Volume: 5, Issue: 4


A Letter to the Readers
Цырлина Т.В. [about]

Dear friends, colleagues, faithful readers, and new visitors to our website:

As always, it is such a pleasure to greet you and introduce a new journal issue. This time it came as a surprise even for us that the topic is again special education and support of people with developmental disabilities. But after co-organizing and co-leading a very successful Russian-American International Seminar of collaboration and best practices of support for people with developmental disabilities in Upstate New York (September of 2013), we felt that this information and experience were meant to become part of this journal. More details on the project you can find on the website of the organization “International Academic Initiatives” (www.interai.org).

A large group of Russian special educators, social workers, psychologists, and medical doctors from Kursk and Kurchatov was hosted by a number of different North American Camphill villages that are part of the world Camphill movement. You will learn more about the movement while reading an insightful paper by Roy Ford and an interesting essay from Alex Schneider.  More broadly but within the same field are the papers composed by our California colleagues – Katrina Wong and Melinda R. Pierson; Erica Howell and Ellisa Fok, as well as by a group of professors from Sam Houston State University – Andrey Koptelov, William D. Edgington, James W. Hynes, and Stacey Edmonson. An informative review of literature on the problem of culture and its impact on self-determination for students with disabilities is prepared by Diane Salmirs from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Separate compliments deserve the papers prepared by principals of two Russian institutions that provide support to children and young adults with different and at times, severe and multiple disabilities in the Kursk region. First is an article by Tatyana G. Zubareva, Head of Kursk Regional Center of Psychological, Medical and Social Support. She describes different types of innovative and traditional interventions, which her Center uses while evaluating and treating developmental disabilities at an early age. The second article is by Natalia S. Kitsul and Anna A. Komissarova where they describe successful methods and strategies of support used for children and young adults with severe and multiple developmental disabilities in their Rehabilitation Center for Children and Young Adults with Special Needs in Kurchatov, Kursk Region.

Traditionally, the section on history of Russian education introduces one more article written by our regular contributor Mikhail V. Boguslavsky. This time he is writing about the life and activities of a famous Russian educator and founder of a new research trend called ‘pedology’, Pavel P. Blonsky. Another famous Russian educator, Vladimir M. Lizinsky, is sharing with readers his ideas about how to develop and keep an emotionally positive psychological climate in schools or any other children’s institutions.  Written in his usual humorous manner, it is an interesting piece worth reading.

And finally, after introducing every contributor to this journal issue, I let you go and start reading. One last reminder, please leave us comments which you can do in a special section at the bottom of each article.

Thank you and good luck.

Always yours,
Tatyana Tsyrlina-Spady


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