Volume:9, Issue: 2

Sep. 30, 2017

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

A Letter to the Readers
Tatyana Tsyrlina-Spady

Dear friends and readers, 

Welcome to this new journal issue. I am truly excited about it because it is primarily comprised of papers from experienced and young teachers working in Washington State which is my home now as well. I am also humbled as most of the authors have been my students at the Seattle Pacific University Schol of Education. They are diverse in terms of their professional qualifications and experience in teaching, some having over ten years of practice, some just a few years, while the rest are fresh from the university and eager to begin their first school year. This mixture of professionalism in the authors creates a unique opportunity to understand how a range of experience effects the teachers’ view of American schools today, what difficulties they foresee, and which of them they consider most challenging.

This journal issue raises interesting and stimulating insights into moral responsibilities of teachers, citizenship and multicultural education, problems of diversity and equity in education, and gender differences (Sarah Manus, Kalah Dooley, Nicole Hartley, Claire Folkins); we learn how to approach these issues using multiethnic literature while applying John Dewey’s ideas (Pat Perkins), or building firmer relationships with students’ families (Carmen Reid), or promoting social acceptance and developing social skills (Erin Marvin).

A separate group of papers is oriented towards showing how to use concepts and strategies from past European educators and philosophers (scarcely known in the United States) in modern national schools, social work, and beyond. What is fascinating for me is how American teachers become excited when they learn of holistic education practiced in Vasily Sukhomlinsky’s Pavlysh School, or the principles of freedom found in Tolstoy’s Yasnaya Polyana school, and then reflect on how to bring these ideas into their own work with children (Kaitlyn Ginther-Hutt, Kalah Dooley, Bee Lim). Some of the authors who share their ‘moral compass’ in life base their understanding and appreciation of childhood and the necessity to respect, trust, and provide better conditions for children along the ideas of Janusz Korczak (Claudia Goodhew). By the way, two very different personal and inspirational life stories from Cathy Elder and Claudia Goodhew are certainly worth your time and attention. Another author, Robert McAbee, inspired by the Finnish system of education, reflects on how concepts from this extremely successful nation could help resolve issues in our own public schools. And finally, as a logical continuation of Washington State teachers’ conversations comes a research paper about the influence of mentors’ language on novice teachers when they are placed in local schools for their initial internships (Jill Heiney-Smith).

As usual, there is an interesting paper by our regular author, Professor Boguslavsky, this time introducing a Russian encyclopedically educated and prominent figure Vladimir Odoevsky. In the “Book Review” section we are presenting a new book by a famous Russian researcher, who has published his papers in our journal a few times, Professor Sergey Polyakov.

Regarding Janusz Korczak’s activities and his educational legacy, I would like to remind you that Seattle Pacific University (in Seattle, Washington) in cooperation with the Korczak Association of the United States, is organizing an international conference, Education for Excellence, Diversity, and Respect: Transformative 21st century innovations. The conference will be held on the campus of Seattle Pacific University on August 22–25, 2018. Mark it on your calendars now! Its new website will be announced soon.

That’s about it for this issue. After reading a paper please do provide your reaction for the author(s) –feedback is extremely helpful and always appreciated!
Looking forward to reading your valuable comments.

 

Always yours,
Tatyana Tsyrlina-Spady
Editor-in-Chief
tsyrlina@aol.com

 





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