Kjell Askeland Report



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Researching the EuroFaculty Project at IKSUR Kaliningrad, - a contribution to the Educational Development in Russia.



Kjell Askeland


Report

Stockholm 2009




Council of the Baltic Sea States

Kjell Askeland, a Norwegian citizen has studied science, psychology and philosophy in Bergen, Oslo, Berlin and Trondheim.

In 1969 he was elected Member of the Interim Board for the new university in Trondheim, Norway. Since then he has worked in educational research and development in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

He made contributions to the design of Roskilde University Centre, and worked for the Danish Ministry of Education as a member of the international research team analysing the pedagogical model that had been implemented at the centre.

In 1976 he got the assignment to introduce project-organised learning into higher education in Sweden, working as project leader at the central authorities in higher education. At the same time he worked as associate professor in pedagogics in Norway.

In Sweden, he published ‘Pedagogical Poem’, the title drawing inspiration from the Russian educationalist Anton Makarenko. One reviewer described it as ‘the best book on pedagogics he had ever read’.

Mr. Askeland contributed to the development of the Swedish education for social workers, and theology candidates. At the Royal Institute of Technology he worked as an educational expert concerned with improving the education of engineers. He was a driving force behind the first Nordic Conference to be held in Stockholm in June 1987 on the use of Computers in Higher Education, where he was the project leader.

After 1991 he was project leader for the annual Norwegian National Conferences on the pedagogical use of computers in teaching and learning, at the same time he was working with the pedagogical foundation for distance education.

He has, among other things, worked with themes like museum-pedagogics, the theory of lecturing, individual learning processes in groups, and the pedagogical basis for project-organised learning.

Mr Askeland lives in Stockholm and works together with his wife and their son in the company ‘Askeland Psychotherapy and Pedagogics, Ltd’.

Researching the EuroFaculty Project at IKSUR Kaliningrad, - a contribution to the Educational Development in Russia.

Printed in Copenhagen, 2009 by the courtesy of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the framework of the Danish CBSS Presidency.

Printed edition: ISBN: 978-87-7087-149-5. Electronic ed.: 978-87-7087-150-1
Researching the EuroFaculty Project at IKSUR Kaliningrad, - a contribution to the Educational Development in Russia.



Kjell Askeland


Report on the project

Research into factors important for the successful restructuring of the Law and Business Economics studies at the Immanuel Kant State University of Russia (IKSUR) in Kaliningrad by the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) , ‘EuroFaculty Kaliningrad Project’.



Stockholm 2009








Council of the Baltic Sea States


Contents

PART 1.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. 8

The absence of pedagogics, a central problem in educational development. 9

In a conclusion and with a strong recommendation. 10

The Task of this research project. 11

Expected output: 12

Interviews. The method and the approach. 13

Example 1. Lecturing. 13

Recommendations: 14

Example 2. Learning in groups. 15

Recommendation on ‘learning in groups’. 15

On the necessity of science, including pedagogics. 16

On the usefulness of pedagogics. 16

Russia should not become a passive importer of educational models. 16

The EuroFaculty Project in Kaliningrad was only the beginning. 16

University and society. 17

Educational development. The students as a resource. 17

How to secure maximum outcome from the EuroFaculty Project in Kaliningrad. 18

Recommendation: Describe the EuroFaculty in Kaliningrad in an inspiring way. 18

Recommendation: Meet the need of Russian higher education for a textbook on ‘modern pedagogics’. 18


PART 2.
ABOUT THE PROJECT 20


INTRODUCTION 21

Why? 23


On style. 24

Finding evidence, reliability and validity, or exploring? 24

On this report. 26

To the reader: 28

ON CAUSES. SOME CONSIDERATIONS 29

Causal attribution. 30

Cause and effect, or what? 32

The challenge, - to understand or to know. 33

How to meet the challenge? 33

Was the EUROFACULTY Project a success? 35

Why was pedagogical expertise not brought into the EUROFACULTY Project? 36

Can pedagogues be of any use? 37

Recommendation: 38

THE REFERENCE GROUP 38

INTERVIEWS AND DISCUSSIONS WITH PARTICIPANTS. 39

On the difference between interviews and discussions. 41

The discussion approach. 42

PART 3.

