Malkova, Zoia Alekseevna (1997)

Malkova, Zoia Alekseevna (1997). Studies in Comparative Education. Moscow: publisher(?) with a foreword written on 26 May, 1997, translated by Dr. Zhong Yi- xing in Nov. 1997. Taiwan: wen hua shi ye gu fen you xian gong si

An overview of the book (211 English words)

It is one of the few scholarly books on providing detailed information about the historical emergence and development of comparative education in Russia in the last century with some focused investigations in its basic, higher and teacher educational systems.

The book consists of totally eight chapters. Chapter one sketches a brief chronology of comparative educational studies in Russia whilst chapter two enriches meaning of such studies by scrutinizing their essence, missions, functions and research methodology. Chapter three brings out the effects of various social, economic and political forces on Russian educational systems in the twenty-first century whereas chapter four anticipates current and future trends of life-long education and higher education. Chapters five, six, seven respectively concern about streaming, standardization of basic educational systems and variations between traditional and new learning subjects, didactic processes after school reforms and educational problems after modernization, and directions, operations and pedagogy of modern schooling in Russia. Chapter eight analyses in depth the key roles and functions of school teachers, national system of teacher education and teachers’ professional associations.

The most valuable thing lies in the historical emergence and development of comparative educational studies in Russia. According to the author, the comparative education society entitled Russian Council of Comparative Education (RCCE) was established in May 1990.

A summary of contents (418 words)

In 1900, a classic hallmarking the development of comparative education was written by an educational scholar called P. Kapnist in 1900. His celebrated remark lied in developing Russian education by capturing the essence of learning fruitful lessons from the relationships between German schooling systems and Russian educational studies.

In the 1920s, foreign educational systems were introduced into Russia when some new curricular reforms were initiated. Despite economic recession, new policy-makers employed some educators and teachers from some Western countries so that some new educational ideas and pedagogical practice were experimented. As a result, traditional didactical contents were refreshed by a ‘transplantation’ of Western pedagogy into the Russian educational systems.

However, such innovations were quickly postponed for nearly 30 years because of dominating socio-political and -ideological Communist regimes found in the Russian government. From 1920s to 1930s, governmental commandments and ideological controls reached the climax, totally hindering the growth of any new ideas, countering against Communism. Experimental lessons from international and foreign educational systems were negatively criticized and completely rejected. From 1940s to 1950s, educational studies were used to express ideo-political thoughts and fulfil ideo-political doctrines in Communism. Educational studies and school policies in capitalistic countries were the heated topics to be criticized and rejected. There was no room for investigating and learning experimental lessons from foreign educational systems.

Nevertheless, the second ‘spring’ of comparative educational development in Russia started from 1960s onwards. There had been a big increase in academic studies in foreign educational systems. In 1955, a department on learning foreign schooling and educational studies was established (later with a new name ‘laboratory? inside the faculty of educational theories and history of education in Russian Academy of Education. Research projects covered foreign educational systems, theories and practice as well as educational research organizations and their research directions in capitalistic countries. In 1966, Moscow Pedagogical University opened another laboratory on comparative education. Its main function was editing related journal and periodicals papers. In 1977, numerous university textbooks on comparative education were published by the laboratory. From 1970s to 1980s, in Russia, there was a new special series on comparative education, covering basic directions of educational reforms.

Finally, the development of comparative education reached its maturation stage after the dismissal of USSR. From 1980s to 1990s, Russia’s social science, including comparative education, turned over a new leaf, totally getting rid of ideo-political domination. More objective analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of foreign and Russian educational situations and development were found in numerous academic journals and periodicals.

Background about the author:

Malkova, Zoia Alekseevna: She was born in 1920. She was a school teacher from 1949 to 1956. From 1956 to 1980, she was appointed as a researcher in Russian Academy of Education. She became the first president of Russian Council of Comparative Education (RCCE). She was acting as the Faculty Dean during the time of writing this book and her research field was comparative education. Her academic publications were over 200.

Background about the translator:

Dr. Zhong Yi- xing is currently an assistant professor in the Comparative Education Research Centre at National Chi-nan University in Taiwan. Graduated from Russian Academy of Education in 1998, his doctorate works about the development of basic educational studies in Taiwan was written in Russian language. He had written numerous monographs, conference and journal papers on Russia education and comparative studies of higher and vocational education.

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