Teacher Education Reform as Political Theater: Russian Policy Dramas

Rooted in anthropology of policy, Teacher Education Reform as Political Theater (2019, SUNY Press) presents a critical analysis of recent educational reforms in Russia. The book explores how a group of Russian reformers used globally circulated scripts to transform purposes of schooling, reshape teachers’ work, and redesign teacher education. The Russian case serves as a mirror for examining policies that position educational systems at the service of global corporations. The book contributes to social foundations by providing an original framework of political theater that reveals how reformers’ pursuit of quality normalizes social inequality and disguises the introduction of a conservative cultural change.


Min, S. (2022). Review published in the International Review of Education

Aydarova’s scrutiny of Russian teacher education reform in the global neoliberal context offers readers a deeper understanding of globally interconnected educa-tion reform processes and transnational flows of neoliberal ideologies. The case of Russian education reform demonstrates how global transformation in education promotes neoliberal agendas by emphasising national economic competitiveness and corporate benefits.

Rappoport, A. (2021). Review published in Anthropology and Education Quarterly

The readers “will appreciate the level of detail and nuanced contextualization of all events and actors that appear on this stage. This book is a must read for education policy specialists and scholars who are interested in school reform in Russia and Eastern Europe. It will also appeal to specialists in international and comparative education.”

Kerr, S. (2020). Review published in Slavic Review

“This is a rich analysis of Russian policy making, and the framework of political theater encourages us to think in new ways about what has happened and what may happen in that domain.”

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