Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education

Translation and Continuity of Educational Innovations in the Secondary Education System of Kazakhstan

Translation and Continuity of Educational Innovations in the Secondary Education System of Kazakhstan

Translation and Continuity of Educational Innovations in the Secondary Education System of Kazakhstan

Status: ongoing, 2018-2020

Research Team

Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education

Dr. Amanda Ajodhia
Dr. Bridget Goodman
Dr. Janet Helmer
Assel Kambatyrova, PhD student
Dr. Kairat Kurakbayev (Co-Principal Investigator)
Dr. Kathy Malone
Dr. Michelle Somerton
Dr. Daniel Torrano
Dr. Michael Tsediso Makoelle

University of Cambridge Faculty of Education

Dr. Olena Fimyar
Dr. Colleen McLaughlin (Principal Investigator)
Dr. Liz Winter
Dr. Natallia Yakavets

Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools

Zarina Khamidulina
Ayaulym Torebekova
Dr. Xeniya Tursunbayeva

Project Introduction

As is well known, there are several major reforms to the education system in Kazakhstan. As part of the research plans for the NUGSE we are planning a collaborative three-year study (2018-2020) of the key aspects of the reform of the schools in Kazakhstan. This builds on two years of very productive research already undertaken and part of this proposal is to ensure some continuity of approach so we can undertake a long-term study i.e. over 5 years. The proposal has been reviewed by ORAU and has been judged to be very good. This work has already been written about by all involved and has been the subject of presentations at major European and American conferences. The reform has the following major elements: the curriculum, the pedagogical approach underpinning the curriculum, assessment practices, the introduction of trilingual education, the introduction of new professional development programmes and new policies on inclusion. These reforms are now in the process of being translated from the NIS experience and rolled out to the whole country. The reform of the education system and the roll out or the translation to the whole country offers a unique educational research opportunity i.e. to study the different stages of a reform and to be able to contribute to the knowledge base about teacher and school development, as well as various areas of interest to NUGSE e.g. multilingual education, inclusion and equity, teacher development, education in rural and urban settings, pedagogy and assessment.

Research Focus

The aims of the research:

  • To examine the attitudes and perspectives of schoolteachers, school principals and other stakeholders towards implementation of the novel features in the new curriculum in mainstream schools
  • To research the model of reform and its strengths, challenges, and impact upon the different levels of the system
  • To research the impact upon teachers and the implications for teacher development
  • To explore effective measures of impact upon students and their learning and explore which ones we can use
  • To examine features of the trilingual education policy
  • To examine features of the new policies on inclusion

A research team will be formed where there are team leaders of different strands, some from Cambridge and some from NUGSE, and core research foci – reform and rural/urban settings.