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Dr. Katerina Bodovski

Dr. Katerina Bodovski
Phone: 8148671865
Office Address:
310F Rackley Building
University Park, PA 16802
Campus: University Park


Associate Professor of Education (Educational Theory & Policy)


Education Policy Studies


Educational Theory and Policy
Comparative and International Education

Other Penn State Affiliations

Population Research Institute; Faculty in Demography Program


Dr. Katerina Bodovski is an Associate Professor of Educational Theory and Policy in the Department of Education Policy Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from The Pennsylvania State University in 2007.  She obtained both an M.A. in Sociology and a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Dr. Bodovski’s research interests include sociology of education, stratification and inequality, parental practices, cultural capital, comparative and international education, and education of immigrant children. Broadly defined, her research focuses on gaining an understanding of the factors shaping student behavior and academic achievement, related to family practices, neighborhood characteristics and school settings. More recently, Dr. Bodovski has expanded her research to include post-socialist countries of Eastern and Central Europe, as well as cross-national examination of characteristics of the educational systems.

In 2015, Dr. Bodovski published a book Across Three Continents: Reflections on Immigration, Education, and Personal Survival (Peter Lang Publishing). This combination of autobiographical narrative and sociological analysis discusses the author’s firsthand experiences in Soviet Russia, Israel, and the United States. Her second book, Childhood and Education in the United States and Russia: Sociological and Comparative Perspectives (2019, Emerald Group Publishing), dives deeper into understanding of the social texture of the two countries and the ways they shape childhood experiences. 

Areas of Expertise

Age Levels


Educational Studies

Comparative Ed
Educational Theory

Individual Difference

Family Processes

Methodological Research

Quantitative Research

Social Issues

Comparative and International Education

Courses Taught


EDTHP/SOC 416 Sociology of Education


EDTHP 500 Proseminar

EDTHP 523 Interpreting and Analyzing Quantitative Studies in Education Policy

EDTHP/CIED/SOC 534 Childhood and Education in Sociological and Comparative International Perspectives

Representative Publications

Graduate students-coauthors at the time of submission are in italics

Tan, Minda, and Katerina Bodovski. (2020) “Compensating for Family Disadvantage: An Analysis of the Effects of Boarding School on Chinese Students’ Academic Achievement.” FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education, 6(3), 36-57.

Zhao, Jiehui and Katerina Bodovski. (2020) “The effect of family background and parental expectations on eighth graders’ academic achievement in rural and urban China”   Frontiers of Education in China, 15 (4), 647-677.

Bodovski, Katerina (2020). “Parenting, Social Class and the College Admissions Scandal”. Contexts, 19 (3), 40-45.

Bodovski, Katerina, Ismael Munoz, Soo-yong Byun, and Volha Chykina (2020). “Do Education System Characteristics Moderate the Socioeconomic, Gender and Immigrant Gaps in Math and Science Achievement?”  International Journal of Sociology of Education, 9(2), 122-153.

Bodovski, Katerina, Volha Chykina and Tatiana Khavenson. (2019) “Do Human and Cultural Capital Lenses Contribute to Understanding of Academic Success in Russia?” British Journal of Sociology of Education, 40 (3), 393-409.

Bodovski, Katerina and Ruxandra Apostolescu (2019). “The Pull and Push Forces in the Internationalization of Education in Russia”, chapter 5, pp. 88-102 in Laura Engel, Claire Maxwell, and Miri Yemini (Eds) The Machinery of School Internationalization in Action: Beyond the Established Boundaries. Routledge, New York.

Bodovski, Katerina, Haram Jeon, and Soo-yong Byun. (2017). “Cultural Capital and Educational Outcomes in Post-Socialist Eastern Europe” British Journal of Sociology of Education. 38(6), 887-907.

Bodovski, Katerina, Soo-yong Byun, Volha Chykina, and Hee Jin Chung. (2017) “Searching for the Golden Model of Education: Cross-National Analysis of Math Achievement.” Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. 47(5), 722-741.

Chykina, Volha, Hee Jin Chung and Bodovski, Katerina (2016). "Great Expectations? Variation in Educational Plans of Students in Post-Socialist Eastern Europe,“ European Education 48(1): 43-62.

Kotok, Steve, Sakiko Ikomo, and Katerina Bodovski (2016). “School Climate and Dropping out of School in the Era of Accountability”. American Journal of Education, 122 (4): 569-599.

Kryst, Erica L., Kotok, Stephen & Bodovski, Katerina (2015). “Rural/urban disparities in science achievement in post-socialist countries: The evolving influence of socioeconomic status”. Global Education Review, 2(4). 14-31.

Bodovski, Katerina (2015). “From Parental to Adolescents’ Habitus: Challenges and Insights of Quantifying Bourdieu”, in M. Murphy and C. Costa (Eds), The Art of Application: Bourdieu, Habitus and Social Research, Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Bodovski, Katerina. (2014) “Adolescents’ Emerging Habitus: The Role of Early Parental Expectations and Practices”, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 35 (3): 389-412.

