Научная статья на тему 'Specific Features of Child Involvement in Supplementary Education Depending on the Cultural, Educational, and Financial Status of Families and Place of Living'

Specific Features of Child Involvement in Supplementary Education Depending on the Cultural, Educational, and Financial Status of Families and Place of Living Текст научной статьи по специальности «Науки об образовании»

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supplementary education / spare time / educational inequality / accessibility of educational services / cultural capital / educational policy

Аннотация научной статьи по наукам об образовании, автор научной работы — Sergey Kosaretsky, Boris Kupriyanov, Daria Filippova

This paper presents the results of research on child involvement in supplementary education. This research was conducted by HSE in partnership with the Levada Center as part of the 2013 Education Markets and Organizations Monitoring project. The survey covered over 2,000 par-ents of school students involved in supplementary education provided by various institutions. Correlations between various parameters of student involvement in supplementary education (the rate and continuity or discontinuity of service consumption, the choice of supplementary educa-tion programs and institution types, and the place of supplementary education during free time and holidays) and family characteristics (place of residence, financial status, and cultural and ed-ucational background) are analyzed. Some solutions are suggested on how to overcome difficulties produced by differences in policies and the real situation in the field of supplementary edu-cation. For instance, the authors claim that national policies oriented at children from vulnerable socioeconomic backgrounds and those living in rural areas should be a combination of two in-struments: information, which raises parental awareness of and motivation for their children’s supplementary education, and social support to disadvantaged families, including the introduc-tion of vouchers for supplementary education services, setting quotas for publicly funded places in high-quality supplementary education programs, and targeted financing for supplementary ed-ucation programs in rural schools and schools for difficult students.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Specific Features of Child Involvement in Supplementary Education Depending on the Cultural, Educational, and Financial Status of Families and Place of Living»

Specific Features of Child Involvement in Supplementary Education Depending on the Cultural, Educational, and Financial Status of Families and Place of Living

S. Kosaretsky, B. Kupriyanov, D. Filippova

Sergey Kosaretsky

Candidate of Sciences in Psychology, Director, Center of Social and Economic School Development, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: skosaret-ski@hse.ru Boris Kupriyanov

Doctor of Sciences in Pedagogy, Analyst, Center of Social and Economic School Development, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: boriskuprianoff2012@yan-dex.ru

Daria Filippova

Analyst, Center of Social and Economic School Development, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: skosaret-ski@hse.ru

Address: 20 Myasnitskaya str., Moscow, Russian Federation

101000

Abstract. This paper presents the results of research on child involvement in supplementary education. This research was conducted by HSE in partnership with the Levada Center as part of the 2013 Education Markets and Organizations Monitoring project. The survey covered over 2,000 par-ents of school students involved in supplementary education provided by various institutions. Correlations between various parameters of student involvement

in supplementary education (the rate and continuity or discontinuity of service consumption, the choice of supplementary educa-tion programs and institution types, and the place of supplementary education during free time and holidays) and family characteristics (place of residence, financial status, and cultural and ed-ucational background) are analyzed. Some solutions are suggested on how to overcome difficulties produced by differences in policies and the real situation in the field of supplementary edu-cation. For instance, the authors claim that national policies oriented at children from vulnerable socioeconomic backgrounds and those living in rural areas should be a combination of two in-struments: information, which raises parental awareness of and motivation for their children's supplementary education, and social support to disadvantaged families, including the introduc-tion of vouchers for supplementary education services, setting quotas for publicly funded places in high-quality supplementary education programs, and targeted financing for supplementary ed-ucation programs in rural schools and schools for difficult students. Keywords: supplementary education, spare time, educational inequality, accessibility of educational services, cultural capital, educational policy.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2016-1-168-190

Received in July 2015

Research sponsored by the HSE Basic Research Programme uses data from the panel study Trajectories in Education and Career (TrEC): http://trec.hse.ru/

The government has been focusing a lot on supplementary education for children since 2012. The key objective set in political and policy documents (for example, the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 599 "On Implementing the National Policy in Education and Science" from 7 May 2012, the Conception for Supplementary Education of Children approved by Resolution of the Government from 4 September 20141, etc.) is to increase the number of children engaged in supplementary education.

