Volume: 2, Issue: 3

1/11/2010

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

Dear friends and colleagues,

Due to your efforts and interest, our journal is gradually growing and developing. We are already facing what is called a critical age for every child – 6 years which means it’s time to think of starting school and entering a new phase of life. It is not coincidental that in this sixth journal issue we are talking about elementary school issues and the period of life when practically everything changes for children. But don’t worry – we are not planning any revolutionary changes, more so, we believe that the only right way is gradual development. For the first time we introduce new Russian Education Standards to the Western readers and continue our conversation about other changes that are happening in Russian schools today.  Because of a very fruitful cooperation with an old and prestigious Russian educational journal Elementary School (Nachalnaya Shkola), we can publish some of the minutes of their roundtable devoted to the State Education Standards of the Second Generation and the “Schools of Russia” teaching set. Don’t miss reading this.

Following our tradition, we publish a challenging theoretical article by researchers Arkadiy Uman and Marina Fedorova where they present a new approach to defining teaching models. I am curious to hear your responses and comments on their article. As usual, we introduce to the Western readers one more prominent name in the Russian history of education – Vasily P. Vakhterov. Also as usual, the author of the article is a famous Russian specialist in the foundations of education – Dr. Mikhail V. Boguslavsky. And we don’t forget our Russian teachers of English, so especially for them we publish a new page with some American educational terms and their Russian explanations.

Now let me turn your attention and briefly characterize the section devoted to elementary school education since it has a number of interesting and exciting pages. By all means you should read an article by Dr. Arthur K. Ellis and Dr. Richard D. Scheuerman about principles of learning in elementary education and a number of other publications of how to teach reading and writing. By the way, this exact topic was offered by one of the journal cofounders, a former elementary school principal Jack Mc Gurgan. According to Jack, who observed many elementary classes in Russian schools, Russian teachers have, in comparison with their American counterparts, much higher achievements in teaching children reading and writing which makes Russian experience truly challenging for Western readers. Along these same lines is another article about the methods of teaching Russian developed by a famous late methodologist Pyotr O. Afanasyev, and also a description of some practical experience of the Moscow teacher Ekaterina A. Tikhomirova.

A little apart from the mainstream of the articles, but still valuable, are the publications devoted to the children’s health and the promotion of healthy lifestyle together with the suggested ways of how to diminish strong verbalism of existing schools. In this respect not only the article with a challenging title When Will Our School Learn to Take into Consideration Life’s Lessons? by Professor Natalia M. Konysheva is interesting by itself but also a journal’s response written by two Russian researchers and medical doctors Vitaly B. Laskov and Irina V. Laskova where they manage to combine valid educational approaches with an understanding of quality education from the medical point of view. And finally, last but not least, an article by the famous specialist in rural education Professor Ludmilla V. Baiborodova who presents the primary obstacles and problems, achievements and failures of the secondary, including elementary level, education in rural Russian areas.

And now as usual, I wish our readers a very exciting time while reading the journal. I look forward to attracting new readers and keeping our current ones engaged and to receiving many insightful commentaries from all of them.

 

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

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