SOME PERSPECTIVES 44



THE SITUATION IN RUSSIA AND ITS BACKGROUND 45

THE ROLE OF ADMINISTRATIVE/POLITICAL AUTHORITIES IN EDUCATION. 47

On the problem with authorisation. 47

Some remarks on bureaucracy. 47

Recommendation: 50


NEEDS IN SOCIETY. 52

University and neighbourhood. 52

Cultural distance. 52

University and region/society. 52

The EUROFACULTY Project as a response to the global and regional economy. 54

The next, global economy. 54

Pedagogics as a tool for cooperation between university and society. 57

Future development and research. 59



RESISTANCE TO THE EUROFACULTY PROJECT. 61

The ‘Bologna experiment’. 62

The removal of non-relevant courses from curricula. 63

PART 4.

SOME FACTORS BEHIND THE SUCCESS 65



SIMPLIFICATION; A FACTOR BEHIND SUCCESS. 66

If 67

Introduction to the strategy of simplification 69

The ’prima facies’-strategy. 69

An important factor behind the success. 71

The reason for focusing on pedagogics. 72

Curriculum reform. 72

Diversity versus standardisation of the curriculum. 73

Curriculum ’theory’. 75

Intended, or open curriculum. 76

Hidden curriculum. 77

The student’s curriculum. 78

Recommendations for the continued curriculum reform. 79

1. Research into the results of the Bologna reform. 79

2. Curriculum research. 79

3. The profile and identity of the institution. 79


TEACHING, 80

On the improvement of teaching. 80

Lectures and lecturing. 80

On the use of lectures. 80

On the purpose of and the dangers with books. 81

On the improvement of lectures. 83

Improvement in the quality of lecturing. 86

Some pedagogical reflections on lectures and lecturing. 88

On the two different types of lectures and lecturing. 88

What is a good lecture? Some quotations to illustrate the problem of giving a good answer. 88

On the improvement of teaching. 92

How to teach teachers to teach. 92

Is it expensive? 94

Preliminary conclusion, 94

Recommendations on lectures and lecturing. 94

To teach the teachers. 95

Introductory remarks. 95

Fundamental question: 95

How to teach the teachers to become good teachers? 96

Metatheoretical considerations on the teaching of university teachers. 99

On academic autonomy. 99

Recommendations for teacher qualification. 100

Concluding remarks: 101

LEARNING 102

Reading. 102

Group work. 103

Students responsibility for their own learning as part of ’participation’. ’ 105

Students responsibility for their own learning. 107

Student’s responsibility for his or her own learning. 108

Student’s responsibility for his or her own learning as part of didactics 110


PROJECTS AS STRATEGY FOR LEARNING. 114

How do we learn? 114

Contextual learning. 114

‘Situations’ as significant contexts. 115

A few words on words. 118

Is project organised learning a method? 119

Is motivation the central issue of project orientation? 122

What do we learn, and what should we learn? 124

Problem orientation. 125

How to develop a project organised curriculum? 127

Didactical nihilism or pedagogics for project organised learning? 128

Rules or pedagogical insight? 128



CooPEERative learning. 130

Learning in groups. 130

'Learning in group' is not the same as saying that 'groups can learn'. 130

Individuals may learn more and better as members of a group than when they are alone. 131

Individual learning in groups as a strategy for learning. 133

The way ahead. 134

Group work or learning. 134

Conclusion and recommendations. 135

My recommendations: 135

Computer Aided Learning. 136

Learning by fact finding. 137

Simulations. 138


Media-supported TEACHING and learning. 139

Language training. 141

Conclusion and recommendations on language learning and the use of foreign languages as a ’tool’ for teaching and learning. 143



