Volume:7, Issue: 2

Aug. 1, 2015

In This Issue
A letter to the readers
Tsyrlina-Spady, Tatyana [about]
This current issue is quite unusual as it consists only of Russian papers, and all the authors have been doing research within the same research field and using the systems' approach to education and socialization of children and youth; the approach that was originally developed by the famous Russian scholar Lyudmilla Ivanovna Novikova. I am also happy to introduce Professor Natalia L. Selivanova, a guest editor for this issue, a follower of Novikova's ideas, her former student, a long-term research partner, and a current head of The Center of the Strategy and Theory of Education, “Strategy of the Education Development Institute of The Russian Academy of Education”. Now comes a confession… in being biased as my research life has been closely connected with this Center for many years. To this day I keep warm memories of numerous meetings with outstanding scholars and practitioners there, countless national and international conferences and projects, challenging discussions, and stimulating talks. For me as much as for thousands of others Lyudmilla Ivanovna Novikova will always remain not only an inspiring educational innovator but also a wonderful, kind-hearted, open, and decent person with whom I was able to stay in contact for many years.
Stanislav Shatsky: social and personality-centered education
Boguslavsky, Mikhail V. [about]
It would be no exaggeration to admit that Stanislav Shatsky represents the conscience of all Russian teachers, being a keeper and a follower of their best traditions. Stanislav Teofilovich Shatsky was born on June 13, 1878 in the family of a low-level military official in the village of Voronino, Dukhovshchinsky district, Smolenskaya province. In 1881 the family moved to Moscow. Stanislav graduated from a Moscow gymnasium in 1896 (1; 117). Being one of its best students, Stanislav Shatsky would always whole-heartedly reject education which was formal, removed from reality, and characterized by detached student-teacher relations. Through his whole life Shatsky was haunted by the memory of his fellow student who was weeping and kissing the math teacher’s sleeve begging for a better (not failing) grade. “My pedagogical faith grew out of rejection of the way I was educated and brought up,” – Shatsky would write later. As a result of his own schooling experience, Shatsky was determined “never to learn or teach like that” (1; 118). Here is how Simon Soloveychik described Shatsky’s biography in his book An hour of traineeship: “First, Shatsky learned to learn. He was a typical “everlasting student”. He studied at the Moscow State University (School of Sciences), then at the Moscow Conservatoire, and finally at Petrovskaya (currently, Timiryazev) Agricultural Academy where he became Kliment Timiryazev’s favorite student.
Lyudmilla Novikova’s Scientific School
Mudrik, Anatoly V. [about], Selivanova, Natalia L. [about]
In many respects, an individual life is influenced by meetings with other people who might make a serious impact on their professional career and relationships with friends and colleagues. But there are some special people meeting with whom might define your destiny. One of such destiny-makers was Lyudmilla Ivanovna Novikova (1918-2004). Lyudmilla Novikova was born on January 22, 1918 in the town of Gorky, Byelorussia. She graduated from the Mechanics and Mathematics School, Moscow State University. After the graduation and until the end of her life she was closely connected with public education. Novikova began her career as a teacher of mathematics. During the Great Patriotic War she was evacuated to the Altai region where she taught mathematics, physics, astronomy, field hygiene, and German at one of the local schools. She was constantly trying to be enlisted in the army as she had completed the program for military field nurses. However, due to the lack of teachers her request was rejected. In 1944, she was appointed Principal of a secondary school in the Moscow region.
Russian social education: times of change?
Selivanova, Natalia L. [about]
Significant changes that have recently taken place in the Russian society in general and in the system of education in particular, as well as domestic and international challenges make it necessary to analyze the objective reality in the national social education theory and practice, and work out the strategy of its further development. Obviously, this choice cannot be random, and should rather be based on contemporary theoretical and practical foundations. The latter may offer a significant contribution to the theory, which, in its turn, will provide a solid ground for innovations in social education practices and the reevaluation of its efficiency. The author reflects on the situation in the Russian system of social education based on the analysis of over 2,000 applications and reports submitted to different Russian foundations on various issues within social education. The author had a rare opportunity to analyze both the mainstream and innovative practices of social education by using personal observations, interviewing teachers, school administrators and parents, and also by studying school documents and multiple publications related to social education. All the above made it possible to define key characteristics of the Russian social education and suggest possible ways for its development.
A child-adult community: implementation of collective social education ideas in education today
Shustova, Inna Yu. [about]
Collective social education is understood as conditions for students’ development in the process of peer interaction. Organizing a collaborative activity, a teacher provides conditions to build various connections and relationships which contribute to children’s development. Collective social education implies external conditions influencing internal processes of students’ self-assertion and self-development where students realize and reveal their subjective qualities, personal initiatives, and responsibility. One of the areas of collective social education is a child-adult community as a form of interaction between adults and children. A child-adult community may be reveal itself in a form of a class, club, team, public association, subculture group, etc. A student can be involved in various communities and manifest himself differently in each particular case. A child-adult community can be an organized child collective or a random group, forming around an interesting task or an enthusiastic adult. It may last long or just one or several days. The 1990s in Russia witnessed significant changes in the process of social education of schoolchildren and youth: the national ideological determinant was gone; the government’s demand became rather vague; pedagogical theories of child-centered social education gained more weight. However, it is hard to imagine the process of character building and personality development without interaction with other people.
Vladimir Abramovich Karakovsky
Stepanov, Pavel V. [about], Stepanova, Irina V. [about]
