PRE-SCHOOL TEACHERS: PROFESSION AS A RESOURCE OF SOCIAL MOBILITY

  • The authors:
    Elena М. Kolesnikova
  • Issue: July 24-26th, 2019
  • Pages: 649-655
  • Section: EDUCATIONAL MOBILITY AND SOCIAL INEQUALITY
  • URL: http://conference-ifl.rudn.ru/649-655/
  • DOI:
    10.22363/09669-2019-649-655

Abstract. Actual Russian market of preschool education in comparing to
the Soviet period faced not only with workplaces reduction, but also with
changes in the structure of the professional group. The post-Soviet period
was marked by closure of a large number of kindergartens owned by large
enterprises and agencies, to which they are now became a social burden and
reduction of pre-school teaching personnel. State employment policy in
Soviet Russia in general and preschool education in particular guaranteed
stable social status for professional groups. Employment in pre-school
education ensured not only stability of income, but also the opportunity to
receive free basic social benefits (e.g. health care, education, housing).
Soviet educational system practiced measures of graduates from rural areas’
involvement in the “pedagogical” profession. Such measures as formal
“rural quotas”, reduction of passing score, the system of correspondence
education were used to increase the chances of graduates from rural areas
entering pedagogical vocational education. The changes in the socioeconomic system stimulated modifications in professional preferences of
citizens and the structure of employees in the pre-school education. Actual
Russian pre-school education is represented in large proportion by
professionals with “too long” work experience. They are close to or over the
retirement age. In the coming years pre-school teachers who chose this
profession and started the practice in the USSR, in the period when the level
of welfare and social security were provided more by state rather than by the
employees themselves, will retire and we would like to understand who will
come to replace them?
Sociologists associate the possibility of social and professional growth of
employee with the openness of society, the processes of social mobility, its
intensity. Equality of opportunity is more often seen in the context of
intergenerational changes in access to education and income, and less often
to professions. Russian and foreign sociologists agree on the continuing
inheritance of social benefits and the use of professional positions as one of
the tools of closing, artificial restriction of access to outsiders, non-members
of the profession, to certain social benefits.
The research is devoted to the analysis of indicators of the status of a group
649
DOI: 10.22363/09669-2019-649-655
of preschool teachers. Professional group is considered from the standpoint
of intergenerational and geographical mobility of its representatives. The
study was organized as part of the project of the analysis of social status and
prospects of pre-school teachers in Russia in 3 regions (Moscow, Samara
region, Nizhny Novgorod region). A quota sample was based on the
criterion of pre-school teaching work experience. For analysis were selected
questionnaires of 347 public kindergartens teachers and 93 teachers of
nonpublic kindergartens.
In our opinion, social resources available for accumulation in the beginning
of pre-school teacher career are stimulating their prospects of social and
territorial mobility. Important trends are associated with “closing” the socioprofessional community in the medium and small cities and the outflow of
specialists from rural areas. “Closer” of professional communities and the
rejection of territorial migration in small and medium-sized cities in Russia,
in our opinion, is a reflection of certain elements of the estate social
structure existence there. Outflow of pre-school teachers from rural areas
begins from the period of vocational education and leads to growth of
professional status of specialists.
Keywords: Sociology of professions, sociology of education, preschool
teacher, preschool education, social mobility

Elena М. Kolesnikova
Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied
Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia,
e-mail: kolesnikova@mail.ru

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