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New Technology in Education: the Russian, American and Chinese experience

HSE University District in Perm hosted the first International Scientific−Practical Conference to discuss the new stage of development of the UniversitySchool Cluster, investment in contemporary pre-school education and innovations in education in China and the US. HSE’s Deputy Academic Supervisor, Professor of Economics, Lev Lubimov, Honorary Professor at the Teaching College, Washington University (Seattle) Steven T. Kerr (via online conferencing), Director of the HSE Institute for Educational Studies, Professor Irina Abankina and Reader at the Chinese Academy of Pedagogical Research, Tsian Xiaoyang all took part.

Tsian Xiaoyang shared her impressions of the conference and her thoughts about whether China and Russia can work together in education.

— Tsian, what did you think of the conference?

— I was very anxious on the first day because I had to give my lecture on innovation in education in China. I had to deliver it in Russian which I speak pretty well, but even so, it isn’t my mother-tongue.

Leading specialists on the Russian and American education systems spoke at the conference. Their lectures were interesting and valuable as they contained the concentrated essence of years of experience.

The talks by teachers from small towns in the Perm Region were interesting too. I found them particularly useful as they are based on actual teaching practice. It was clear that the speakers were all knowledgeable people, devoted to children and their work. They had put in an enormous effort to achieve good results.ф

I work in a research centre and we don’t often get the chance to visit Chinese schools, particularly in remote regions, so these presentations were particularly valuable for me. Sometimes we are allowed to observe lessons in classes in remote regions, but as our organisation is under the auspices of the ministry of education of China the schools prepare themselves for our visits and present their work rather differently from how it really is on a normal day.

— Why did you want to take part in the work on extracurricular activities at the conference?

— Because I think that Russia has a unique system of additional education. It’s one of the things your country is really good at and is admired worldwide. This is a strongpoint that needs to be developed and cherished and we can gain from it too.

— What do you think are the merits of the Chinese and Russian education system? Are these two systems equally good?

— It’s not easy to say which is better and which worse, even though I work on comparative research and my specialisation is comparative teaching. I don’t think it’s right to talk about the level of education. Each country has it’s own traditions and history. And education is not autonomous, its level depends on many different factors, political, economic, etc. At the moment, Chinese society is critical of education, but they criticize other things too. As for the merits of Russian education, besides additional education there is L.V. Zankov, D. B. Elkonin and V.V. Davydov’s developmental education systems. You should be very proud of them.

— Is this your first trip to Russia?

— I ’ve been in Russia many times but this is my first trip to Perm. I like the town and I’m really impressed by how many teachers from different regions the University District has managed to gather together. I think that the knowledge and experience gained at the conference will be useful for academic teaching research in higher education and for teaching practice in schools in China.

See also:

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An Exciting Journey of Discovery

Dr Elyssebeth Leigh, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, University of Technology, Sydney – Australia will be visiting HSE Moscow to give lectures and take part in discussions at the HSE Institute of Education on May 15-19, 2017. She has been working for over 30 years as an educator and learning designer in workplaces and academic settings. As an experienced adult learning facilitator she has published four books and numerous articles and conference papers on learning and teaching. Much of this work concerns the use of simulation in learning and research.