Volume:6, Issue: 2

Sep. 1, 2014

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

Dear new and old friends,

If you have been reading our journal and following its progress, then many of you would say just one word, finally. And it would be right. You know, why? – This current online publication is devoted exclusively to higher education, its place and role in the modern world. Clearly, the journal could add just one tiny bit to the ocean of research materials, collective and individual books on the topic. So our doubts were whether, in principle, we should or should not start talking about it. And we made our choice that would allow you to read many interesting materials prepared by different authors throughout Russia, United States, and Australia. Even the section on history of education will introduce you to the works of the Russian educator Pyotr Kapterev, a founder of teachers’ training institutions in Russia (traditionally represented by our regular contributor Professor Boguslavsky). In other words, we hope that at least some papers will make you think and maybe even reconsider your attitude and understanding of higher education problems today.

A couple of articles bear a more generalized character and raise a number of ideological and methodological issues of higher education. They demand attention to the development of new fundamental approaches and reevaluation of many old notions and ideas (Tatyana Romm; Mikhail Romm a.o). There are other papers that demonstrate how to draw new knowledge from the ‘old depositories’ of such world humanists as Leo Tolstoy and John Dewey (William Roden), and Janusz Korczak (Nina Lipkina); still other works bring us back to the notion of baccalaureate and show how the introduction of a two-tier system of higher education has affected Russian professional university training in general, and future teachers’ training in particular (Ekaterina Alexandrova, Sergey Polyakov). Two academics from the United States (Melinda Pierson and Cynthia Gautreau) reflect on the changing socio-cultural conditions in the country and the necessity to translate these changes into university instruction and environment.  

We are also happy to report that this journal issue highlights a whole sequence of higher educational programs – from an innovative project in providing an applied baccalaureate degree (successfully accomplished at the Moscow Banking School in cooperation with the National Research University Higher School of Economics) as described by Polina Palekhova and Olga I. Predbannikova, to another innovative and pioneer program of professional development of schoolteachers, administrators, and young university faculty (composed and presented in a very engaging paper by Irina Demakova).  And finally, don’t miss reading and reflecting on a critical and honest personal account of a recent history and current situation with Australian universities presented by our new author Dr. Donald Meyers whose ideas are also illustrated by his unique drawings.

With no further ado, welcome to journal issue No 16. We hope you will enjoy reading it, and we look forward to receiving your comments, ideas, and thoughts.

Always yours,
Tatyana Tsyrlina-Spady


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