Unlike general education, it is not the government's responsibility to make supplementary education free and universally accessible. However, Russian and foreign researchers [Peterson, Fowler, Dunham, 2013; Gliffin, 1999; Lareau, Weininger, 2008] assign supplementary education an important role in child development and socialization, which makes the government take measures to promote the involvement of children in supplementary education programs.

There is considerable inconsistency in the expert assessments of the existing supplementary education coverage and its dynamics. Federal Statistical Monitoring data (forms 1-flO and OW-1) do not provide a clear overall picture, as they revolves around teaching services instead of the number of children and do not cover all supplementary education institutions. In a situation like this, we desperately need sociological surveys to update and differentiate the existing statistics [Kosaretsky et al., 2013].

Recent years have witnessed ample sociological research in Russia covering various aspects of child involvement in supplementary education. For instance, much attention is paid to coverage by relevant programs, specific features of child involvement at different ages, and the geographical differentiation of this type of service. Researchers compare the popularity of supplementary education programs with differing content, i. e. analysis of the distribution of students involved according to field of study. They also study the motivation and reasons for involvement or noninvolvement, strategies followed by students and parents, the effects of supplementary education, etc. [Sobkin, Kalashnikova, 2013; Loginov, Eliseeva, 2012; Ivaniushina, Al-exandrov, 2014; Roshchina, 2012; 2015; Burdyak, 2015].

However, despite the overall high research activity in the field, the impact of financial and cultural resources on the accessibility and quality of supplementary education remains understudied. Meanwhile, drawing attention to this issue is crucial, as educational inequality may be rightly called a major challenge for the development of modern society. This has been proved by many foreign [J. Coleman, P. Bourdieu,

1 Resolution of the Government No. 1726-p "On Approving the Conception for Development of Supplementary Education for Children" of 4 September 2014; Resolution of the Government No. 729-p "On Approving the 20152020 Schedule of Measures to Implement the Conception for Development of Supplementary Education for Children" of 24 April 2015.

P. DiMaggio, H.—P. Blossfeld, etc.] and Russian [Konstantinovskiy, 2008; Konstantinovskiy et al., 2006; Froumin, Pinskaya, Kosaretsky, 2013; Yastrebov, 2012; Prakhov, Yudkevich, 2012; Kosaretsky, Pinskaya, Grunicheva, 2014] researchers in the sociology of education. Yet, most of these works traditionally focus on inequality in both general and professional education, leaving supplementary education on the periphery of research.

Studying the differences in involvement in supplementary education and the mechanisms of inequality reproduction is a new area of research for both foreign and Russian academic communities.

Most Russian researchers focus on the fundamental differences in access to supplementary education (involvement and noninvolve-ment). Some studies discuss differences in the length of involvement [Sobkin, Kalashnikova, 2013] and the content of programs (areas of study) [Roshchina, 2012; 2015]. Others identify differences in supplementary education coverage depending on family status [Sobkin, Kalashnikova, 2013], access restrictions in rural localities [Ivaniushina, Al-exandrov, 2014], and transportation and safety barriers [Vakhshtayn, Stepantsov, 2012]. They also explore inequality in access to supplementary education across schools with different status (elite vs. regular, etc.) [Roshchina, 2012; 2015] as well as the differentiation of additional training opportunities across different subjects [Prakhov, 2014; Burdyak, 2015].

As the empirical basis is limited and the number of studies is fairly small for a major field like this, it becomes obvious that we need more research to more fully understand the differences in the scope and nature of child involvement in supplementary education programs. More research will also allow for promoting the hot-button political and expert discussion on the accessibility of supplementary education and its role in the reproduction of inequality.

A wide range of hypotheses on involvement of children in supplementary education and educational strategies of families can be tested on a large sample thanks to surveys conducted as part of HSE's Monitoring of Education Markets and Organizations program, which is conducted by the Center for Socio-Economic Development of Schools at the Institute of Education in cooperation with the Levada Center. Supplementary education was first made part of this study in 2012, as a survey of directors of supplementary education institutions, with parental surveys following in 2013.

