2015. no4

Liberal Arts ans Sciences Education



DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-11-20


DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-21-32


Jonathan Becker - Vice President for Academic Affairs Bard College. Address: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504–5000. E-mail: jbecker@bard.edu

This essay has two primary goals. First, it seeks to define liberal art and sciences as a system of higher education that involves curricular breadth as well as depth, student-centered teaching and academic and administrative structures which facilitate learning. Second, it makes the case for liberal arts and sciences education and why it responds to the demands of the XXIst century. The essay is informed by experiences of liberal arts and sciences education across not only in the United States, where it has found its greatest influence, but by the growing movement to experiments in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Asia. At its core, liberal arts and sciences education is concerned about the development of students and their capacity to learn, to express ideas and communicate effectively, and to adapt to changing circumstances. In countries where vocational training, hyper-specialization and didactic pedagogic approaches dominate higher education, liberal arts and sciences education can offer an alternative that will resonate amongst students and faculty. It is not an easy system to adapt, but for many, the rewards have been well worth the investment.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-33-61


Aleksei Kudrin - Candidate of Sciences in Economics, Professor, Department of Theory and Methodology for Teaching Arts and Humanities, Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University. Address: 58–60 Galernaya str., St. Petersburg, 190000, Russian Federation. E-mail: office@smolny.org

The liberal arts and sciences model is characterized by a number of specific features: Individual educational path, interactive teaching technologies, development of common cultural competencies (formation of basic learning and research skills, the distribution requirement), developing professional competencies and selecting the training profile, Interdisciplinary curriculum and individualized possibilities for accomplishing it. Fif teen years of experience in the development of liberal education within Russian higher education give grounds to conclude that this educational model helps assure a high quality of training that meets the top international standards. Many higher education institutions contact Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences at St. Petersburg State University asking for advisory and methodological assistance in transferring these technologies. In this connection Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences have developed, approved and launched the implementation of a supplementary educational program of advanced training for the teaching staff at higher education institutions, aimed at helping teachers learn to use liberal education techniques.



Yuliya Ivanova - Ph.D. in Philology, leading researcher at Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, National Research University—Higher School of Economics. E-mail: jivanova@hse.ru

Pavel Sokolov - Ph.D. in History, senior researcher at Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, National Research University—Higher School of Economics. E-mail: psokolov@hse.ru

Address: 12 Petrovka ul., 107031 Moscow, Russian Federation.

In this paper, we analyze the model of liberal arts (“liberal arts and sciences education”, in the Russian tradition), one of the most popular versions of the comprehensive academic reform designed to solve a number of problems in higher education: overcome the disciplinary specialization crisis, increase the demand for university graduates in the labor market, develop the sense of civic consciousness among graduates and transform the genome of “homo sovieticus” into that of “homo economicus”. We discuss the proceedings of the 2012 international conference devoted to liberal arts and sciences education in Russia and the world, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the model in the Russian educational context. Finally, we analyze the expected outcomes of introducing the liberal arts education, the forms and methods of such introduction, and viability of the model in the Russian context.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-72-91


Ingrid McLaren - PhD, coordinator on Language Linguistics and Philosophy Department, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. Address: The University of the West Indies, Regional Headquarters, Kingston 7, Jamaica, W. I. E-mail: ingrimclaren@gmail.com

This paper outlines the contextual implications and experiences of a team of practitioners attempting to establish a Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)/ Communication Across the Curriculum (CAC) Program in the Sciences. Largely reflective in nature, it seeks to contextualize the progress and outcomes of this initiative by employing the Anson (2006) and Condon and Rutz (2012) framework for evaluating the positioning of WAC in relation to administration, staff, and students. This framework also helped identify the required steps for the full integration of WAC within the institution. The use of the aforementioned analytical tools revealed an appreciable gap between the current status of WAC /  CAC at our institution and full institutional endorsement. A discussion of current initiatives being taken to move the program further ahead is undertaken. It is anticipated that the issues highlighted in this paper will serve to inform similar initiatives, while communicating the potential of WAC/CAC programmes to enable students to develop to their full potential via a student-centred, interactive environment that promotes effective teaching and exchange of ideas.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-92-115


