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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article is dedicated to analyzing how kindergarten and secondary school teachers evaluate certain aspects of working conditions. A lack of teachers, in imbalance in professional groups in terms of age and experience present a serious issue for education in Russia. Working conditions are of great importance for keeping the most motivated and effective specialists in the educational system. This study was part of a project aimed at examining the current status, as well as opportunities and strategies for increasing the social status of teachers in Russia. Kindergarten teachers are more concerned with the issue of overcrowded groups, while school teachers express their unanimous dissatisfaction with the amount of “paperwork”. Such problems as emotional fatigue are especially relevant for school teachers. A sensation of complications when it comes to a lack of legal protection for workers is combined with an evaluation of employment in the educational system as a factor of stability. The results of the study allow us to claim that kindergarten and school teachers demonstrate both similarities and differences when it comes to evaluating working conditions, as well as the support which they require. School teachers are unanimous in their dissatisfaction with their salaries, with their workload and emotional stresses, while pressure attributed to gender stereotypes in the professional culture of kindergarten teachers makes them more vulnerable on the labor market. Among all the various sorts of possible support, school teachers most preferred monetary rewards. Including pre-school into the system of secondary education can potentially be an opportunity for either increasing or decreasing the status indicators of the group. General changes on the labor market during post-Soviet times, which have to do with the emergence of unemployment and informal employment, stimulate a decrease in expectations and demands from workers when it comes to working conditions – they are outweighed by stable employment. This leads to a change in the structure and culture of the professional group, to the formation of new principles of appeal for sectors where pay is relatively low. However, today’s kindergarten teachers are much more susceptible to difficulties when it comes to the formation and reproduction of the professional group, as compared to school teachers.
Sociology of professions, sociology of education, preschool teachers, preschool education, teacher, school.
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