THE TEACHING OF THE STAFF. 145

The library and the librarians. 146



STUDENTS GOING ABROAD, PERIGESIS OR QUALIFICATION? 148

Student participation in the planning and running of the EUROFACULTY Project. 149

Student exchange and the project plan. 149

Student exchange, a factor behind success. 150

Conclusion and recommendations: 151

ON ORGANISATION. 152

Main considerations on organisation. 152

Focus upon some aspects of organisation. 154

Need for a unifying forum of participants. 154

Quality in the reporting system. 155

Consortia. 155

Leadership personality in the EUROFACULTY Project. 156

On the necessity of both brain and heart. 157

Care as a part of ’habitus’ and the ’culture’ or ’codes’ of an institution. 159

Decision structure. 160

On the organisation of pedagogical development 163

Conclusion and recommendations: 164

Some critical remarks: 165

Recommendations: 165


SUSTAINABILITY 167

Semi-static sustainability. 167

Dynamic SUSTAINABILITY. 167

Personal commitment, a strength and a problem for sustainability. 168

Qualification and sustainability. 170

An example to illustrate the success. 170

The treatment of the GDSI-report with proposals, January 2006. 170

On priorities and optimization as dimensions in educational planning. 171

IKSUR as a ’model university’? Recommendation: 176

WHO SHOULD PROFIT FROM EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT? 177

PART 5.
TOWARDS THE FUTURE. 182


The EUROFACULTY Project and the importance to CONTINUE THE process. 183

HOW CAN THE EUROFACULTY PROJECT AND THE EXPERIENCE GAINED FROM IT BE MADE USEFUL? 185

A remark about useful model theory. 185

A proposal: produce a booklet on the EUROFACULTY Project. 186

Produce a book on modern pedagogics, and distribute it in Russia. 186




FINAL WORDS FROM KANT AND KALININ 189

PART 1.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.

The purpose of this Executive Summary is to communicate the issues, findings and recommendations from the research carried out into the EuroFaculty Project in Kaliningrad that have the greatest relevance for future efforts to develop the quality of higher education in Russia.

The absence of pedagogics, a central problem in educational development.

Every one of us who has ever visited a school forms opinions on education and pedagogics.

Everyone who has worked with pedagogical innovations and development will find that academic pedagogical institutions are often absent, leaving the initiative and design to other people.

Consequence: Pedagogical reforms and experiments are often designed and developed by people who have little or no contact with scientific research within the science of pedagogics.


It sometimes seems much easier to get the academic pedagogues to analyse and describe the experiments that have been designed and run by these ’other people’, politicians for example. Three examples may illustrate this:

1. The introduction of computers in education was not a result of pedagogues, nor was it the pedagogues who took command over the use of computers in education.

2. The new era of project orientation that took place in Europe after ’1968’ was not designed, planned or carried out by the educationalists, but by students and teachers with other backgrounds. The pedagogues were often absent.

3. The criticism of lectures, and subsequently the decrease in their number was not a result of pedagogical research demonstrating the limited value of lectures, but rather something brought forward by non-educationalists.

As a result of this, educational reforms are often designed and run without proper commitment from people who know how pupils and students learn, the pedagogues. Still worse, people who run the different innovations and projects do not get the proper support from the educationalists. The books and education on ’how to learn by computers’ do not exist, or are delayed. There are no good literature or curricula on either ’project organised learning’ or on ’how to teach by lecturing’. Still worse, the lack of competent literature and education in these areas leads to the creation of a jungle of ’cookery books’ with little or doubtful pedagogical value.

On the other hand, the absence of the academic pedagogues in the design and launching of educational innovations and experiments has an advantage. If the pedagogues had been responsible for both the innovative ideas and design of experiments, one would have got fewer ideas. One could also expect that the description of he ideas and the design of experiments would have been done in ’the academic way’, - too complicated, in a difficult language and over designed. The result could have been an experiment ’from above’ lacking the necessary creativity, joy and spontaneity of the participants.

