Educational Outcomes of Middle School in the Context of International Research



The article describes the three main international programs assessing the quality of educational outcomes – PISA, TIMSS, and PIRLS. Results of the Russian students in comparison with international average and states-leaders results show the gap especially on scales concerning the students’ ability to apply the school knowledge to real life situations. The unique configuration of Russian students’ results in different studies is identified and described. High level of results in primary school (PIRLS) and low level in medium school indicate that the gap is localized exactly at the second stage of education. Further analysis demonstrates that the Russian results are unique and reflect the commitment of the Russian educational system to the principles of academic orientation (high level of substantive results and low ability to apply them in my life). The psychological and pedagogical aspects of school life are presented and analyzed as follows: personal relationships of teachers and students, disciplinary climate, forms of pupils’ encouragement to learning. It is shown that these indicators in Russia are strongly positive for students’ responses, and often negative for teachers. It is argued that the impact of these indicators has an important potential of development of the Russian educational system. Authors believe that the described peculiarities reflect the real discrepancies in Russian school and can be a resource for the development of the Russian school.

General Information

Keywords: Educational outcomes, international comparative programmes for student Assessment

Journal rubric: Educational Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Polivanova K.N. Educational Outcomes of Middle School in the Context of International Research . Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2015. Vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 19–30. DOI: 10.17759/pse.2015200402. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Katerina N. Polivanova, Doctor of Psychology, Director of Contemporary Childhood Research Center, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Professor at the Chair of Developmental Psychology by L.F. Obukhova, Department of Psychology of Education, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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