Educators Become Partners in Education
band of 10 Russian educators weathered Tropical Storm Kyle Friday, Oct.
11, during a visit to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
They did not complain about weather.
Siberia is zero degrees (Celsius)," said Irina Miroshnikova, a
history teacher from Tomsk.
They are on a five-week,
Partners in Education (PiE) program to learn more about U.S. instructional
methods. At UNCP, they spent the day in seminars with professor Jane
Huffman of the School of Education to discuss issues in curriculum,
technology in education and teaching socials studies.
are interested in new teaching techniques, active learning" said
Natalia Zakharova, an English language teacher at the secondary and
university levels. "In Russia, we are transforming our curriculum
to include different teaching styles.
"Not all our
teachers are liking it," she said.
The secondary school
teachers are from Seversk and Tomsk, which is the education center of
Siberia with seven universities. On the U.S. side, the PiE program is
a partnership of UNCP and Scotland County Schools.
The Russian contingent
is visiting Spring Hill Middle School and Scotland High School. Each
Russian educator is paired with a Scotland County teacher or administrator.
For the Scotland County Schools, Dr. Jeanie Freshcorn and Dr. Terry
Franklin helped develop the grant.
"We were very
surprised by the strong discipline in the school," Miroshnikova
said. "We thought there were gangs and undisciplined schools."
as Zakharova referred to them abound on both sides.
know very little of Russia," Miroshnikova said. "They did
not know how we traveled here, by car, airplane or boat."
In Robeson and Scotland
counties, the Russian educators said they found "real America,"
said Miroshnikova. The travelers are staying in homes as guests of Scotland
County faculty members.
"We have seen
many things about every day life," she said. "Americans live
in cars. We are more social and travel by train. Most Russians live
in tall apartments and communicate more with neighbors.
and bad," Zakharova added.
The Russians were
very impressed by American-style shopping, and the group expects to
take in another great tradition during their stay - high school football.
and Alex Chen
"We will go
to a game in two weeks,' Miroshnikova said. "To be in America and
not see football would be a shame."
The entourage traveled
to Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill to see other universities and tour
museums and state government sites of interest, Dr. Richard Kania said.
Dr. Kania, chair of UNCP's Department of Sociology, Social Work and
Criminal Justice, is host and tour guide.
The visit was funded
in part by a $24,900 grant from the American Councils for International
Education. Dr. Kania and Dr. Alex Chen, associate vice chancellor for
International Programs at UNCP, wrote the grant.
education is the purpose of this program," Dr. Kania said. "They
will get a close up look at U.S. education and hear from many professors
of the School of Education, which is a partner."
Dr. Kania has been
a key player in several professor exchange programs. English language
professor, Dr. Olga Maksimenko, who spent a year at UNCP during the
2000-2201 school year, is also a guide and interpreter for the Russian
to be back," Maksimenko said. "I enjoyed my stay here."
During a tour of
the Curriculum Library, the Russians poured over a variety of educational
Irina Miroshnikova and Jane Huffman
(principal) Sergey Filatov contributed a Powerpoint presentation to
the university about his school and community life in Tomsk.
in the Russians visiting their school should contact Dr. Richard Kania
at 910.521.6232 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOMSK & SEVERSK
participating in Partners in Education (PiE) program come from two neighboring
cities in Siberia, Tomsk and Seversk.
The city of Tomsk
is one of the oldest cities in Siberia. In 2004, it will celebrate its
400th year. Tomsk is situated in the south of the Western Siberian plain,
on the banks of the Tom River. The population of Tomsk, is about 500,000
people and half of them are students.
our town," Miroshnikova said. "Our town symbol has a white
horse on it because the Mongols and Tartars rode horses."
"It is beautiful
with many classical buildings in the Italian style," she said.
The Tomsk region
is rich in forests, coal, oil and gas, it has a highly developed mining
and machinery industries.
People of different
nationalities live here: Russians, native Siberians (Selkups and Khunts),
Tartars, Germans and Ukrainians. The city boasts seven universities.
The most renowned of them is Tomsk State University (125 years old),
the first that was ever organized in Siberia.
"It is one of the most prestigious Russian universities,"
Tomsk is sometimes
called the "Siberian Athens" due to its large numbers of scholars
and students. The city has a particular architecture and a special spirit
of Siberian hospitality and patriotism.
About 30 kilometers
from Tomsk is a satellite town of Seversk, which used to be a top-secret
military-industry town during the Soviet times. Currently, there is
a partnership between Seversk and American scientists on the issues
of converting missiles into fuel for power stations. 120,000 people
reside in Seversk. The town has a technical university, 22 secondary
schools, musical and arts schools, three athletic schools and two theaters.
Seversk is a "new
city," about 50 years old. It was part of a vast industrialization
project of the Soviet government. Projects like this one attracted workers
from all over the Soviet Union.
The weather in Siberia
is very harsh and winters are long. The visitors said a typical October
day in Tomsk hovers around freezing.
They arrived at
UNCP for training in curriculum; technology and civics education just
as Tropical Storm Kevin dumped several inches of rain on the campus.
Temperatures, however, remained in the low 70s on this balmy, "fall"
Tomsk State Pedagogical University, where she holds the position of
the director of the International Information Center. She is associate
professor in the Department of Pedagogics. She has a rich experience
in organization and managing international programs. Elena has more
than 50 publications on different issues of comparative education, including
three monographs and three teaching and learning aids on the management
of international education programs.
teach geography in school No. 29 in Tomsk. In my school, children have
excellent opportunities to get a quality education. From the 1st grade,
children study a foreign language, world literature, geometry and economics
for kids. In the 5th grade, they start learning their second foreign
language (they can choose among English, German, French or Spanish).