Thus the ’solution’ must include the welcome of educational initiatives from non-pedagogues. Reforms and experiments from that side should be supported.

But, sooner or later, one must see to it that pedagogics is brought in as a tool for giving both advice and inspiration.
Looking at the EUROFACULTY project, one seems justified in saying that it was not invented, designed, or lead by pedagogues.
As a part of this research project many interviews and discussions were carried out with a variety of people in different positions in many countries. In all cases, without exception, an indisputable enthusiasm towards the EUROFACULTY Project was expressed, and it seems reasonable to say that this enthusiasm should be taken as a main factor behind success. It is very unlikely that a strict ’scientific’ experiment, designed and run by academic pedagogues, could have achieved this.

In a conclusion and with a strong recommendation.

The last lines should be read in the following way: It was correct, justified, and proved effective to start and run the EuroFaculty Project without too much interference from pedagogics, but as said above; sooner or later one has to use the pedagogical competence that exists. What was right and proved effective in the initial phase will probably be wrong and ineffective in the long run.


The Task of this research project.

The project to analyse the EuroFaculty Project at Immanuel Kant State University of Russia in Kaliningrad, hereafter called the ’EUROFAN Project’ (EUROFaculty ANalysis Project) is deeply influenced by these issues.

It has been considered to be the most central task of the EUROFAN Project to draw conclusions from the experience from the EuroFaculty Project in Kaliningrad to contribute to both ongoing and future educational development work in Russia.

The decision to start the EUROFAN Project was made on 2 October 2007 the CBSS Committee of Senior Officials. It was decided to use a part of the financial surplus of the EuroFaculty Project to fund a research project. ‘Research into factors important for the successful restructuring of the Law and Business Economics studies at the Immanuel Kant State University of Russia (IKSUR) by the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), ‘EuroFaculty Kaliningrad Project’.

This decision must be seen as an expression of responsibility towards both people who took part in and were influenced by the EuroFaculty Project in Kaliningrad, and the people who decided to allocate the resources that made the EuroFaculty Project possible. Last but not least, it expresses a responsibility towards Europe.

This responsibility can be seen in the light of the following question: What can we do in Europe in order to compete and cooperate in the’ next world economy’ where competence plays an increasing role?

Competence at a high level cannot be reached through everyday experience alone. Advanced education is needed. Therefore, all responsible people have to ask whether the EuroFaculty Project was a success or not. Thereafter one needs to know why it succeeded. Knowing the answer to this last question, we may use this knowledge to improve our education.

The decision to conduct a closer analysis of the causes behind the success of the EuroFaculty Project in Kaliningrad was formulated as a search for the factors that could explain this. This was in line with the proposal to use the project as a model upon which future similar projects could draw experience from the EuroFaculty Project. THE EUROFAN Project was set up during the summer of 2008. It started on the 1st of June and should end before 1 February 2009.

As part of the EUROFAN Project, a reference group was set up, consisting of

Børge Klemmensen, Senior lecturer, Roskilde University

Mads Meinert, Project Coordinator, Nordic Council of Ministers

and Professor. Dr. Rolf Schulmeister, Universität Hamburg


Since all of them are very busy people, living and working in many countries, the work in the project was strongly supported by the also very competent and friendly Bjarke Bøtcher, Senior Adviser at the CBSS secretariat in Stockholm.
Expected output:

Based upon the discussions with the reference group, it was decided that the important task for the EUROFAN Project should be to ensure maximum output for the resources invested in the project. The expression ‘output’ meaning here that the results should be as useful as possible for:




  • future projects along the line of the EUROFACULTY Project in Kaliningrad,

  • the planning of new projects with the purpose of rising the level of education in Russia, regardless of their organisational structure,

  • the educational development at IKSUR after the termination of the EUROFACULTY project,

  • authorities, organisations and individuals occupied with the modernisation of education in Russia, hereby included other universities and educational institutions,

  • giving feed back to the planners, councils and authorities who designed and ran the EUROFACULTY Project,

  • last but not least presenting an outsiders objective view of the EUROFACULTY Project to all its participants who spent so much time and effort to make it possible and to bring it to a successful conclusion.