The survey results revealed, among other things, differences in the involvement of children in supplementary education by the following parameters:

• the share of children's free time devoted to supplementary education;

• the intensity of involvement in supplementary education (number of types of studies);

• continuity or discontinuity of involvement;

• types of supplementary education institutions;

• content of supplementary education programs.

This article investigates the scale of the differences stated above and their correlation with a family's well-being (financial status), place of living (geographical factor), and educational background (cultural and education status).

1. Research While analyzing differences in the scale and nature of child involve-Design and ment in supplementary education, we mostly used Coleman's family Theoretical capital theory, which states that the educational opportunities of chil-Framework dren vary depending on family resources, first of all parental education and income [Coleman, 1988]. Besides, we interpreted the behavior of different types of families in the supplementary education market using rational choice theory, according to which people demonstrate maximizing behavior in a services market based on perfect information. This theory assigns important roles to the peculiarities of specific markets (the variety of offers and the level of information asymmetry) and the ability of consumers to use available information, which is largely determined by their educational background [Becker, 1976; Coleman, Fararo, 1992].

The surveys were conducted in October—December 2013 and covered 2,080 parents of school students involved in supplementary education.

We designed a sample stratified by the following parameters: 1) administrative unit/location; 2) area of study; 3) type of ownership for the institution. The sample of parents of children involved in supplementary education was distributed within the "administrative unit/location" stratum in proportion to the number of supplementary education institutions in the stratum. The sample of parents was also distributed evenly among all groups (classes, courses, clubs, etc.).

The survey covered parents of school students attending 85 general secondary education institutions (65 public and 20 private) in 27 subjects of the Russian Federation. 30 parents of elementary, middle, and high school students were surveyed in each public school and 26-27 in each private school.

The sample of general and preschool education institutions was stratified by the following parameters: 1) location; 2) type of locality; 3) type of educational institution; 4) type of ownership. The sample was distributed by the "administrative unit/location" and "type of locality" strata in proportion to the size of strata population. The rest of the institutions were based in Central Federal District cities with a population from 100,000 to 1,000,000. The distribution by the type of locality looked as follows: Moscow: 22% (435 people); cities with a population

over 1,000,000 (other than Moscow): 22% (440 people); cities with a population from 100,000 to 1,000,000: 31% (636 people); towns with a population under 100,000: 8% (160 people); urban-type settlements and villages: 17% (329 people). We observed the following structure of the sample depending on the mother's (or stepmother's) education: secondary education or lower: 2% (46 people); secondary vocational education: 26% (486 people); higher education (either complete or incomplete): 64% (1,210 people); two higher education degrees or postgraduate degree: 8% (148 people).

The distribution of the respondents by the level of income conform to the following statements: "We have enough money for daily expenses, but buying clothes is rather difficult": 11% (205 people); "We have enough money for food and clothes, but buying a TV, a fridge, etc., is rather difficult": 35% (679 people); "We are quite well-off, but would have to borrow money to buy a car or to go on an expensive vacation": 45% (867 people); "We are affluent, we can afford to buy an expensive car or to go on an expensive vacation": 10% (185 people).

Children with highly educated mothers spend on average less time playing in the street or watching TV and engage in extracurricular classes, tutorials, and self-education more often. Children from families with a medium and low level of education tend to devote more of their time to playing in the street, watching TV, and attending school-based study groups (Table 1).

However, there is a blind zone in the free time of modern school students that is little affected by the mother's education—spending time on the computer.

Extracurricular activities (interest groups, clubs, classes, etc.) account for the highest share of free time of school students in Moscow and cities with populations from 100,000 to 1,000,000, or 31% and 32% of all free time, respectively (Table 2).

Moscow students tend to engage in out-of-school extracurricular activities and tutorials more than anyone else, while school students in cities with populations from 100,000 to 1,000,000 are more often involved in school-based classes and clubs.

Such differences are observed because Moscow and large cities offer more supplementary education institutions and a wider range of programs, and hence a wider choice. According to Federal Statistical Monitoring, there were 8,593 urban supplementary education institutions for children in 2014, as compared to only 3,117 rural ones.