Peg Peoples - Director, Institute for Writing & Thinking, Bard College. Адрес: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504–5000. E-mail: peoples@bard.edu

In many parts of the world, and particularly in Eastern Europe and Asia, educators and institutions are turning to liberal arts education because they are recognizing the limitations of old didactic teaching methods—edagogies based primarily in lecture, rote memory, and disciplinary rigidity. At the heart of the liberal arts classroom is a student-centered pedagogy, but aside from hearing about the values of a “student-centered” edagogy by visiting scholars, few educators seeking change at the classroom level get to experience what a “student-centered” classroom actually is—teaching practices and methodologies that foster active inquiry, autonomous expression and agency among students who have traditionally been passive recipients of information. This paper presents one liberal arts college’s strategy for promoting a liberal arts pedagogy: the Bard College Language & Thinking Program developed to introduce educators and students alike to a classroom in which learning is interactive and where students are encouraged to raise questions, challenge assumptions, and to actively engage in intellectual inquiry and collaborative work through writing-to-learn practices. In the Language & Thinking Program, the teacher does not have monopoly on knowledge, but instead guides students through a variety of reading and writing strategies used to actively empower students through language and critical thinking.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-116-131


David Shein - Associate Vice President & Dean of Studies, Bard College. Address: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504–5000. E-mail: shein@bard.edu

In this article, I provide an overview of academic advising in the United States, articulate a definition of academic advising for the liberal arts and sciences, and defend three theses about the role of academic advising in promoting the sorts of critical thinking and civic engagement that makes the liberal arts and sciences an important catalyst for social and political change. First, I argue that academic advising is essential to the effective implementation of a liberal arts and sciences education and so, even if it were not a part of the concept of the liberal arts and sciences, it is essential to the realization of that concept. Second, I argue that advising is a part of the concept of a liberal arts and sciences education because of the role it plays in student-centered pedagogy, which is a cornerstone of the liberal arts and sciences. Finally, I argue that student-centered pedagogy is not limited to the classroom context, that it includes extraand co-curricular life, and so our account of liberal arts and sciences education needs to be expanded. These three theses constitute a series of increasingly robust challenges to the model of liberal arts and sciences education developed by Jonathan Becker in “Liberal Arts and Sciences Education: Responding to the Challenges of the XXIst Century” and, for educators who have been trained in the Humboltian/European tradition, provide some practical lessons in the development and implementation of that model.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-132-146

Theoretical and Applied Research


Svetlana Mikheeva - Candidate of Sciences in Economics, Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration, St. Petersburg School of Social Sciences and Humanities, National Research University—Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg). Address: 17 Promyshlennaya str., 198088, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. E-mail: smikheeva@hse.ru

We systematize the theoretical approaches towards assessment of school textbooks, analyze the existing practice of textbook evaluation, and justify the need to formalize the assessment criteria in order to improve objectivity. We also suggest a system of diagnosable (measureable) criteria for textbook assessment. The criteria are ranged depending on their functional load. Level-one criteria are used to assess the scientific content of the basic texts (conformance to the educat ional standard and accuracy of scientific terms). At level two, we assess the extent to which methodology of a specific science affects the content of textbooks. At level three, there is textbook structure: the content of supplementary and explanatory texts, illustrative materials and navigation tools. Level four is where the guidance techniques used in a textbook are assessed. Finally, level five is assessment of relevant didactic and guidance materials. The paper contains advice to enhance the textbook evaluation procedure applied when developing the national list of textbooks recommended by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. The developed system of criteria may also be used to perform comparative analysis of textbooks on the same subject, where there is choice between textbooks. We use the proposed system to perform comparative analysis and assess the quality of six economics high school textbooks, as well as to develop recommendations for economics and social studies teachers to select textbooks from the national l ist.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-147-183


Katerina Polivanova - Doctor of Sciences in Psychology, Professor, Deputy Director, Center of Leadership Development in Education, Institute of Education, National Research University—Higher School of Economics. E-mail: kpolivanova@mail.ru