This understanding of the EUROFAN Project did not exclude the intended task to find the factors behind the success of the EUROFACULTY Project. Instead, it maintains that the initial commission should be extended in order to secure maximum output from it.

On the one hand, the task became heavier and more difficult. On the other had, it gave more satisfaction and contributed to the solving of a serious problem: During the analysis of documents, and above all during the discussions with the participants, there were so many interesting and important opinions and information, and they would have had to be discarded if the task had been restricted to only focus on finding the ‘factors behind the success’.

In this report, the search for an answer to this last and important question is described. It turned out to be more difficult than initially foreseen, because the EuroFaculty had not been evaluated through a pedagogical approach. Therefore, important information was missing. The only reasonable approach was to extend the task of the EUROFAN Project both to include some evaluation but also to give more weight to advice and recommendations for future educational development, be it in the form of EuroFaculty projects or by other means.

The rationality of this decision became clear through interviews and discussions with people who took part in the EuroFaculty Project.


Interviews. The method and the approach.

Due to the fact that so many people were distributed in so many different functions and positions and spread in so many places in Europe, it was found impossible to set up criteria for seeking representativity for the planned interviews. Instead, the plan was designed to work more along the lines of an ‘illuminative’ or ‘portrait’ approach.

The feedback from the participants could not be misunderstood. First of all, they expressed overwhelmingly that the EuroFaculty had been a success. Secondly, they gave (sometimes without knowing it) valuable information that could explain why it was so.

On the other hand, and this is extremely important, there was a clear positive response to the presentation of pedagogical considerations on the different issues that were touched upon during the interviews. Almost everybody found that the content of the pedagogical approaches was very often different from what they had expected, and that the successful EuroFaculty Project would probably have been more successful if these pedagogical considerations had been introduced earlier. After having read this report the reader will probably understand this view, but in order to illustrate what it is about, some examples can be given.

Example 1. Lecturing.

One of the central objectives of the EuroFaculty Project is to decrease the number of lectures and make a change towards more activating forms for teaching and learning.

In the plan and description of the objectives for the EuroFaculty Project lectures are described and understood as a passivizing way of teaching. Accordingly the number of lectures should be decreased. This ’reason’ is exactly the same as that used during the reform-movement after ’1968’ in West-Europe. Here too, lectures and lecturing were under attack using the same expression. These attacks were not built upon pedagogical research, but upon a general feeling of anti-authority. This was correct. Had the reformers at that time said, that ’improvement of lecturing is necessary’, this would not have created the enthusiasm that led to the new thinking and models like the Roskilde University Centre in Denmark. It was right to do so. From Roskilde new pedagogical thoughts were spread around the world.

On the other hand, the innovators of Roskilde (to which group the author of this report belongs) did not get the chance to present the other side of the picture, namely that one should not only work for the reduction in the number of lectures, but also for the improvement of lectures. The slogan should in the longer perspective be shifted towards a more elaborate and pedagogical one, saying ‘we want both fewer and better lectures!’ In order to do this, we need to have a deeper insight in lecturing and the advantages of good lectures. A glimpse into this exiting analysis is given in this report. In the future there seems to be vast possibilities for exciting and activating lectures both in schools and in higher education.

Recommendations:

During the initial phase of a program for educational change one may take as a point of departure the existence of a well-founded scepticism to lectures. Many lectures are in fact boring and passivizing.

Entering into the later phases of the EuroFaculty Project, one should have changed the slogan and demanded ’fewer and better lectures’ aiming at the development of a better understanding of the potentials of lectures as a means for good and relevant teaching. Based upon this insight, one should educate the teachers to become better lecturers. This cannot be achieved in just using some guest lecturers or some isolated seminars, but must be done through a planned curriculum for the teachers.


