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Transnational Dynamics in Quality Assurance and Evaluation Politics of Basic Education in Brazil, China and Russia (BCR) 2014–2017

Research consortium partners:

Consortium organisation:

  • Team Brazil: Associate Professor Jaakko Kauko (consortium and team leader), Postdoctoral Researcher Vera Centeno, Research fellows Helena Candido and Iris Santos
  • Team Russia: Professor Tuomas Takala (team leader), Post-doctoral Researcher Nelli Piattoeva, Research fellows Galina Gurova and Anna Medvedeva
  • Team China (University of Turku): Professor Risto Rinne (team leader), Post-doctoral Researcher Johanna Kallo, Research fellow Olli Suominen, Research fellow Zhou Xingguo

Collaborating Professors:

  • Prof. Eneida Shiroma, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
  • Prof. Viktor Bolotov, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
  • Ass. Prof. Liu Min, Beijing Normal University, China

Views from China, Russia and Brazil

Quality Assurance and Evaluation (QAE) has globally become one of the most powerful framing factors for learning. The consequences are not always positive, as  evaluation may have strong unintended side effects, as shown in numerous studies. The research evidence, however, mainly focuses on liberal advanced societies. The cases of our study are the three large and increasingly powerful nations of Brazil, China and Russia. They are characterised as ‘future societies’ and strive to overcome their dependency on global models to establish a position of stronger sovereignty in the global arena.

The main research objective is to explore how the intertwinement of the local, the sub-national, the national, the regional and the global scales constructs the local dynamics in QAE politics and thus shapes local learning environments in the case countries. The project will develop and probe a new theoretical and methodological approach, Comparative Analytics of Dynamics in Education  Politics (CADEP), towards comparative understanding of education systems and open avenues for  mutual learning.

By means of a new theoretical and methodological approach, the project will affect the  general comparative, socio-historical and transnational understanding of the  construction of learning environments, with a particular focus on the policies and practices of QAE.

Owing to its focus on the effects of the evaluation procedures that re-shape local relations and learning environments, it will shed light on how they enhance, but also hinder, learning, and provide clues as to the evaluation know-how required in the future.


  • Centeno, V.G., Kauko, J. & Candido, H. (forthcoming). Quality Assurance and Evaluation through Brazilian lenses: an exploration into the validity of umbrella concepts. Comparative Education.

  • Gurova, G. (forthcoming) Soviet, post-Soviet and neoliberal: Governing Russian schools through quality assurance and evaluation. Policy Futures in Education.

  • Gurova, G., Piattoeva, N., & Takala, T. (2015). Quality of Education and Its Evaluation: An Analysis of the Russian Academic Discussion. European Education, 47 (4), 346–364.

  • Gurova, G., & Piattoeva, N. (forthcoming) A post-Soviet audit culture: changing practices and subjectivities of school teachers in a Russian region. In Carvalho L.-M., Levasseur L., Liu M., Normand R., Oliveira A. (eds) Education Policies and the Restructuring of the Educational Profession. Global and Comparative Perspectives,/ Dordrecht, Springer.

  • Kallo, J. & Semchenko, A. Translation of the UNESCO/OECD guidelines for quality provision in cross-border higher education into local policy contexts: a comparative study of Finland and Russia. Quality in Higher Education, 22 (1), 20-35.

  • Kauko, J., Centeno, V.G., Candido, H., Shiroma, E. & Klutas A. (2016). The emergence of quality assessment in Brazilian basic education. European Educational Research Journal, 15(5), 558-579.

  • Minina, E., Piattoeva, N., Centeno, V.G., Zhou. X. & Candido, H. H. D. (forthcoming) Transnational policy borrowing and national interpretations of educational quality in Russia, China, and Brazil. In Iveta Silova & Maia Chankseliani (eds.) Comparing Post-Socialist Transformations: Education in Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union. Oxford Studies in Comparative Education. Oxford, U.K.: Symposium Books.

  • Piattoeva, N. & Gurova, G. (in press). Domesticating international assessments in Russia: historical grievances, national values, scientific rationality and education modernization. In Cristina Alarcon and Martin Lawn (eds.) “Student Assessment Cultures in historical perspective”.

  • Piattoeva, N. (2016) The imperative to protect data and the rise of surveillance cameras in administering national testing in Russia. European Educational Research Journal, 15 (1), 82–98.

  • Piattoeva, N. & Saari, A. (forthcoming). The infrastructures of objectivity in standardized testing. In Maddox, B. (Ed.) International Large-Scale Assessments in Education. Bloomsbury.

  • Piattoeva, N. (forthcoming) Doing equality through greater transparency? Troubling surveillance expansion in the Russian school system. In Carney, S. and Schweisfurth, M. (Eds.) Equity in and through education: Changing contexts, consequences, and contestations. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

  • Silova, I.  Millei, Z. Piattoeva, N. (2017) Interrupting the Coloniality of Knowledge Production in Comparative Education: Post-Socialist and Post-Colonial Dialogues after the Cold War. Comparative Education Review, 61 (S1), S74-S102.

  • Suominen, O., Kallo, J., Rinne, R. & Fan, Y. (2017). Subtle convergences: Locating similarities between Chinese educational reforms and global quality assurance and evaluation trends. Quality Assurance in Education, 25 (2), 146-160.

  • Takala, T., Kauko, J., Rinne, R. & Kallo, J. (forthcoming). One Size for All? - Policy Advice of the World Bank and the OECD on Quality Assurance and Evaluation of School Education in Russia, Brazil and China. In A. W. Wiseman and P. M. Davidson (Eds) Cross-Nationally Comparative, Evidence-based Educational Policymaking and Reform. Bingley: Emerald.

  • Kauko, J. & Wermke, W. (forthcoming). The Contingent Sense-making of Contingency: Epistemologies of Change in Comparative Education. Comparative Education Review.

Additional information

Video - Russia team visit to field work site Cheboksary

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