Volume:5, Issue: 1/2

May. 1, 2013

Dear friends, colleagues, authors and readers of the journal,

Unfortunately, I am addressing you in this capacity and from this website for the last time. After long discussions and many painful thoughts, we have made a decision that the journal should be closed. This is not an easy decision to make but it feels that at this point it is the only right one.

Twenty-five journal issues is a lot, and at the same time it is not much at all, of course, depending on your point of view. Still, we can only hope that through the journal we have managed to bring attention to a number of critical and undeveloped issues in education in the United States and Russia.  Since everything remains online and free, you will have a chance to continue reading and perhaps finding some new ideas and inspirations there.

In conclusion, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to each and everyone who made this journal happen for nine years – our authors and readers, members of the Editorial Board and reviewers – without you we would have never succeeded and gained an audience from over 140 countries. Special thanks go to the journal web designer Alex Minakov whose skills and patience were exceptional. Thank you so much! It has been my honor and privilege to serve you all!

Always yours,
Tatyana Tsyrlina-Spady,

In This Issue
A Letter to the Readers
Tsyrlina-Spady, Tatyana [about]
Dear friends and colleagues, new and old readers of our journal: I am happy to greet you in 2013 and to inform you that due to a number of circumstances we made a decision to combine the first and the second issues. So you are cordially introduced to this united 1-2 issue in Volume 5. For the first time in the journal’s history we directly address the field of comparative education and the research completed by Russian and foreign scholars. By the way, I intentionally use the word “foreign” – you will meet with not only traditionally represented Russian and American researchers but also learn from our colleagues in China, Moldova, Norway, and Uganda.
Sergei Gessen’s Pedagogy of Freedom
Boguslavsky, Mikhail V. [about]
In the pedagogical tradition of our nation, there is one individual whose fate was to be called upon to connect Russia with the world, east with west, pedagogy with philosophy, psychology, study of cultures, ethics, sociology, and political science. This scholar brought together the past, present, and future of Russian education. Who was this giant? He was Sergei Iosifovich Gessen and he lived from 1887-1950. It is certainly rare that any book on education, or any subject for that matter, which was written one hundred and ten years ago is finally able to be opened and turns out to be more significant and current than contemporary works. This is exactly what happened with S.I. Gessen’s Principles of Pedagogics. Its publication in 1995 in Russia shocked educators and the entire pedagogical culture of that time. The situation was like this: the Soviet “principles of pedagogics” based on Marxist-Leninist ideology utilized throughout the entire country had been discredited only a few years before and no substitute had yet been found. Then, Gessen’s book made its appearance and was received as an authentic, and Russian, basis for pedagogical research. Let us remember that we are talking of the republication of the book, written and published in 1923 in Berlin, Germany, and kept in special “closed for public” storages of the Soviet libraries for many decades. No wonder, hardly any researcher and practically no teacher would know the name of Gessen in Russia, when at the same time the West witnessed many volumes of his books published and republished; numerous Western researchers wrote articles and manuscripts on his contributions to philosophy, sociology, political sciences, ethics, and pedagogy. There is even a Society of the researchers of Gessen’s works.
A great Tatar thinker Kayum Nasari
Valeeva, Rosa A. [about]
The end of the 19th - early 20th century is characterized by the formation of national Tatar education system, national mass media, literature and theatre, together with a new type of intellectuals striving for the unity of traditional cultural values and Tatar national development. The innovative approach that is known in history as “Jadidism” gradually evolved in the Tatar education system. The origin of this term comes from the name of a new method of teaching "Usul Jadid," and the latter became possible due to the reform of the traditional confessional education and the development of a sound method of teaching [1; 4]. Especially influential in this movement was an outstanding Tatar educator, researcher and writer Kayum Nasyri (1825 - 1902), well known to anyone who is familiar with the history and culture of the Tatar people. Kayum Nasyri was born on February 14th, 1825, in the village of Upper Shirdany of Sviyazhsky district in Kazan province (now Zelenodolski region of Tatarstan) in the family of an influential local theologian and master of calligraphy Gabdenasyr bin Hussein. The founder of this dynasty was a respected Birash Baba who settled on the right bank of the Volga River in the time of the Kazan Khanate. For several centuries, the descendants of the dynasty were recognized Muslim leaders, serving as village mullahs. Kayum’s grandfather, Hussein bin Al'mukhamed, was not only an imam (a Muslim leader) in the Upper Shirdany but also a teacher and a researcher. He wrote several books on Arabic grammar and syntax, used and enjoyed by numerous students from Muslim schools, called "mektebe." His son Gabdenasir took after the father, had fundamental knowledge in different fields and a brilliant mind, and was also known as a researcher of Islam. He studied the theory of the Arabic language and was heavily engaged in making professional copies of different Oriental books. However, Gabdenasir did not become a religious leader, spending all his time and energy in the work to benefit his native village and fellow villagers. No wonder, they called him Gabdenasyr Khazret, which means "merciful."
