Volume:2, Issue: 2

Aug. 1, 2010

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
I am happy to introduce to you this fifth issue which due to a Russian tradition can be considered a jubilee one. Since “five” as a number reminds us more of a child than of a mature adult, we have picked a corresponding theme for the special section of the journal, that of early childhood education. This is just a joke, of course, though every joke has a hint of truth in it. Besides, we have a triple jubilee since both of my colleagues who stood behind the creation of this journal are celebrating their 70th birthday this summer (I wonder if they knew each other before and agreed on these dates earlier)
Greetings to Mr. Jack Mc Gurgan
It is my real pleasure and honor to add a few more wishes to the birthday greetings of a very special person – Mr. Jack Mc Gurgan. He is the one who stands behind everything which has been happening in the journal from its very beginnings, the one who is extremely helpful and supportive, the one who is caring enough not just to ask but to do, the one who loves and respects the Russian culture and the people so much that he independently studied Russian and learned it well enough to do beautiful translations.
Greetings to Dr. V.M. Lizinsky
Dear Vladimir Mikhailovich, I could hardly ever imagine that I would be once so lucky to send my greetings to two great men (without whom this journal would never exist) with the same jubilee in the same journal issue. Since your birthday has already been celebrated and I’m sure many wonderful words have been pronounced and written to you, I feel really discouraged to say something new and original.
Greetings to Dr. V.M. Lizinsky
The worst danger in creating birthday greetings is to repeat something that has already been written and said many times before. To create original words for such a humorous and creative person as you are is a very complicated task. What if while reading these words you would suddenly hear “our thoughts running away” —thoughts that do not go together and are not good enough?! But we really want to look unique in your eyes! With that said, we still won’t break with tradition.
Preschool Education Theory Development in Russian Pedagogy in the Second Half of the 20th Century
The paper presents a comparative review (including the time line) of the major theories and concepts related to preschool education developed in the Russian pedagogy and psychology in the second half of the 20th century.
“Friend of Mankind,” Ivan Ivanovich Betskoi
Professor Boguslavsky introduces the western reader to Ivan I. Betskoi, his accomplishments as education advisor to Catherine the Great, and his plan for the establishment of Russia’s first unified system of public education.
“A Town of Childhood” as a Step to Establish Cooperation Between Russian and American Systems of Preschool Education
The authors present an innovative model of a preschool which serves as an example of true cooperation between a university college and its students. This is an attempt to create favorable conditions for both young parents and their children – for the first – to successfully study and for the second – to fully develop at a preschool stage. This is also an example of a mutually enriching cooperation between Russian and American colleagues.
Small School – Big Opportunity
The article introduces the programs and philosophy of the Virginia Beach Friends School, an independent Quaker school. The author describes the criteria that the school is using when considering placement. A detailed description of a Cottage and a Pre-K program is given. The article also presents a concept of an Early School curriculum and the freedom for children to explore academic subjects.
“Preschool as a Setting for Children’s Personality Development and Self-Determination” Educational Program of the Preschool Department, Moscow Center of Education #734
This is not an article in its full sense; it is rather an abridged text of an educational program of the preschool department from School #734. Due to this fact, some parts of the text may not be clearly connected with others, and there are no quotations to prove any statements made in the program. But this is the way programs are written in Russia, and the editorial board decided to leave it the way it was originally submitted to us. This program is an expression of a successful approach to children’s development and is definitely worth the readers’ time and consideration.
Virtual Interview with Teachers and Administrators of Different Russian Preschools
Through the answers to different questions, important for the field of early childhood education, the reader can learn how preschool teachers and administrators see daily routines of their schools, how they react to numerous innovations, how they describe most favorable for children’s development conditions and activities and how they characterize a possible reform.
Vital Skills for a Modern Preschool Educator
In this article, Dr. Klarina lays out a thorough plan of action for teachers to use in solving their little or large educational problems that they face in their school setting on a daily basis. Employing an anthropological approach to problem solving that is holistic in its scope, Dr. Klarina provides a valuable outline for use in educational planning with a stress on reflection at all stages of the process. Her list of necessary skills and her perception of the role of the teacher as an educational leader are critical tools for any teacher preparing to begin an educational problem solving activity.
Developing Subjection of Kindergarteners by Introducing Them to Russian Nature and Culture
In this article, the authors present the design and results of an experimental project which allowed them to explore the conditions of the kindergarteners’ subjectivity development. The project was based on the Subject’s Activity Model as developed by Dr. Lyubov Klarina, and it helped to raise children’s interest in Russian nature and culture, contributing to the development of their civic and cultural identity.
The Creation of a “Child and Parent Club” as a Precondition for Developing a “Family and Educator ‘Shared Interest Group’” at Moscow Preschool No. 690
The authors describe in this article their efforts to face the universal problem of family and school cooperation by finding a way to nurture a strong family and school “obshnost” (For the purposes of this article, this Russian word which means “a commonality or community” will be translated as “shared interest group” or “S.I.G.”). Using a scientific and anthropological approach to problem solving, they define a possible solution, identify the target group, design a plan, implement it, and reflect on its operation and consequences. Included in the addenda to this article are samples of actual meetings of the “child and parent club” that was created as a solution to the original problem.
Preschool Education: Voices from Perm Preschool Teachers, Administrators and Municipal Leaders
This section of the journal presents both answers to some questions of the virtual interview and thoughts about preschool education, submitted by different representatives of the city of Perm – Ludmilla A. Gadzhieva, head of the Perm department of education, Tatyana P. Dvorak, head of the municipal administration for strategic planning, and Olga S. Ershova, leading specialist from the Perm department of education, principals and teachers from Preschools #49, 55, 77, 175, 195, 233, 268, 298, 358, 390, 415, and also by the organizers of a new private preschool “Town of Childhood.” The editorial board hopes that these materials will raise your interest and inspire your comments and replies, which we always look forward to.

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