Rus Articles Journal

Fruits of alternative education. Part 1

Traditional cool - the fixed education system which once relieved the world of mass illiteracy ceases to cope with time calls. Today many children just sit out lessons, receiving as a result an inoculation from curiosity and not enough useful knowledge. Understanding it, teachers - enthusiasts conduct search of alternative models of school education for a long time.


Present cool - the fixed system of the organization of study was approved in Europe since the 16th century after rather cheap printing books appeared. It succeeded monastic and shop training at which knowledge was imparted generally orally and on a personal example. The former system did not allow to work with big groups of pupils, and meanwhile to keep up to date, it was necessary to make primary education common property, and in short terms. From new system the pupil needed to impart quickly skills of the general literacy and to achieve knowledge to them certain texts. The reflection and self-training were not included into a circle of its tasks. And one more major difference: if to the philosopher or the master came to study, as a rule, voluntarily, then sent to new school of children irrespective of their desire.


As for mass education never allocated a lot of money, the whole crowd of children who were required to be organized strictly fell on each teacher. So was born cool - fixed system which theoretical justification the preacher of reformatory church Jan Amos Komensky gave in the 17th century. Having got an education at the Heidelberg university, one of the best in Europe, he devoted life to mass education. From - for prosecutions of Catholic church to it was come from the outside to move often, and everywhere he created national schools. In Russia Komensky`s ideas widely extended in the second half of the 19th century in many respects under the influence of the German teachers - the famous fans of an order and discipline.

Advantage cool - fixed system - and that is not less important, the managements of Division into objects allowed the teacher to specialize in accurate orderliness of training, to it began to know enough only one subject, but not to be a universal expert. But, as well as any line production, the educational conveyor well works only while there is a standard material. As soon as there are “piece“ or allocated “goods“, it or is broken, or the system is stopped.

of the Problem in cool - fixed system arise not only at the bad pupils who are not in time behind the general speed but also at strong which natural curiosity dies away from too slow and boring teaching. However most difficult happens to the school students conceiving “in a different way“ at whom, say, dominates not verbal, but figurative (emotional) or kinestetichesky (through action) perception of reality. As a result the system tries to obtain mediocre education for the majority and discards the others.

meanwhile even more often can be heard that modern (post-industrial, information) society demands identity development, but not standard skills, and puts creative thinking above following to a sample, uniform for all. Still Janusz Korchak spoke:“ Only silly people want that all were identical“. And let this thesis did not find the status of a valid maxim yet, demand for new approaches to education is already obvious. Information and skills necessary for life are updated much more often than textbooks are rewritten and teachers are retrained. Therefore it is very important to school students to learn to find independently them and to master.

If earlier the school was almost only place of knowledge acquisition, necessary for social success, then now there are a lot of examples of how poor students and mediocre pupils become successful people. Many children feel inefficiency of school and do not want to spend time senselessly. And, if earlier to study it was possible to force even if the same birches, then with distribution of idea of human rights the teacher lost this tool, without having received anything in exchange. So, the comprehensive school and requirements of society enter a contradiction which more and more becomes aggravated over time.

To be fair should notice

that resistance cool - fixed system began not now and even in the 20th century. Three centuries ago Bell - Lancaster system of mutual training in which implementation of educational process was in many respects assigned to trained was popular. In it the principle which if to trust a joke, was expressed by one teacher was used:“ Three times told the theorem to these blockheads, at last even itself understood it, and all of them do not understand“.

For many years of attempts to organize education the set of models and approaches differently was born

. At their comparison it is necessary to understand, of course, that any differentiations between them are rather conditional, and all the most interesting and vital usually is born on a joint of systems, in dialogue. First of all there is a wish to distinguish those which reconsider an essence of educational process from various approaches, offering for it new meanings and values in exchange of in large quantities recognized.

Valdorf and Montessori

B 1919 of the famous anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner invited to help to open school for children of workers of Valdorf - Astoria factory in Stuttgart. Anthroposophic ideas, in particular, importance of complete interaction of corporal, sincere and spiritual factors for development of the person were its basis. Training at such school is based according to the principle:“ at first art, and then from it intellectual“. By the way, and pedagogics valdorfets consider not as science, and it is rather an art - education art. Pupils pass objects so-called eras when during 3 - 4 weeks daily at the first lessons are engaged in the same discipline. The constant cool teacher - the versatile person - the main character of valdorfsky school, in it consists the important principle distinguishing it from other systems. Cool teacher is responsible for the organization of all educational process of the class. And he not only develops and conducts the main general education objects, but also will organize interaction with parents and other teachers of school.

It is reduction of number of the leading instances which are above the teacher, reflects aspiration to support spirit of community of free people - the children and adults, teachers and parents connected by the general values. Not incidentally valdorfsky establishments are usually autonomous and are operated by the board uniting most of teachers of school.

K 1990 in the world about 500 valdorfsky schools and twice more kindergartens existed. In Russia for the last decades the valdorfsky movement also found the supporters though here it is more difficult to coordinate its methods and meanings of education with rather formalized and strict state requirements to knowledge of graduates of schools. Other problem - the fear of many parents of “other“ education supported by the state which can lead to the bad certificate and problems with entering a higher education institution. But sense of school education not in it, and in training of the free personality capable to realize and construct the way to lives. Besides, as shows long-term experience, graduates of valdorfsky schools successfully continue training at the higher school.