Comparative analysis of debates over History Education in Western European Nations: From the Passionate to the Smooth
Boyer, Eric S. [about]
Debates about History education have traditionally been passionate, concerning national pride or patriotic indoctrination. Recently however, much smoother debates about how the discipline can be used as a way to mold critical thinking skills and the abilities of academic analysis have emerged. Interestingly, the course of history has produced new ways of approaching the discipline of history in schooling in Western European Nations, specifically with the advent of the Internet. Here, I seek to identify a shift in the uses of history education in western European nations, describe these uses as part of the shared western heritage of these countries, and identify how the modern context of globalization assists in molding this marked shift towards more democratic and liberal minded citizens.
Global Collaboration as a Means to Enhance Teaching and Teacher Education
Edgington, William D. [about], Hynes, James W. [about], Akwar, Denis [about]
If the world is indeed becoming 'smaller,' as the platitude suggests, the opportunities to reach out to colleagues in professional discourse should be employed. The resulting shared visions and conversations should, in turn, be put into practice and examined for effectiveness and practicality. This is no less appropriate for education and teacher preparation as it is for other fields of study and endeavor. Comparing purpose, pedagogical assumption, implementation and assessment ideology in connection with results should only serve to reaffirm or debilitate national, state, and local educational practices. Von Kopp (2010) suggests that comparative education is by nature "border crossing" and, when viewed in that context, it remains favorable for snapshots of theory, research, and practice. Noah (1986) emphasized that: "comparative education can deepen understanding of our own education and society; it can be of assistance to policymakers and administrators; and it can form a most valuable part of the education of teachers. Expressed another way, comparative education can help us understand better our own past, locate ourselves more exactly in the present and discern a little more clearly what our educational future may be."
Approaches to Education and Reform Post-Emancipation in the United States and Post-Apartheid in South Africa: A Comparative Analysis
Hayes, Patti [about]
Publications and studies about educational reform throughout America’s lengthy, and South Africa’s recent history, are abundant. Throughout a variety of documents, articles and reports several themes are consistent. Inequality, poverty, and non-school influences affect school systems and student achievement past and present. Equity in public school systems remains a problem in the United States (US) and South Africa (SA) today. These distant parts of the world have lengthy and complicated socio-economic (SES) history along with the ubiquitous influence of race and poverty. Centuries have passed and the US has progressed further to ease widespread racial respect and transitions compared to South Africa, though effectual comparisons are evident and could be influential. Two vastly distant geographic regions have comparable race and poverty issues influencing systemic reform and educational progress for all children. The US is an industrial, wealthy and diverse nation of 300 million with a radical ethnic past. South Africa, a large and developing country of 50 million—comparable size to our southern US— is naturally resourceful but still freshly divided racially and tenuous politically. Class and race distinctions, democracy and capitalism, and education accessibility create troubling inequity socially, economically and within education systems (Jester, 2005). The current and long-term effects continue to hamper progress. Without grass roots change and more equitable transformation, the scope of what can be achieved gets broader. With a brief historical summary as a fading but ever-present backdrop, the issues of education reform post-emancipation in America and post-apartheid in South Africa can be compared and discussed further.
A study of language of instruction and quality learning in Tanzania
Babaci-Wilhite, Zehlia [about]