According to the survey of supplementary education institution directors (2013-2014 Monitoring of Education Markets and Organizations), the average number of arts programs per institution was 24.8 for Moscow, 17.6 for cities with populations from 100,000 to 1,000,000, and 12.2 for villages. Similar patterns can be observed in virtually all areas of study.

2. Findings

2.1. The structure of school student's free time and the share of sup-plementary education during such time

Table 1. Structure of school student's free time

(Distribution by the mother's education level)

Item: On average, how many hours of your child's free time are devoted to various activities per week, including Sunday? Item: Mother's (or stepmother's) education level

Secondary education or lower Secondary vocational education Higher edu-cation (com-plete or in-complete) Two higher education degrees or postgradu-ate degree

hrs % hrs % hrs % hrs %

School-based interest groups, clubs, and classes 5.3 14.9 3.1 8.9 2.7 8.4 3.8 11.2

Interest groups, clubs, and classes in institutions other than school 3.3 9.2 4.5 13 4.9 15.2 6.1 17.9

Tutorials 0.9 2.5 0.7 2 1 3.1 2.2 6.5

Self-education, further reading 3.4 9.6 4.1 11.9 4 12.4 4.6 13.6

Watching TV 7 19.7 6.7 19.4 5.7 17.6 4.2 12.4

Being on the computer (playing, social media, learning activities) 7.2 20.3 7.3 21.1 6.7 20.7 7 20.6

Being outside (going out, playing in the street) 8.4 23.6 8.2 23.7 7.3 22.6 6 17.7

Total 35.5 100 34.6 100 32.3 100 33.9 100

Table 2. Structure of school student's free time (Distribution by the type of locality, hrs)

Item: On average, how many hours of your child's free time are devoted to various activities per week, including Sunday? Item: Type of locality

Moscow Cities with population over 1 mln Cities with population from 100,000 to 1 mln Cities with population under 100,000 Urban-type settlements, villages

School-based interest groups, clubs, and classes 2.8 2.3 3.6 3 3.2

Interest groups, clubs, and classes in institutions other than school 4.9 4.3 5.3 5.9 3.6

Tutorials 1.3 0.8 1.2 0.9 0.6

Total extracurricular activities 9 7.4 10.1 9.8 7.4

Self-education, further reading 3.7 4.4 4 5.2 3.3

Watching TV 4.2 7.6 5.2 7.2 7

Being on the computer (play-ing, social media, learning activities) 6.2 7 6.8 7.1 7.2

Being outside (going out, playing in the street) 6.2 8.8 7 7.6 8.1

Total free time 29.3 35.2 33.1 36.9 33

Table 3. Number of types of preschool supplementary education

(Distribution by the level of family income, % of total respondents)*

Item: How would you assess the financial status of your family? Item: How many different types of preschool supplementary education programs was/is your child engaged in?

1 type 2 types 3 or more types None

We have enough money for daily expenses, but buying clothes is rather difficult 39.5 19.5 9.3 31.7

We have enough money for food and clothes, but buying a TV, a fridge, etc., is rather diffi-cult 39.6 18.3 6.9 35.2

We are quite well-off, but would have to bor-row money to buy a car or to go on an expen-sive vacation 35.9 23.4 10.5 30.2

We are affluent, we can afford to buy an ex-pensive car or to go on an expensive vacation 35.7 27.0 15.1 22.2

*Only variables with a statistically significant correlation are specified here and elsewhere in the analysis of parent surveys. The correlations were tested by the chi-squared test. Significance level: 0.05.

As long as supplementary education is not compulsory, the starting 2.2. Supplementary

age and the consumption rate (the number of programs a child is in- education services

volved in) are strictly individual. The state offers supplementary edu- consumption rate

cation opportunities in an extensive network of institutions of various

degrees of departmental subordination and does not regulate their

consumption (children may engage in supplementary education either

exclusively at school, in a cultural institution, in a sports school, or in

all of these). Energy and family choice play the decisive roles here. At

the same time, the conditions of supplementary education differ from

age to age. For instance, preschool students mostly have to pay for

supplementary education programs, so family resources become a

decisive factor, too.