They say that there are people who make the world go round and give the world something that will stay there for decades and, if you come across it, it will change your life. Speaking about such people in the world of education, we can’t but mention Vladimir Abramovich Karakovsky (1932-2015). His name is well known to many educators in America, Europe and Asia, and practically, to every teacher in Russia. Vladimir Karakovsky was one of those people who did not only introduce educational innovations but also promoted an overall democratization of schools. Vladimir Karakovsky’s life is inseparable from his school. Upon graduation from Chelyabinsk Teaching Training Institute in 1953, he began his professional career as a teacher of the Russian language and literature at Chelyabinsk School #48. In 1962 he was appointed Principal at Chelyabinsk School #1. Having defended, under Professor Lyudmilla Novikova’s supervision, his Candidate of Science (equivalent of PhD) thesis in 1977, Vladimir Karakovsky continued his career as Principal, Moscow Secondary School #8252 (currently known nationwide as Karakovsky’s school), where he worked for 34 years.
Teachers’ social education practice: Humanization of childhood
Demakova, Irina D. [about]
The jubilee publication Institute of theory and history of education: 1944-2014 (Moscow, FGNU ITIP RAO, 2014) includes a paper entitled, “The system’ approach to education and socialization of children and young people. Lyudmilla I. Novikova’s scientific school”, which mentions five generations of researchers whose development in science, was supervised by this wonderful personality and a noted scholar. Under her direct guidance every new researchers’ generation, based on the fundamental principles laid down by Novikova’s school, developed new concepts, which were especially relevant for their time. In the 1980s Novikova supervised research in the new area of education known as the school educational system. School educational system The school educational system, as defined by Novikova, is a developing, in time and space, complex of interrelated components: the initial concept (a set of ideas to be realized; concept realization activity; subjects organizing this activity and taking part in it; relationships which integrate the subjects into a certain community; environment explored by the subjects; management, which makes it possible to integrate the system into some wholesome unit). An educational system is an open system that interacts with the social, natural, and cultural environment of the school. This system is not static: it develops in the past, present, and future. The system has tools of preservation and reproduction of the ways that allow sustaining its life activity as well as instruments of the system’s disorganization and renewal. The educational system is fuelled by conflicts between the system and an individual, traditions and innovations (Karakovsky, Novikova, & Selivanova, 2000). The educational system is primarily aimed at schoolchildren’s individual development (1, 16).
From the World Wide Web to a spider thread: How to work with urban children
Stepanov, Pavel V. [about], Stepanova, Irina V. [about]
Several years ago a rather odd incident took place in an average school of an average city. Actually, it could have happened in any other school. Second graders were talking with their teacher about friends and friendship. The teacher was surprised to hear that most students considered the computer to be one of their closest friends. Such stories have become common, and adults’ reaction rarely shows more than just a condescending smile. But it is the very word common, which should cause our concern in this matter. Isn’t this a symptom of some infirmity which has infected our urbanized society? And it is not just computer or Internet addiction, which is much spoken about by doctors, psychologists, teachers, and parents. We seem to have a different problem. It is much wider-spread and more serious. It is the problem of our excessive reliance on technology and, as a result, the problem of our alienation from nature.
Supplementary education and its role in creating a character-building environment in the social community
Alieva, Lyudmilla V. [about]
Today, Russian system of education is characterized by an increased importance of social education that can provide an individual with a core set of values while enhancing the process of his/her development as a personality. The priority of social education in the currently reforming system of education is stipulated in the new Federal Law "On Education in the Russian Federation" (2012). In general, the system of supplementary education plays a special role in our country. This role could be explained by the national history as well as by a social and educational necessity to develop, by means of expanding an educational environment, young people’s civil and cultural formation. The system of supplementary education is based on specific activities (individual and collective, labor and intellectual, culturally and socially important), which consolidates teaching, self-education, social education, and purposeful character building. This environment is aimed at shaping a genuine human being with new qualities, competencies, subjective statuses, roles, and positions while involving him/her in educational and community-based activities. The specific nature of supplementary education for children (understood as the afterschool education rather than additional teaching after regular classes) implies a special subsystem of a life-long, open, state and public education and character building of children and youth.
If school students are members of informal youth groups, what should schools do?
Belyaev, Gennady Yu. [about]
Whose responsibility in the schools is it to set standards of social behavior, interaction skills and life values? Since schools are an integral part of the society, the teacher is expected to professionally solve all the issues of education and character building. My research shows that it is incorrect to reduce the present-day goals of a teacher only to educational ones and ignore the questions of who and in which manner is involved in the process of education. Schools are increasingly facing the situations when the initiative of socialization is taken over by shady (in terms of goals and values) informal youth groups while the social education authority is assumed by youth leaders who are calling for antisocial pranks. Perhaps, the current situation can also be explained by the lack of understanding the real nature of events, phenomena and changes affecting young people. Today, teachers’ social authority roles are gradually decreasing; they are being replaced by a powerful “anti-school” influence of informal youth groups, whose efforts and impact on young people have nothing to do with teachers’ social education activities. This shift of authority often leads to additional socialization problems, painful generational conflicts and a “generations’ gap”, or even social violence and acts of racial and religious hatred. What can the school do in this situation? Should teachers call police for help or employ some new and pedagogically more adequate methods? Should teachers act impulsively and rigorously or become more flexible and careful while reacting to the situations when their students express themselves in the manner of the so-called notorious “youth riot”? Should modern schools suppress youth subcultures or learn to provide adequate response to them? In my opinion, these questions constitute both – a serious problem and a social challenge.

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