Irina Vopilova - Analyst, Institute of Education, National Research University—Higher School of Economics. E-mail:irina.vopilova@gmail.com

Yana Kozmina - Junior Research Fellow, Institute of Education, National Research University—Higher School of Economics. E-mail: kozmina@gmail.com

Anastasiya Nisskaya - Candidate of Sciences in Psychology, Research Fellow, Institute of Education, National Research University—Higher School of Economics. E-mail:anastasiya-nisskaya@yandex.ru

Elizaveta Sivak - Junior Research Fellow, Institute of Education, National Research University—Higher School of Economics. E-mail: elizaveta.sivak@gmail.com

Address: 16/10 Potapovskiy lane, 101000, Moscow, Russian Federation.

The article considers the main stages in the development of educational programs for parents in Europe, the US and Russia. We describe content a nd organizational features of these programs. The first stage is emergence of schools for mothers at the turn of the XIX century. These schools were aimed at informing parents of hygiene and health. The second stage is emergence of trainings designed for development of parental competence and skills in 1960-s. Finally, the contemporary trend in educational programs for parents is programs which deal with personal traits of a parent, and in particular with parental self-efficacy. Theoretical and empirical basis for using self-efficacy as a core concept in educational programs for parents is provided. At the second part of the article we briefly describe an educational program for parents which we have developed and results of our mpirical study of factors affecting parental self-efficacy which we used as a basis. In line with Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy it turned out that maternal self-efficacy is negatively associated with the extent to which there is a disagreement in parenting practices between a mother and her relatives and friends. So we argue that improving parents ability to build conflict-free relationships, negotiate or resist criticism from others is an essential part of educational rograms for parents aimed at developing parental self-efficacy.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-184-200



DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-201-233

Stepan Zemtsov - PhD in Geography, Senior Researcher, Institute of Applied Economic Research, RANEPA. Email: spzemtsov@gmail.com

Vladimir Eremkin - Researcher, Institute of Applied Economic Research, RANEPA. Email: eremkin@ranepa.ru

Vera Barinova - PhD in Economics, Head of the Corporate Strategies and Behavior Laboratory, Institute of Applied Economic Research, RANEPA. Email: barinova-va@ranepa.ru

Address: 82/1, Vernadskogo pr., 119571 Moscow, Russian Federation.

Attractiveness of a university means being in demand and reflects its ability to attract the best students. The aim of this research is to identify key factors influencing the best students’ choice in Russia. Average unified state examination (USE) scores of successful candidates for admission to the universit y, are used as a dependent variable. The paper provides a review of theoretical models and empirical studies of high school entrants’ decision criteria. Our econometric analyses show that the key factors of university selection are university’s brand, success of its graduates, quality of teaching staff and college’s location. In some cases research activity is also a significant factor. Those technical universities, which retained their specialization, are among the most in-demand, and demand for technical universities, which increased the share of students in economics, is below the average. The achieved results are useful for the heads of higher education institutions while developing evidence-based measures to increase demand for universities. First of all, there is a need for reputation improvement, which includes dissemination of information about achievements of graduates and scientific achievements, etc. on the internet.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-201-233


Nadezhda Radina - Doctor of Sciences in Political Institutes, Processes and Technologies, Professor, Department of Applied Linguistics and Intercultural Communication, National Research University—Higher School of Economics (Nizhny Novgorod). E-mail: nradina@hse.ru

Svetlana Shamanina - Chief Specialist, The Education Authority of Leninsky City District in Nizhny Novgorod. E-mail: sbatrakova@yandex.ru

Address: 25/12, Bolshaya Pecherskaya str., 603155, Nizhny Novgorod, Russian Federation.