An analysis of the survey results shows that children from the most affluent families tend to be involved in preschool supplementary education more often and more actively (Table 3).

There is every reason to believe that involvement in supplementary education is influenced by the place of residence. For example, more than half of rural respondents reported that their children had never been involved in preschool supplementary education. This indicator is much higher than in other types of localities (Table 4) and may be explained by transport barriers, as well as a lack of development alternatives and understanding of the importance of engaging children in various types of preschool supplementary education. Anyway, ensuring the accessibility of preschool supplementary education for rural children requires the special attention of researchers.

At the elementary school level, the state offers a much wider array of public-funded supplementary education programs, both school-based and out of school. This is probably why the differences in cov-

Table 4. Number of types of preschool supplementary education

(Distribution by the type of locality, % of total respondents)

Item: Type of locality Item: How many different types of preschool supplementary education programs was/is your child engaged in?

1 type 2 types 3 or more types None

Moscow (or Moscow Region) 35.8 28.2 16.0 20.0

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Cities with population over 1,000,000 39.5 20.2 7.5 32.7

Cities with population from 100,000 to 1,000,000 (administrative centers) 39.2 21.9 7.8 31.1

Cities with population from 100,000 to 1,000,000 (other than administrative centers) 30.0 35.0 5.0 30.0

Cities with population under 100,000 (other than administrative centers) 42.5 10.6 9.4 37.5

Urban-type settlements 30.2 34.9 18.6 16.3

Villages 31.1 12.9 4.2 51.7

Table 5. Number of types of elementary school supplementary education

(Distribution by family income, % of total respondents)

Item: How would you assess the financial status of your family? Item: How many extracurricular classes or clubs did/ does your child attend in grades 1-4?

1 type 2 types 3 or more types None

We have enough money for daily expens-es, but buying clothes is rather difficult 39.5 32.7 22.0 5.4

We have enough money for food and clothes, but buying a TV, a fridge, etc., is rather difficult 42.9 34.2 17.1 5.0

We are quite well-off, but would have to borrow money to buy a car or to go on an expensive vacation 38.9 37.8 19.5 3.1

We are affluent, we can afford to buy an expensive car or to go on an expensive va-cation 25.9 39.5 31.4 3.2

erage are not that noticeable between children from families with different status. Yet, the consumption rate is still considerably higher among more affluent respondents, who stated more often that their children had attended two, three, or even more types of supplementary classes (Table 5).

The degree of involvement in supplementary education also depends on a family's educational background. Mothers with one or two higher education degrees reported more often that their children attended more than one type of supplementary class (Table 6).

Table 6. Number of types of elementary school supplementary education

(Distribution by mother's education level, % of total respondents)

Item: Mother's (or stepmother's) education level Item: How many extracurricular classes or clubs did/does your child attend in grades 1-4?

1 type 2 types 3 or more types None Total respondents

Secondary vocational education 50.3 27.9 16.6 4.8 499

Incomplete higher education 40.4 37.7 14.6 6.6 151

Higher education 37.4 37.3 20.6 3.8 1114

Two higher education degrees or postgraduate studies/degree 21.3 47.7 29.0 1.9 155

Initial vocational education 34.1 34.1 24.2 5.5 91

Table 7. The nature of supplementary education

(Distribution by mother's education level, % of total respondents)

Item: Has your child ever quit attending any classes, clubs, or interest groups that provide supplementary education? Item: Mother's (or stepmother's) education level.

Secondary education or lower Initial or secondary vocational education Higher education (complete or incom-plete) Two higher education degrees or postgraduate studies or degree

Does not quit; keeps attending/program completed 66,1 57,9 54,9 45,4

Started attending other classes, clubs, or interest groups while still attending the current one(s) 21,2 25 26,3 36,4

Quit once and enrolled in another class 8,5 11,7 13 11,5

Started and quit attending numerous classes, clubs, or interest groups; tried a lot of options and did not fix upon anything 0,6 1,2 1,1 0,3

Unlike in general education schools, supplementary education programs allow students to attend several classes and decide for themselves to continue or quit. Therefore, children are more likely to find optimal programs for their interests, capabilities, and talents.

