OECD Director for Education and Skills Andreas Schleicher met with the University executives on 9th August.
Dr. Schleicher is directly involved in various educational policy and assessment initiatives, including the well-known PISA, PIAAC, and TALIS. He was accompanied by the Minister of Education and Science of Tatarstan Rafis Burganov.
While welcoming the guest, Rector Ilshat Gafurov said, “We are one of the leading Russian universities engaged in teacher education. This became possible because of a merger with two large pedagogical universities in 2010. We graduate teachers in all major subject areas and for different levels of education, including preschool.”
The Rector proceeded to speak about two teacher education tracks – the classic and the distributed system. The latter is implemented at the central campus in Kazan and is based on teaching future educators at respective subject institutes (i. e., the Institute of Physics for physicists, etc.). This only pertains to bachelor programs; master programs are still concentrated at the Institute of Psychology and Education. Dr. Gafurov expressed interest in maintaining ongoing contacts with the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills. He also mentioned that the two KFU secondary schools – the IT Lyceum and the Lobachevsky Lyceum – are among the top 100 in Russia as of 2018.
During the meeting, Deputy Director of the Institute of Psychology and Education, Head of KFU Situation Center Timirkhan Alishev was named as the liaison between the University and OECD. He opined that KFU is a great test platform for OECD assessment initiatives.
Dr. Schleicher replied, “It’s been interesting to see how your university has evolved from an institution for a small elite circle to this large entity. It’s also exciting to know more about your teacher education system. Our research reflects that your teachers have strong subject knowledge and grasp of teaching methodology, but what they somewhat lack is the understanding of their students. It so happens that we are currently working on a new assessment tool for higher education; we think that the existing global rankings are way too focused on research output and academic reputation but pay little attention to student knowledge quality. Also, the rankings are biased towards English-language publications.”
Andreas Schleicher was invited to witness the educational process for future teachers in the next few months. The two sides plan to keep in touch and conduct tests of the planned assessment system at KFU. Thus, the University may become one of the pioneers in global rankings for teacher education.
Source text: Kamill Gareev
Translation: Yury Nurmeev