Social Representations About School and Learning in Different Groups of Participants of the Educational Process



The article presents the results of an empirical study of social representations about school and learning among the main participants of the modern school educational process: students themselves, their teachers and parents.The study, conducted in the 2018/2019 academic year, involved 480 teenagers, pupils of 5—11 classes of several Moscow secondary schools, 145 of their parents (mostly mothers) and 147 teachers (of which also the majority are women).To identify social representations, respondents were asked to write five consecutive associations for the following words: "school" (for teenagers), "school of my childhood" and "modern school" (for teachers and parents), "learning" and "Unified state exam (USE)" (for all groups of participants).In the logic of the theory of "core and periphery" obtained for each of the groups of participants of the study associations were subjected to prototypical analysis (according to P.Verges).We tested the hypothesis on the difference in social representations about school and learning in different groups of participants of the educational process.Social representations were indeed different in the studied groups when it came to school and learning, but they turned out to be quite close when the associations to the word "Unified state exam (USE)" were analyzed: apart from the frequently occurring ascertaining (and in this sense emotionally neutral) association "test", the rest had a negative emotional, evaluative connotation.

General Information

Keywords: social representations, school, study, Unified state exam (USE), teenagers, teachers, parents

Journal rubric: Educational Psychology


Funding. The study was supported by Moscow State University of Psychology and Education within the research project "Development of methodological Arsenal for monitoring educational motivation".

For citation: Tolstykh N.N., Ter-Avanesova N.V., Chernyak N.A. Social Representations About School and Learning in Different Groups of Participants of the Educational Process. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2019. Vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 5–15. DOI: 10.17759/pse.2019240601. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Nataliia N. Tolstykh, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Division Head of the Social Psychology of Development, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Editor-in-Chief of the International Scientific Publication Social Psychology and Society, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Natalia V. Ter-Avanesova, Graduate Student, Faculty of Social Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Nataliya A. Chernyak, Graduate Student, Faculty of Social Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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