The survey results demonstrate that children of more educated mothers (those with a complete or incomplete higher education, two higher education degrees, or a postgraduate degree) are more likely to quit supplementary studies and attend several classes or clubs at the same time (Table 7). Meanwhile, preschool educational trajectories are mostly continuous in families where mothers have only a secondary or vocational education. It can be assumed that mothers with a higher education have a stronger orientation for searching and mon-

2.3. The nature of child involvement in supplementary education (continuity and discontinuity)

Таблица 8. Attending clubs guided by museums, exhibition centers, and other cultural institutions (Distribution by type of locality, % of total respondents)

Item: Type of locality Item: Has your child ever attended clubs or classes guided by museums, exhibition centers, archives, Planetariums, theaters, philharmonic societies, or houses or palaces of culture?

Used to attend, but does not attend anymore Currently attends Never attended

Moscow (or Moscow Region) 9.3 18.3 72.4

Cities with population over 1,000,000 13.4 15.9 70.7

Cities with population from 100,000 to 1,000,000 (administrative centers) 12.5 16.0 71.5

Cities with population under 100,000 (other than administrative centers) 11.9 23.8 64.4

Villages 8.0 16.8 75.2

itoring education outcomes (i. e. what their children get from supplementary education), whereas other mothers are satisfied with merely keeping their kids "occupied".

2.4. Areas of study and infrastructure of supplementary education pro-grams

The diversity of supplementary education manifests itself in a wide choice of programs in different areas of study provided by institutions of various types and status. The survey results make it clear that the choice of supplementary education content (areas of study) is determined by family characteristics analyzed in this article (place of living, financial resources, and educational background). Certain categories of families prefer such areas as sports, arts, foreign languages, and child development clubs guided by museums and cultural institutions.

While attending museum-based clubs is not widespread as an extracurricular activity, the highest rate of children attending them was reported by parents living in small towns with a population below 100,000 (Table 8).

Neither economic status nor mother's education level correlates with attending classes provided by any of the abovementioned institutions. It follows that family characteristics are not as important in this case as some environmental properties: perhaps it is the case that museums in small towns engage more actively in the supplementary education of children or that parents in small towns choose museums simply due to lower transportation barriers.

Attendance of art classes and sports clubs varies depending on the type of locality, parental education, the type of general education institution attended, and the financial resources of the family.

Rural children have less access to sports and art schools. Most rural respondents (over 60%) reported that their kids had never attended a music, arts, or sports school. The survey results are quite con-

sistent with official statistics: there were only 908 rural sports schools in 2014, as compared to 2,068 in urban areas.

The highest proportion of respondents whose children attend music or arts schools was observed among parents with one or more higher education degrees. Children attending arts schools were mostly students of lyceums and gymnasiums. Therefore, arts and music schools are mostly attended by urban lyceum and gymnasium students from well-educated families. No statistically significant correlation was discovered between art school attendance and family income.

While parental education is the decisive factor in opting for an arts school, involvement in professional sports is largely determined by financial status. The highest proportion of children attending sports schools belong to affluent and very affluent families, which is unsurprising, as uniforms and equipment are expensive. Besides this, some sports requiring considerable investments might be associated with a high social status (i. e. sports activities are perceived as a sign of status). Meanwhile, amateur extracurricular sports activities (from at-home exercises to playing football in the street) are distributed more or less evenly among different status groups.

Supplementary foreign language courses are most often taken by children from more affluent families (32.3% as compared to 16.9% for those from less advantaged families). The difference may be explained by the inevitable need to pay for such services and by the similar prices in different institutions, which makes finding a more affordable option less easy. Obviously, this type of supplementary education does not provide equal access for students from low-income families. As speaking a foreign language is a key competent in today's labor market, conditions should be provided to reduce access inequality in this sector.

Supplementary or advanced courses in curriculum subjects are also attended more often by children from advantaged families (24.6% as compared to 13% for children with less affluent parents).

