes,
Educational policy, Standards, Education quality, Education reform, Teacher beliefs
Paper type Research paper
The world is rapidly and irreversibly changing and the Russian government recognizes
that, as much as other countries, the Russian Federation needs to make sure that its
education system correspondsto the current economic, environmental andsocial challenges.
The introduction of the new federal educational standards in 2010 is one of the major
attempts of the government to approachthese challenges and to keep the system up-to-date.
However, it is important toquestion whether these policy changes have had any signicant
impact on real teachingpractices and have brought about the desired improvements.
Though it is often argued across many countriesthat professional standards are vital for
enforcing accountability in education, Darling-Hammond (1999) cautions that standards
are not a magic bulletand instead of increasing quality they can sometimes limit the
development of the eld. Moreover, different contexts produce various factors affecting
teachersattitude towards standards and these factors need to becarefully studied. Indeed,
The work is performed under the auspices of the Russian Government Program of Competitive
Growth of Kazan Federal University.
Received12 March 2018
Revised7 March 2019
25March 2019
1 April2019
Accepted1 April 2019
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.27 No. 3, 2019
pp. 254-268
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/QAE-03-2018-0027
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