Overview and methodology
Since 2016, the Center for International Cooperation in Education Development (CICED) has been implementing the research project called International Research of Students’ Achievements (IRSA Project). The core objective of the project was defined as “to conduct cross-country research aimed at determining factors related to educational achievements in math among primary school students”. As a consequence of the objective, the main research question of IRSA has been “to find out what factors contribute to the development of Math competence on the part of teachers and students”?
IRSA is a multiyear crosscutting project aimed at expert capacity building, strengthening regional cooperation and further development the national educational assessment systems in partner countries. The project has become an excellent example of partnership between the Center and experts from the leading organizations of Central Asia and Eastern Europe working in the education quality assessment sphere. The cross-country IRSA Project was carried out in Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia. As part of this project, its participants received experience in localizing and adapting Student Achievement Monitoring (SAM) in different languages and within new cultural contexts; implemented methods of analysis of curriculums and textbooks; developed and piloted technology for conducting large-scale crosscountry comparative research. Besides that, the achievements of the IRSA includes development and approbation of a conceptually new tool for diagnosing of teaching practices. Activities on improvement of educators’ qualifications were also conducted for all participating countries: training, study-tours and workshops.
IRSA was conducted with the use of the EQA tools and methods previously developed within the READ Program: Student Achievement Monitoring (SAM) and its context questionnaires for both students and teachers.
SAM is a tool used to measure educational subject results. It provides quality characteristics of knowledge acquisition by comparing them with teacher’s pedagogical objectives. A set of contextual questionnaires makes it possible to evaluate the correlation between achievements in Math and factors of the educational process and personal characteristics of a student and a teacher. The teacher’s questionnaire allows to determine distinctive features of the professional activity of primary school teachers as professional burnout and work satisfaction.
Research tools are adapted and localized to conduct IRSA in partner countries. Languages of localization include Armenian, Russian, Tajik and Kyrgyz. The student questionnaire determines factors of environment related to the development of cognitive skills. It demonstrates the following characteristics:
- Physical well-being
- Rate of satisfaction with school
- Satisfaction with school environment
- Study motivation rate
- Motivation to learn math
- Motivation to master reading skills
The research was conducted in accordance with the IRSA Standards that define the target population, sampling, the language of monitoring, procedures to adapt and localize research tools, institutional and organizational structure of the research.