Education and society in Moscow : teachers' perceptions

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Hawkins, Laurie
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1999
Within the span of less than a decade, Russian teachers have lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of Communist rule, the emergence of a free market economy and levels of inflation which have pushed much of the population into poverty. Restrictive government poliies have been replaced with an infrastructure often described as corrupt and infeffective. New laws on education now allow for innovative curriculums and methodology, but economic restrictions have limited much possiblity for change. The purpose of this descriptive study is to examine the perceptions of Moscow educators regarding public educaion and society in Russia. Selected teachers were surveyed and interviewed about their perceptions of recent soical, political and economic changes within Russia; communism and the future of communism in Russia; democracy in Russia; schooling, students and teachers in general in Moscow; the creditation and training of educators in Russia; their responsibilities as educators in Russia; and the future of their individual professional lives. The study discusses the context of education and schooling in Moscow, provides data from a Likert type quesitonnaire and personal interviews, discusses the quantitative and qualitative data and uses a one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with teachers' age as the variable. Major findings include teachers' perceptions that the political and economic changes in Russia are "inevitable." Teachers' lives continue to be restricted, however, that restriction is dictated by economics as opposed to political repression. The fall of the communist state is considered desirable and teachers are unsure if the communist party will ever again form the government of Russia. Teachers do not consider themselves to be "free" or Russia to be a true democracy, and most are undecided if Russia will become a true democracy in their lifetime. As well, the quality of public education is seen to have suffered since the end of the Soviet state with severe underfunding limiting the opportunities for innovative practice. Teachers, however, believe that educators in Russia are well- prepared to be professional teachers in post-communist Russia. They also believe that teachers are responsible for fostering a sense of Russian nationalism and instilling proper values in students. They have an important role to play in shaping Russian society in the future and are optimistic about the future of the teaching profession and the role they will play in determing that future.
1 v. (various pagings) ; 29 cm.
Public schools -- Russia (Federation) -- Moscow , Educational change -- Russia (Federation) , Education and state -- Russia (Federation) , Education -- Russia (Federation) -- Moscow , Russia (Federation) -- Social conditions , Russia (Federation) -- Intellectual life , Dissertations, Academic