Russian school students have longer summer vacations than any 2.5. Supplementary of their peers in most developed countries. Participation in summer education of children school and in-city camp programs is one of the possible ways to use during summer vaca-this time productively. Foreign researchers focus a lot on inequality in tions organizing summer vacations between children from different social groups [Alexander, Entwisle, Olson, 2007]. Families with rich human capital try to use vacations as efficiently as possible to develop or even instruct their children, while others do not display the necessary interest or do not have the resources to provide such productive occupation, so that their children "just 'lose' summer time to their peers" [Yastrebov, 2012].

As the survey proves, the children of mothers with secondary education or lower are more likely to spend summer vacations at home or

Table 9. Ways of spending summer vacations

(Distribution by mother's education, %)

Item: How did your child spend last summer? Item: Mother's (or stepmother's) education level

Secondary education or lower Initial or secondary vocational education Higher education (complete or incomplete) Two higher education degrees or postgraduate studies or degree

At home 45.5 47.7 37.7 36.7

Went to an in-city camp (school-based or provided by a supplementary education insti-tution) 22.4 18.9 18.7 15.7

At summer home in country 24.2 26.6 33.1 31

Traveled abroad with parents (relatives) 6.7 10.9 20.7 24.9

Went to a countryside summer camp or center in Russia 8.5 13.4 16.7 14.7

Went to a foreign summer center 1.8 1.9 2.9 4.5

Went to a Russian health resort or recreation center with par-ents or relatives; traveled around Russia 9.1 16.6 19.1 22

Visited relatives (grandfather, grandmother) in another city, town, or village 34.5 32.4 32.5 31.9

Note: Respondents were allowed to select more than one option, so the column sums are more than 100 %.

in in-city camps (school-based or provided by supplementary education institutions). In families where mothers are better educated, children are sent more often to countryside summer camps in Russia or summer centers abroad (Table 9). Countryside camps provide more educational, or at least development opportunities than in-city ones, so it is quite natural that families with a higher level of human capital choose this type of recreation.

The proportion of students spending summer vacations with their family ("Traveled abroad with parents or relatives"; "Went to a Russian health resort or recreation center with parents or relatives; traveled around Russia") is higher in families with better-educated mothers. Such vacations turn out to be better organized and more productive, involving cultural and leisure events.

The proportion of students spending summer vacations at home is higher in families with a low educational background. Of course, a child may also profit from time spent at home (through reading, for instance), but we still believe that this is a less productive form of recreation, just like spending time in the street (where it is possible but unlikely that intellectual games will be played), which is also typical of these children.

Table 10. Ways of spending summer vacations

(Distribution by family income, %)

Item: How did your child spend last summer? Item: Household monthly income per person.

Under 10,000 rubles From 11,000 to 30,000 rubles From 31,000 to 50,000 rubles Over 51,000 rubles

At summer home in country 43,5 40 35,2 35,2

Traveled abroad with parents or relatives 21,7 16,9 20,8 13

Went to a countryside summer camp or center in Russia 28,4 33,6 28,6 32,8

Went to a foreign summer center 8,2 20,9 25,2 34,3

Went to a Russian health resort or recreation center with parents or relatives; traveled around Russia 14,3 16,4 16,7 14,8

Visited relatives (grandfather, grandmother) in another city, town, or village 2,4 2,6 2,5 6,3

At home 16 20,5 18,2 17,2

Went to an in-city camp (school-based or provided by a supplementary education institution) 33,6 31,7 32,7 31,3

Note: The respondents were allowed to select more than one option, so the column sums are more than 100 %.

As we compare how children with different family incomes spend their summer vacations, differences mostly manifest themselves between the most and the least advantaged families. Children in the former are less likely to go to in-city camps and more likely to go to foreign centers. No significant variance was observed in spending time in countryside camps (Table 10).

As we can see from the survey, educational and development opportunities available in summer vacations correlate with the cultural and social status of the family. National education policies should take account of the fact that more productive and useful ways of spending vacations are mostly accessible to well-educated and affluent families. Possible measures for overcoming this inequality of access to supplementary education are being widely discussed today. They include, among other things, increasing countryside summer camp subsidies for children from low-income families and fundamentally modernizing the infrastructure and programs of in-city camps.