Bodovski, Katerina, Stephen Kotok, and Adrienne Henck. (2014) “Universal patterns or the tale of two systems? Mathematics achievement and educational expectations in post-socialist Europe,” Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. 44(5), 732-755.

Bodovski, Katerina, Inbal Nahum-Shani & Rachael Walsh. (2013) “School Climate and Students’ Early Mathematics Learning: Another Search for Contextual Effects,” American Journal of Education, 119(2): 209-234.

Bodovski, Katerina. (2013) “Family Educational Expectations in the U.S”, Revue Internationale d'éducation de Sèvres, 62: 69-78. (invited submission)

Bodovski, Katerina & Min-Jong Youn (2012). “Students’ Mathematics Learning from Kindergarten through 8th Grade: The Long Term Influence of School Readiness,” International Journal of Sociology of Education, 1(2): 97-122.

Bodovski, Katerina & Min-Jong Youn. (2011). The long term effects of early acquired skills and behaviors on young children's achievement in literacy and mathematics, Journal of Early Childhood Research. 9(1): 4-19.

Greenman, Emily, Katerina Bodovski, & Katherine Reed. (2011).”Neighborhood Characteristics, Parental Practices and Children’s Math Achievement in Elementary School,” Social Science Research. 40(5): 1434-1444.

Bodovski, Katerina. (2010) Parental Practices and Educational Achievement: Social Class, Race, and Habitus, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31(2): 139-156.

Bodovski, Katerina & Min-Jong Youn. (2010) Love, Discipline and Elementary School Achievement: The Role of Family Emotional Climate, Social Science Research, 39(4): 585-595.

Bodovski, Katerina & Rachel Durham (equal contribution by the authors) (2010). Parental Practices and Achievement of Mexican and Chinese Immigrant Children in the U.S.: Assimilation Patterns? Research in Comparative and International Education, 5(2): 156-175.

Bodovski, Katerina & George Farkas. (2008) ‘Concerted Cultivation’ and Unequal Achievement in Elementary School, Social Science Research. 37(3): 903-919.

Bodovski, Katerina & George Farkas. (2007) Do Instructional Practices Contribute to Inequality in Achievement? The Case of Mathematics Instruction in Kindergarten, Journal of Early Childhood Research. Vol. 5 (3): 301-322.

Bodovski, Katerina & George Farkas. (2007) Mathematics Growth in Early Elementary School: The Roles of Beginning Knowledge, Student Engagement and Instruction. The Elementary School Journal. Vol. 108(2): 115-130.

Bodovski, Katerina & Aaron Benavot. (2006) Unequal Educational Outcomes among First-Generation Immigrants: The Case of Youth from the Former Soviet Union in Israel. Research in Comparative and International Education, 1(3): 253-270.




Foundation for Child Development. PI. “Home and School Contexts, and Children’s Achievement in the Early Elementary Years”, 2009-2010, $46,918.

American Educational Research Association. PI. “Students’ Mathematics Achievement and Course-taking in 8th Grade: The Role of School Readiness?” 2010-2012, $34,185

National Science Foundation, Sociology Program. PI. “Education Systems' Effects on Math and Science Achievement” (Co-PI: Soo-yong Byun). 2014-2015. $130,670.


Population Research Institute Seed Grant, Penn State, PI, “Parental Practices and Students’ Achievement: Contextual Effects?” (Co- PI: Emily Greenman), 2008, $3,600

Faculty Research Initiation Grant, College of Education, Penn State. PI. “Cognitive Stimulation at Home, Family Emotional Climate, and Children’s Academic Achievement in the Elementary School”, 2008-2009, $8,500

Children, Youth and Family Consortium, Penn State.  PI. “Parental Practices and Students’ Achievement in the Elementary School: Neighborhood Effects?” (Co- PI: Emily Greenman), 2009, Level I, $5,000

Children, Youth and Family Consortium, Penn State. PI. “Parental Practices and Students’ Achievement in the Elementary School: Neighborhood Effects?” (Co- PI:Emily Greenman), 2009-2010, Level II, $13,990

Population Research Institute Seed Grant, Penn State, PI. “Youth’ Math Self-Concept, Achievement and Educational Expectations in Eastern Europe: Change or Continuity after the Fall of Communism?”, 2012, $10,000

Social Science Research Institute. Penn State. PI. “Educational Systems Characteristics and Socio-Economic and Gender Disparities in Math  and Science Achievement” (Co-PI: Soo-yong Byun, Sarah Damaske). 2015-2016. Level II. $20,000.

Faculty Research Implementation Grant, College of Education, Penn State. PI. “Educational Systems Characteristics and Socio-Economic and Gender Disparities in Math and Science Achievement”, (Co-PI: Soo- yong Byun), 2016-2017. $26,806.