Rural /urban disparities in science achievement in post-socialist countries: The evolving influence of socioeconomic status

  • Erica L Kryst The Pennsylvania State University
  • Stephen Kotok The Pennsylvania State University
  • Katerina Bodovski The Pennsylvania State University
Keywords: Rural Education, Science Achievement, Socioeconomic Status

Abstract

Disparities in educational outcomes exist between students in rural areas as compared to students in urban settings. While there is some evidence that these rural disparities are present in eastern Europe, little is known about young peoplesΓÇÖ lives in the rural areas of this region. This paper presents an analysis of science achievement by location (rural v. urban) using all available waves of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). We examined the eighth grade data from five countries: Lithuania, Romania, the Russian Federation, Hungary, and Slovenia. Findings demonstrated that students attending rural schools had significantly lower science scores and that the rural disadvantage grew between 1995 and 2011 in some countries, but became non-significant in others. Overall, family socioeconomic status played an important role in determining the educational outcomes of rural students. The implications of these findings are explored in relation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 2015 Education for All goals.

Author Biographies

Erica L Kryst, The Pennsylvania State University
Erica Lopatofsky Kryst is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Education Policy Studies with a degree in Educational Theory and Policy at The Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include education in post-socialist countries, and the college access and academic achievement of students in rural areas.
Stephen Kotok, The Pennsylvania State University
Stephen Kotok is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Education Policy Studies with a minor in demography at The Pennsylvania State University. His research interests include educational policy, charter schools, school climate, the effects of social stratification on K-12 education, and quantitative methods.
Katerina Bodovski, The Pennsylvania State University
Katerina Bodovski is an Associate Professor of Educational Theory and Policy, Department of Education Policy Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include sociology of education, stratification and inequality in educational outcomes, comparative and international education, post-socialist societies, parenting practices, and sociology of children.
Published
2015-10-30