This survey demonstrated that a number of aspects of children in- 3. Conclusions volvement in supplementary education and their ways of spending free time (in particular, summer vacations) vary depending on such factors as family income, mother's education level, and place of res-

idence. What we have here is obvious inequality in access to supplementary education and productive ways to spend one's free time.

The level of a mother's education determines the quality of free time usage and efficiency of using vacation periods. The children of better-educated mothers try different supplementary education programs more easily, while children of low-educated mothers are unlikely to quit one program and start another. Family income and parental education may influence the age of engaging in extracurricular activities and the degree of involvement (the number of programs the child is engaged in at the same time).

Both financial resources and the educational background of families are related with the choice of supplementary education programs: children from more affluent families have more access to foreign languages and professional sports, as well as advanced courses in curriculum subjects, if necessary.

Children from families with a higher education and economic status are more likely to receive supplementary education in specialized educational institutions (sports schools, art schools, etc.).

School students living in large cities engage in supplementary education programs earlier and more actively than their peers in small towns and villages.

We suggest that the revealed particularities of involvement of children in villages and towns in supplementary education, which may be considered manifestations of inequality in access to this type of education, cannot be explained exclusively by transportation or financial barriers. They can also result from the low involvement of rural parents in the education of their children, a lack of awareness about the opportunities available, and an unwillingness to use those opportunities. This hypothesis needs to be tested in order to design appropriate measures to overcome the inequality of access to the supplementary education of children living in villages and other small localities.

The revealed differences in access to supplementary education, as well as their scale and, probably, peculiarities of manifestation, are attributable to a certain extent to the specific features of this type of education and its organization in Russia: its optionality; the possibility to engage in several programs at the same time, either paid or publicly funded; a wide diversity of programs and institutions; and pronounced information asymmetry.

In a situation like this, higher-educated families that have better market analysis skills and that search actively for the best alternative tend to gain an advantage over lower-educated families.

The survey results allow us to draw certain conclusions about the national policy in supplementary education and the organization of child vacations. In particular, we can safely assume that the most useful strategy of enhancing supplementary education coverage by increasing the number of publicly funded places in programs may be rather unproductive in terms of overcoming the inequality of access

to this type of education: children from highly educated families will be the first to benefit from this strategy, while students from lower-educated families will only get access after the needs of the first group are satisfied [Lucas 2001].

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That is why the national policy concerning children from families with low socioeconomic backgrounds and those living in rural areas should probably combine two types of strategies:

• raising the awareness and motivation of parents for involving children in supplementary education by providing information on publicly funded supplementary education opportunities, support in choosing programs, tutorship, etc.

• ensuring social support for families: introducing vouchers for supplementary education services (or raising the value of vouchers in the case of introducing them for all); setting quotas for publicly funded places in high-quality supplementary education programs, including those provided by museums, modern centers of productive leisure activities, and countryside academic summer camps; and targeted financing for supplementary education programs in rural schools and schools for disruptive students.

The increasing empirical evidence of effects that supplementary edu- 4. Research cation has on the academic achievement, development, and sociali- Perspectives zation of children is prompting the need to extend the research of differences in involvement among different categories of children as well as factors and triggers of inequality in access to such education.

The extent to which supplementary education contributes to an inequality of educational opportunities and, on a larger scale, to the solidification and reproduction of social inequality is an issue for further research and discussion. Assumingly, the extent of such inequality will grow ever more considerable as the importance of supplementary education is increasing. Supplementary education is going to be used ever more actively as a means of differentiation by families, suggesting that its role will become comparable to that of elite schools.

Further research is also required into the strategies used by different categories of families in the supplementary education market due to the specifics of the latter, such as the variety of offers and level of information asymmetry.

We suggest that it would be quite efficient to analyze the involvement of children in supplementary education in terms of individual educational trajectories. The relevant module of items is included in the longitudinal study of trajectories in education and career conducted by HSE's Institute of Education.

2 http://www.trec.hse.ru

Deeper research in this area will allow for a more coherent national education policy based on developing supplementary education programs and extending access to its resources for children from various social groups.

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