In the 8th grade, specialized education starts, it means that - alongside
with the subjects included in the national standard curriculum - students
take additional subjects, which are optional in part. We have 12 permanent
pathways, among them economics and math, medicine and biology, history
and philology, ecology and chemistry, romance and Germanic linguistics.
For 10 years, we've been cooperating with teachers from Germany in the
latter field. Our school would be happy to host teachers from the U.S.
In my school, students also can get arts and aesthetic education. They
are trained in choreography, singing, and painting."
have been teaching physics for 26 years and have been a school principal
in school No. 88 in Seversk for 14 years. I'm a teacher of the highest
category, and hold the title of an honored teacher and was 1999 School
Principal of the Year in Russia.
My school is operating
within the federal experimental program. During the last three years
my school has got 3 golden medals and more than 90 diplomas for participation
in international and national expos, competitions and Olympiads. In
1999 and 2000, the school was awarded the title of "The School
of the year." In 2001, it earned "The School of the Century"
I have three children.
My daughter is 23 and currently is a graduate student. My sons are 21
and 16 years old. The elder is a university student and the younger
is a high school student."
name is Natalia Zakharova. I`m 21. I teach in Tomsk State University
in the Foreign Languages Department, I also teach in the departments
of Law, History and International
Relations. Besides, I teach 10th and 11th grades at the Lyceum of TSU.
My teaching experience is 2,5 years. I`m interested in integration civics
into teaching English. My special interes tis in teaching techniques
and using technical aids in the classroom. I would be grateful for sharing
experience, and I`m open to all questions concerning teaching process."
About Tomsk State
Tomsk State Pedagogical
University is the oldest professional pedagogical educational institution
in Siberia. It offers an innovative and dynamic education on the international
level. Today the university is actively introducing the new educational
technologies, employing modern systems and methods of teaching, following
innovative pedagogical principles and perspective trends of the new
century. For many years, Tomsk State Pedagogical University has been
working in close and effective collaboration with many educational and
scientific institutions abroad (Poland, Great Britain, the USA, Germany,
France and other countries) creating opportunities of professional development,
work and study abroad for its staff and students. More than 40,000 specialists
for the system of general and professional education have been prepared
at TSPU. Today, there are more than 9 000 students receiving education
at the university. Quality is the key word in respect to the organization
of teaching and research at TSPU. The university is proud of its highly
qualified staff of professors and lecturers (more than 50 full professors,
46 associate professors, and over 200 assistant professors and research
The university offers
a large number of study programs available at its four institutes and
a number of colleges with more than 50 departments: Institute of Foreign
Languages, Institute of Physical Culture, Siberian Institute of Psychological
and Pedagogic Education, Institute of Economics and Business Enterprising,
College of Psychology, College of Advertising and Public Relations,
College of Physics and Mathematics, College of Philology, College of
Primary Education, College of Natural Sciences, College of Technology
and Economics, College of Additional Professions.
According to a decision
of Ministry of Education of Russia, the university has been given the
status of the "Leading Higher Education Establishment" within
the Association for Academic Work and Education Methods (UMO) "Natural
Science," the Regional Center "Human Nature Studies,"
the Intercollegiate Center of the Problems of Peronality Intellectual
Development. TSPU takes an active part in the activities of numerous
governmental and non-governmental organizations, reflecting the interests
of the educational system. Professional development and in-service teacher
training is organized and conducted at TSPU in coordination with Tomsk
Regional Institute of Professional Development in Education. Professional
development is provided within the framework of courses and second higher
education programs in a number of specialties.
The University is
well-equipped. It has seven buildings, an agro-biological station, a
separate building for laboratory research and experiments, a multifunctional
sports and recreation complex, a university press center, computer classes
(with access to the Internet) and the state-of-the-art printing and
copying equipment. Both fundamental and applied scientific research
at the university is being done mainly in the fields of physics, psychology
and pedagogics, natural sciences and the humanities. There are more
than 20 research units functioning on the basis of the institutes and
departments of the university: the Laboratory for Philosophy and Sociology
of Education, the Laboratory for New Education Technologies, the Laboratory
for Siberian Languages, the Laboratory for Quantum Field Theory and
Gravitation, the Center for Innovative Pedagogical Education, the Center
for Physical Education, the Center for Valeology and more. Research
at a number of university centers and laboratories focused on education
is coordinated by the Department for the Pedagogue and Researcher, which
has the status of the branch of Novosibirsk UNESCO Department. The university
participates actively in the grant and project activities and programs
initiated by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science of
the Russian Federation and Russian and international scientific foundations
(Russian Foundation of Fundamental Research, Russian Humanitarian Scientific
Foundation, Soros Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Humboldt Foundation
and others). Major scientific international and all-Russia conferences
are regularly hosted by TSPU (10-15 conferences per year), of which
many have become traditional. They are "Dulzon's Readings,"
"Quantum Field Theory and Gravitation," "Siberian Geometry
Conference," "Siberian Pedagogical Readings," etc. Involving
students in scholarly research is among the most important areas of
scientific life at TSPU. A number of All-Russia and regional student
scientific conferences have been held by the university as well as regional
Olympiads in various subjects and three rounds of the International
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