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Integration of Schools in Latvia and Estonia Using Curriculum Reforms



Tatiana Khavenson - PhD in Education, Research Fellow Educational Innovations Laboratory, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics. Address: 20 Myasnitskaya Str., 101000 Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: tkhavenson@hse.ruThis article investigates into the reform of national school curriculum in Russian-language schools in Latvia and Estonia. We assess how well the reform-related regulations have been integrated into everyday schooling practices and reflected in educational outcomes in order to measure the success of the education reform in terms of adopting the new learning standard and improving the PISA results. The study exploits the situation of natural experiment that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, with countries that used to have a common education system taking different reform paths and achieving different outcomes. National school curriculum is analyzed at three levels: as intended (stipulated in documents), as implemented (taught by school teachers), and as attained (reflected in test results). Such three-level analysis required studying the documents that described the key reform provisions, conducting a series of in-depth interviews in Russian-language schools to investigate the process of integrating the proposed innovations in teaching practices, and analyzing how PISA results in Latvia and Estonia had changed between 2006 and 2015. It is shown that the gap between the curriculum as intended and as attained has reduced in both countries. Schools have been actively integrating the changes proposed, and PISA results have been improving consistently, yet the methods of achieving those results differ between the countries. The natural experiment study design allowed to explore educational reform processes in the two countries as well as to assess the effects of the reforms introduced.

Suggested Citation

  • Tatiana Khavenson, 2019. "Integration of Schools in Latvia and Estonia Using Curriculum Reforms," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 77-100.
  • Handle: RePEc:nos:voprob:2019:i:3:p:77-100

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nancy Leech & Anthony Onwuegbuzie, 2009. "A typology of mixed methods research designs," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 265-275, March.
    2. Anastasia Kapuza & Yuliya Kersha & Andrey Zakharov & Tatiana Khavenson, 2017. "Educational Attainment and Social Inequality in Russia: Dynamics and Correlations with Education Policies," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 4, pages 10-35.
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