In October 2016, members of the team researching the quality assurance and evaluation politics in Brazil, China, and Russia held a seminar in Cheboksary, Russia. The seminar was aimed for the school teachers, deputy directors, and directors who participated in the local-level fieldwork of the BCR project during 2014-2015.
Presentations by Tuomas Takala, Galina Gurova, Anna Medvedeva, and Nelli Piattoeva discussed the preliminary research results of the study, whereas Anne Jyrkiänen addressed the Finnish education system in general and the assessment practices in the Finnish schools in particular, as requested by the hosts. The results of Galina Gurova’s ethnographic research in two schools during 2015 were discussed in particular detail with the purpose of validating analytical interpretations together with the research participants.
The overall feedback from the schools was very positive. The participants commented that the problematic impact of national, regional and municipal quality evaluation procedures on their work was captured correctly by the researchers. The teachers were grateful for a chance to participate in a research project that pays genuine attention to their daily work, and were very interested in an opportunity to hear about and provide feedback on the research findings.
The visit ended with a warm-hearted dinner organized by one of the participating schools. Toasts were raised to future cooperation between the schools and researchers from the Faculty of Education at the University of Tampere.
Photo credit: Anne Jyrkiäinen. Cheboksary seminar researchers and participants of the local-level fieldwork in a seminar in Cheboksary, Russia.