It should also be considered that the students must be trained to increase their outcome from the lectures.

Example 2. Learning in groups.

If a teacher asks five students some questions and get the same ratio of correct answers from each of them, he or she can then place them in a group and ask them the same questions. The result will almost certainly demonstrate that the group performs better than its members. Some people seem to believe that this demonstrates ’group learning’. This is pure nonsense. The effect has nothing to do with learning whatsoever. It is a purely statistical effect. The trick is to say this: If one member of the group knows the correct answer to a question, this shall be counted as if all the members of the group have given the correct answer. Any thinking person would of course say that we could have taken the opposite standpoint, saying that if a single student in the group did not know the correct answer, the group should be considered ’negative’ on that answer. The result then would certainly say that groups perform more weakly than single students.

In a hospital nobody would accept a surgeon bowing over the bed before an operation saying that he or she had passed a group organised medical curriculum, and that there was always one student in the group who knew the correct answer, and therefore the licence to carry out surgery was granted to all members of the group.

It is high time that we stop talking about learning in groups as if groups can learn. Individuals can learn, and they can learn better if their learning process is organised in groups. It is against this background we should focus upon individual learning processes in groups. When we do that, we shall enter into a new era of ’collective learning’, ’group organised learning’ or whatever it may be called.

Recommendation on ‘learning in groups’.

We should throw all ’cheap’ cookery books about group learning out of our educational window and replace them with those that focus upon individual learning in groups. A ’cheap’ cookery book in the area concerned with groups in a pedagogical perspective is a book written by a person who believes that groups can learn. When we say that a group can learn, this is a dangerous metaphor that inhibits the necessary insight into how groups may improve the learning of their members.

We do not have to wait for the good research and the good books on this topic. Just tell teachers to care for and shift perspective towards the individuals in their groups and how they must encourage all group members to care for each other’s learning process.

On the necessity of science, including pedagogics.

As a result of the EUROFAN Project, it seems possible (and necessary) to draw some consequences and give some recommendations. These are described in this report. Of these, some consequences and some considerations are important. As examples, the following topics may serve as illustrations:

On the usefulness of pedagogics.

As a consequence of the international competitive knowledge based production, no region (Europe) and no country can afford to neglect relevant science. In all development projects one has the obligation to make sure (as far as possible) that all relevant sciences are utilised, both in the design, planning, running and evaluation of the project. In the area of chemistry, chemists must take part. In the construction of a bridge, engineers must take part. And in the area of education it is necessary to include pedagogical science and pedagogues.

Russia should not become a passive importer of educational models.

There is a danger that Russia will become an ’importer’ of pedagogical models from Western Europe in the belief that these are not disputed. It is important to ensure that not only the models, but also the critical research, reservations and discussions are participated in, and that both political planners and educationalists are included in this process. As an example: It may turn out that the process of standardisation of education through the Bologna process must be changed as a result of this critical research. Russia should not put itself in a position of having to depend solely upon the fruits of debate and research taking place in other countries, but rather be an active partner in this forum.

The EuroFaculty Project in Kaliningrad was only the beginning.

It would be a waste of recourses if the pedagogical development at the two included faculties of IKSUR should not be continued after the conclusion of the EuroFaculty Project. The project should be considered as the first phase of a continuous pedagogical development work. One should not seek to build up national competence and organisation without using research and experience from other European countries within this pedagogical area.

For future projects along the lines of the EuroFaculty concept, it is recommended that this perspective, the continuation of the pedagogical development after the project period, should be built into the project plan. Here, it would be advisable to appoint two people to this task. One educationalist from one of the donor countries working as visiting adviser, and one person from Russia who, during the project period, can be trained to take adequate responsibility to inspire and initiate pedagogical development work after the conclusion of the project.

One of the essential reasons behind this recommendation is to improve the contact between Russian pedagogical development workers and colleagues in the rest of Europe.

University and society.