In this paper I will review the debates on the choice of Language of Instruction (LoI) in formerly colonized countries, giving special attention to the United Republic of Tanzania. I will explore the relationship of LoI to local debates on quality learning, cultural identity, as well as the influence of global actors and development discourses on LoI choices. A particular attention is given to: (a) The strong evidence for superior learning when the medium of teaching and learning is a local language; (b) The implications of these LoI policies for quality education, cultural identity and rights in education. The paper is based on empirical research in Tanzania made in 2007 to 2012. My focus in this paper will be on the recent changes in LoI in Zanzibar. In 2010, Zanzibar began the implementation of a policy that will change important aspects of the curriculum in primary and secondary education, which among other changes will replace the current LoI, Kiswahili with English in the subjects of Mathematics and Science from Grade 5. Tanzania made an early choice to use Kiswahili as the LoI in primary grades, but that policy has been contested for many years, partly due to pressure from global agents such as the World Bank and other international institutions such as IMF, British Council and donors mainly from English speaking countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States. In the United Republic of Tanzania, I have interviewed government officers, academicians, policymakers, NGOs' staff and journalists to elicit their understanding of the aims of language and educational policies. I have also observed teaching and learning in classrooms with a focus on how the LoI affects the quality of both.
Bilingual Education in the Republic of Tatarstan
Valeev, Agzam A. [about]
The development of social, national and inter-language relations, as well as the development of national cultures and languages, is closely connected with the main aspects of economic, social, and political culture. This raises the role and meaning of the languages used in international communication as well as the role of state languages, fluency in which guarantee an interethnic harmony and social stability. This principle serves as the basis for defining the linguistic component of an educational environment. In turn, any multilingual educational environment reflects linguistic and cultural diversity of its components. Therefore, multilingual educational environment as the medium of cultural interaction of everyone involved should be based on the principles of integrity and cultural conformity. The latter help to develop Russian civic identity focused on ethnic and cultural identity of every citizen of the Russian Federation. As it is noted in the UNESCO documents, every country should "provide all the necessary resources and take the necessary measures to alleviate language barriers and promote human interaction.., to formulate appropriate national policies on the crucial issue of language survival in cyberspace, designed to promote teaching languages, including mother tongues, in cyberspace." In this case, it means creating and preserving a bilingual education system, where the mother tongue is used together with the second language as a means of instruction and multicultural education.
The differences of teacher roles between Chinese teachers and American teachers from the perspective of Chinese students studying in U.S.A.
Chen, Daihong [about]
Teacher roles in the way they treat students and "construct" their interaction models directly impact students' achievements and development (Davis & Sumara, 2007). Teacher roles are built upon as well as reflect teacher's values, perceptions and behavior which are shaped and differentiated by their culture (Berry et al. 2002). Globalization and international education have been promoting comparative and cross-cultural studies regarding teacher education and teacher roles. The number of Chinese students who study in U.S.A. is growing rapidly. Having a personal educational experience in both China and U.S.A. would be a unique and valuable perspective to compare teacher roles of Chinese and American teachers. The goal of this study is to explore the differences of teacher roles regarding student-centered learning between Chinese teachers and American teachers from the perspective of Chinese students who are studying in U.S.A now. Continuous educational reforms have been launched for promoting student-centered learning in China. These Chinese students' educational experience in both China and U.S.A. might provide insightful comparison about teacher roles regarding student-centered learning.
From the Post-Soviet Space to the European Research Area: Moldovan Association to the Seventh Research Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7)
Duca, Gheorghe [about], Stah, Diana [about]
The tradition of higher education in the Republic of Moldova starts with the foundation of the Institute of Public Education in 1930 in Tiraspol. In the decades that followed, the most important research and education institutions were organized: Department of Agricultural Sciences, based on the experience of Agricultural University of Iasi, Romania (1933), Moldovan Pedagogical Institute (1940), Medical University (1945), Pedagogical Institute of Balti (1945), Chisinau State University (1946) and some years later – Moldovan Technical University (1964). Hand in hand with Moldovan higher education evolution, the Academy of Sciences of Moldova was coming into being. Thus, on June 12, 1946, the Decision “On Setting up the Moldovan Base of Scientific Researches of the Academy of Sciences of USSR in the town of Chisinau” was adopted. Three years later the Base was reorganized into the Moldovan Branch of the Academy of Sciences of USSR and in 1960 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and the Council of Ministers of the Moldovan SSR adopted the Decision, “On the Setting up of the Moldovan Academy of Sciences.” Similar to the academic landscape, common for the entire Soviet Union, the research was performed in Institutes of different national academies while the universities were supposed to do the job of teaching with minor involvement in producing new knowledge. Such a structure remained functional by the late 1980s when about 20,000 researchers were involved in the Academy of Sciences of Moldova.

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