The paper presents results of analyzing the 2012–2013 episodes of talk shows broadcasted by regional (Challenges of Life, NNTV channel, Nizhny Novgorod) and national (Let Them Talk, Channel One OJSC) channels devoted to education and education policy issues. The need for research reflection on these materials was justified by studying the documents of the recent years regulating the Russian education policy (laws, bylaws, programs, conventions, etc.), which allowed us to identify the key priorities of this policy: solving the staffing problem, enhancing the quality of education, improving its transparency, and equalizing education in Russia. Narrative analysis was performed to study the talk show data, namely we used open coding with creation of a coding system based on utterance qualitative assessment and with subsequent use of statistical procedures to analyze the data matrix. We also used the social problem rhetorical deconstruction method offered by Ibarra and Kitsuse. Based on the data obtained, we describe two education policy promotion strategies: 1) instruction and enlightenment integration of education policy principles and practices), realized to some extent in the regional talk show, and 2) entertainment and control (accentuated negative practices of controlling viewers’ minds through emotional pressure and shock) used in the One Channel talk show. We also discuss the attitude of the State towards such mass media strategies and the quality of media ef fects caused by talk shows in terms of education policies.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-234-253

Education Statistics and Sociology


Vyacheslav Bashev - Candidate of Sciences in Psychology, Chief Expert, Institute of Education, National Research University—Higher School of Economics. E-mail: vbashev@hse.ru
Dmitry Dekhant - Junior Research Fellow, Institute of Education, National Research University—Higher School of Economics. E-mail: dmitr y.dec@gmail.com
Vyacheslav Lozing - Candidate of Sciences in Pedagogy, Leading Expert, Institute of Education, National Research University—Higher School of Economics. E-mail: vlozing@hse.ru

Address: 20 Myasnitskaya str., 101000, Moscow, Russian Federation.

This paper analyzes the growing shortage of places in the general education system of Russia in 2014–2025. We identify the following key factors: a) the need to provide places for children who are now enrolled in afternoon or evening sessions; b) expected growth in the number of school students to be caused by anticipated demographic changes; c) increase in the number of places in general education institutions by 2020 scheduled by national and local programs; d) possible loss of the buildings that were 50–70% or >70% worn as of 2014. As seen from the calculations based on the available Federal State Statistics Service data, regulatory instruments and excerpts provided by Russian governmental authorities, the expected need for additional places in general education institutions may be as high as 4.67 mln places. We demonstrate how the growing number of school-age children, the new requirements to school organization and learning conditions and the physical wear of school facilities increase the need for additional places. We have established that the scheduled measures to provide more education places do not cover the expected shor tage of places in the general education system of Russia.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-254-273


History of Education


Amir Khisamutdinov - Doctor of Sciences in History, Professor, Far Eastern Federal University. Address: 8 Sukhanova str., 690950, Vladivostok, Russian Federation. E-mail: khisamut@yahoo.com

In the first half of the 20th century, Russian emigrants in China created a network of higher education institutions based on the Russian pre-revolutionary education system. By analyzing periodical publications and memoirs, we can trace the history of major institutions: Harbin School of Law, Harbin Polytechnic University, State Higher Teacher Training Institute, Institute of Oriental and Commercial Sciences. These institutions were also the cradle for Chinese intelligentsia, with Russian professors successfully teaching future engineers, lawyers, orientalist scholars, teachers, theologians and musicians.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-274-291

Book Reviews and Survey Articles


Alexey Lyubzhin - Doctor of Sciences in Philology, Research Fellow, The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Moscow State University Research Library. Address: 9 Mokhovaya str., 103073, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: vulture@mail.ru

The reviewer believes that A. Delbanco’s analysis of challenges produced by democratization of access to higher education in America should be of great interest to a Russian reader. His book investigates into the meaning higher education has for the country as a whole and for each individual, into the specifics of goals pursued by colleges and universities, into the abundance of academic dishonesty in American higher education institutions, as well as into the effect of modern education development trends on social inequality. Briefly outlining the author’s key bullet points on the history of American colleges, triggers of their establishment, teachers’ and students’ lifestyle, consequences of the reputation race, the reviewer keeps drawing parallels with the Russian education system. He argues that blurring the specifics of higher education under the rationale of wide public accessibility is even more dangerous for Russia than for America, where the background situation was much better.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-4-292-305