The economist Paul Hawken has described how ’the next economy’ will depend less upon raw materials and more upon the ability to make use of them through high competence. Thus, education and research will play an increasingly important role for the international cooperation and competition. The European Union has taken a specific initiative for bringing universities into closer contact with their surrounding societies. However, these efforts seem to focus upon cooperation in scientific research and do not pay proper attention to pedagogics as a tool to achieve this. Pedagogical measures are not adequately utilised.

During the work with the EuroFaculty in Kaliningrad, it became clear that the included pedagogical reform should be used as a means for bringing not only scientists but also students in contact with the society, in this case the Kaliningrad region. This report indicates that the most promising way to achieve this is through project-organised learning connected to the surrounding society.

Educational development. The students as a resource.

Students, student movements and student organisation played a very important, sometimes a decisive role in the re-shaping of the educational system in Western Europe after ’1968’. Of course within the student movements there were also non-constructive forces present, but it must be said that without the constructive participation of the students, the pedagogical everyday life would not have been modernised as much as it was. Against this background it is highly recommended that Russian students and their organisations are made co-responsible for the modernisation of the educational system. (This view is supported by contacts with students during the analysis of the EuroFaculty Project in Kaliningrad. They were outstanding representatives for their country. Russia has every reason to be proud of them!)

How to secure maximum outcome from the EuroFaculty Project in Kaliningrad.

Recommendation: Describe the EuroFaculty in Kaliningrad in an inspiring way.

For purely financial reasons it can not be expected that the EuroFaculty Project at IKSUR is taken as a standard model for educational development at all institutions for higher education throughout Russia. Instead, the EuroFaculty Project should be used as a model for inspiring other institutions to undertake their own pedagogical development programs. Therefore it is highly recommended that both the EuroFaculty project in Kaliningrad and its results are made known throughout Russia. To meet that need one should produce a booklet that describes and analyses the EuroFaculty Project in Kaliningrad. It should be produced and distributed to planners, teachers and students of academic institutions within the country.

It is important that this booklet communicates to the readers that while pedagogical development is demanding it is also accompanied by joy and a rise in the quality of life for the participants. (Some of the participants in Kaliningrad said that they would not have wanted to have missed this important part of their life!)

Recommendation: Meet the need of Russian higher education for a textbook on ‘modern pedagogics’.

As a result of the analysis made in this project, it seems clear that there is a widespread interest in pedagogics among faculty, staff and students. During the discussions with the participants there was very often a request for readable literature in the pedagogics of project organised learning, lecturing, learning in groups, computer aided learning and all the other topics that were touched upon. It was also evident that many participants did not know about ongoing research into pedagogical matters of direct concern for their own subject or their own teaching or learning.


The conclusion is easily drawn: Produce a readable textbook on modern pedagogics where the most central topics are described in such a way that individual teachers, students and others can start to improve their own pedagogical development. People both inside and outside Russia who is able to create enthusiasm and an interest in reading more should write this textbook. It should be written for and to readers outside the academic world of pedagogical experts.

This textbook should be written in an inspiring way and include:

Modern learning theories within activity learning, based upon Vygotskij.

On lectures and lecturing.

Problem-organised and project-organised learning.

Learning in groups. Individual learning processes in groups.

Computer aided learning.

Students’ responsibility for their own learning.

Media and learning. Media and teaching.

How to learn from reading.

Curriculum construction and didactics, not as rules but as menus.

The importance of subject-based didactics.

How to teach the teachers.

How to organise educational development work.

Distance education as a means for improving teaching and learning in Russia.

There is so much useful knowledge in pedagogics, and so many competent people that it should be considered a good investment to call upon this science and these people. We have to find a balance between interpreting the world and improving it.

The basic principle for this textbook should be: Don’t tell the teachers and students what to do, rather give them the best tools from educational research and development and let them decide themselves.

This principle represents the most condensed outcome and recommendation of the research into the EuroFaculty Project.

To create our future, we need faith




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