Additional school subjects` lessons: motivation and popularity


  • Aleksandra Y. BURDYAK Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration



school students, Unified National Exam, additional lessons, tutoring, exams, parents


The article examines the practice of teaching school students school subjects as a sphere of additional training and intersecting interests. The analysis was based on the qualitative research and included five group discussions with parents who had children in grades 6-8 and quantitative door-to-door opinion poll involving 1505 parents of 1st- 11th graders. The data were obtained by the Levada Analytical Center and commissioned by the Institute for Human Development of Metropolis in January and March 2014. Working with focus groups, we defined a number of strategies of inclusiveness and non-inclusiveness of children in the practice of taking extra lessons in basic school program subjects and foreign language; we identified the motives, reasons and circumstances that influence lesson choices. The work of the focus groups resulted in hypotheses about factors that shape educational strategies of school students to take extra lessons. The article provides analysis and structure of the answers of the questionnaire used in the formalized personal door-to-door survey conducted using stratified sample method involving parents and representing school children of Moscow; the data of this survey help testing the hypotheses and calculate the number of school students using extra lessons. The study proved that tutoring practice is more popular in high school. Surprisingly, despite parental satisfaction with schools, parents take their own initiative to prepare their children for the UNE and to enter a university. They understand that in the current situation, when schools are being integrated and teachers are being charged with additional tasks, the opportunities of general education are restricted, and it takes extra lessons to give a child a good education. Additional lessons are more popular among 10th and 11th graders; this fact casts doubt on the pure role of school in the preparation for the Unified National Exam and misrepresents its effectiveness.