One more alternative pedagogical movement, one of the most widespread in the world, was born from the discoveries made at the beginning of the 20th century by the Italian doctor and the teacher Maria Montessori. Working on development of sense organs in mentally retarded children, it found out that the basic principles of its method are successfully applicable also in work with normal children of preschool age, and began to create “Children`s homes“ for children of 3 - 6 years. Montessori sought to put training and education on a scientific basis which includes supervision, experiment, research, ability to analyze the available facts and to draw from them conclusions. Respectively, the main objective of the teacher not to tell children material of this or that lesson, and, showing consideration for the specific child, to plan an educational situation, having appeared in which he will be able to show the activity, independently mastering this or that knowledge. Didactic materials are arranged so that allow the child to find the mistakes independently. And business of the teacher - to organize the educational environment and to direct independent activity of the pupil, maintaining in it interest in research of world around. As well as in the valdorfsky movement, supporters of a montessora - pedagogics built the system of training of teachers. Today the kindergartens and schools working by this method are, probably, in all developed countries.

How to return the child to school?

Other City as School project, unusual to an education system, appeared in 1970 - e years in New - York where there was a problem of return to an education system of those seniors who left school, having studied less in it year or two. Habitual academic training was of little use for these children, already at least for the emotional reasons. It was required to find the course allowing them to feel the importance, responsibility for common cause and at the same time to inform them of importance of education.

Here example. The usual school is exhausted from the guy of 14 years who refuses to study at all. In the City as School program he is suggested to be become a journeyman the chief - cooks at restaurant. Having worked as some time, the guy so “falls in love“ with the mentor that comes to the teacher - the tutor with a question: how to work to become same? And here it becomes clear that for this purpose it is necessary to finish school education, having mastered a number of objects, and then to continue training in the specialty. Having strong motivation now, the teenager undertakes these tasks with hobby inconceivable before and persistence.

Thus, at first the individual and voluntary choice of activity which then is followed by discussion of new experience happens. And already from this tasks for studying of concrete objects which are supported now with the desire which arose at the teenager and understanding why it needs it are born. And when there is a desire, any objects usually accustom and in them examinations are taken. The main problem of teenage poor progress not in a lack of abilities, and in weak motivation. In such system the role of the teacher considerably changes. From “urokodatel“ it turns into the person who supports and accompanies another in independent searches. Establishing limits of arrangements, it helps the pupil with the choice of the way, with finishing the begun business up to the end, and with judgment of results of practical activities.

In 1980 - e years the City as School model actively extended across all America. The whole network of productive schools which seek to use environment resources in the educational purposes was created. After in 1983 colleagues from the Western Berlin got acquainted with experience of a nu - the York project, the similar network began to develop also in Europe. In England such method of work - the analysis of a situation from the point of view, educational for this person, and creation of a further individual way - is called tutoring, in Russia - support pedagogics, in business - coaching. Despite active distribution of the alternative projects existing on the City as School model, their time criticize for aiming mainly at development by pupils of practical abilities therefore the most important general knowledge is allegedly sacrificed. But this criticism - in many respects only reflection of widespread stereotypes is rather more whole than education. Graduates of productive schools and projects quite successfully take the put examinations and are successful men.

choose Sami`s

what to study

Alexander Neil, the organizer of Sammerkhill school in England, spoke:“ There are no lazy pupils, there are boring schools“. These words can be considered as the motto of extensive family of the schools referring themselves to category of “free“. Usually they are private as hardly fit into an administrative framework of any state.

For “free schools“ in the nature of things to give an opportunity to school students of any age independently to decide that to them to do when where and how to be engaged in the chosen business. At the same time all study with big hunting and full concentration of attention. Adults and children gather on the initiative, discuss something, read, play, work in workshops. At the same time someone can study chemistry, mathematics or other subject, someone to play chess, and someone - to be engaged in arrangement of the general life. But, strangely enough, the freedom of choice does not lead at all to the fact that pupils do only what comes to them easily. Experience shows that children want to know strong and weaknesses and are ready to work hard on own development.

Even younger pupils of “free school“ know that they and only they are responsible for the education. The growing in the conditions of heavy responsibility gives them confidence in own abilities and forces. One of the most serious problems of modern traditional school - motivation. The self-motivation developed at “free school“ - perhaps, its main achievement. Of course, all the “free schools“ having a set of common features are original and differ from each other. So, say, at different schools their leaders adhere to different degree of radicalism of rather traditional educational process. But the main condition of success of the children who are trained at “free school“ - trust of parents to school. It is very important that before children there was no question: who is right - parents or school? Possible doubts are quite clear: how pupils and graduates of “free schools“ will interact with world around? People around them in absolute majority studied at the most usual schools and the relations to life can not understand and not accept their way at all. Whether and everything such schools are shown to children? Alexander Neil wrote that “the method of freedom works almost for certain with children to 12 years, but to children is more senior too much time to recover from feeding by knowledge from a spoon is necessary“.

Be continued.