Volume:1, Issue: 3

Dec. 15, 2009

A Letter to the Readers
Tsyrlina-Spady, Tatyana [about]

Dear readers!

I am happy to greet you again and introduce a new journal issue which is mostly devoted to a popular and widely used Russian concept of school holistic  systems. The foundations of this concept were created by famous Russian educators Alexander Kurakin, Ludmilla Nowikova and Vladimir Karakovsky and are well developed by the Center of Theory of Education, Institute of Theory and History of Education, Russian Academy of Education (RAE), headed by an Associate member of the RAE, Dr. Natalia Selivanova. Due to the Center's tremendous work and activities, numerous publications, conferences and seminars, the idea of school holistic systems became widely known and largely accepted by the educational community all over the country.

The journal articles present major ideas and approaches within the field of school holistic systems; they also show different examples of how such systems came into existence and how they are operating today in large metropolitan cities, regional centers, and small towns. It goes without saying that the history and the current existence of any school holistic system depends mostly on the specific features of every particular school, its teachers,  place of «birth» and the local surroundings. In this aspect I would strongly recommend to read a challenging article about a legendary Pavlysh School and its outstanding principal – Vasily Sukhomlinsky, written by a famous Russian researcher Dr. Mikhail Boguslavsky.

The roubric «School Concepts and Programs» introduces another stimulating article written by Julia Gritsai, the current principal of Moscow School of Self-Determination No 734. Let me remind you that back in May (Issue No. 1) we published the paper «Is It Easy to Be a School Principal?» by the former principal of this school, a wonderful educator, the late Alexander Tubelsky. His article provoked a number of comments and responses and was very well accepted by the readers.  A new paper by Gritsai allows to learn about a new stage of the school holistic system's development, about new approaches to sustain the uniqueness of  the school culture and climate that respects every individual student.

Another feature in this issue is a new roubric called «What Does It Mean». Created only last October, it was published on the home page of the Russian verison, but now we have a chance to place it in the journal with the plan to keep it there for long. The idea of the roubric came from understanding  how difficult it is to translate American educational terminology into the Russian language. So we have been collecting different terms from different educational and political sources; now we are placing them in the journal with the variants of how to translate them into Russian. We welcome any suggestions of our English-speaking readers as what words, terms, and phrases we should consider to place and explain in this roubric. As usual, we also welcome your comments and ideas.

In terms of comments, they are not numerous so far but still we are deeply grateful to everyone who has taken the time and energy to write to us. We also want to remind our readers that your comments should not be written as separate articles but should remain relevant to the original journal text. The journal is not a blog, and the decision to publish any article is taken by its Editorial Board and not by any reader or writer themselves. 

Finally, I am glad to announce the topic of the April 2010 issue. It will be devoted totally to the so-called authorial schools. (The term was coined in Russia in the 1980s to distinguish schools that were founded and managed by certain personalities, such as M. Montessori, R. Steiner, R. Tagore, or  A. Neill). Until Janury 25, 2010, we will be accepting articles (up to 10 pages, Times New Roman 12, 1.5 spaced) about such schools, their founders, main goals and educational strategies and anything else which makes such schools unique. We invite educators and principals from any authorial school,  as well as researchers of similar educational establishments, to submit their papers. We are willing to extend the virtual space of the journal to accommodate every interesting article on the topic. Please write to tsyrlina@aol.com . We look forward to welcoming new authors and readers.

Always yours,
Dr. Tatyana Tsyrlina-Spady,

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