The question what education oriented to the establishment and development of innovative environment should be like arose among residents of Tomsk when innovative trend became an obvious phenomenon in the regional economy. The question turned to purely pragmatic problem: where shall we seek and how shall we prepare specialists for innovative economy.
In the countries that took to the innovative way before we did the main approaches to educational reforms have already shaped into a common trend of competence training. In other words, education today shall teach not only to sum up, for example, but apply this skill, design your own future, have an exploratory attitude towards any situation and your own life not perceiving them as a frozen entity. Hence, education quality is evaluated not only in terms of academic knowledge digestion but also according to the way this knowledge is applied in real life and professional activity.
– Many people, especially those engaged in the educational community, perceive Russian education as the best education and think of reforms in this system as of the loss of its quality. There was time when Russian education was really considered the best one especially in the area if physics and mathematics. But then the situation was pretty stable, and technical capabilities served as the main resource for development in any country. Now the situation is absolutely different. Today, the main resource for development (with all due respect to the technical side) is the human resource: the way a person participates in innovations, how loyal he is to the organization, if he is ready to realize his innovative potential. This world trend is not so obvious in Russian reality yet but it certainly concerns Russia. Our education is oriented to other values and guidelines. However, the idea to copy the practice of the West is not promising. First of all, there are also many problems in the education of western counties and it is being constantly reformed. Besides, we cannot copy “western” education as our situations are too different. So, we will have to set and solve the problem of development on our own relying on both the international practice and our own potential. All this explains the necessity and peculiar features of the creation of a program of open educational space in the region, – said Galina Prozumentova, Academic Advisor of the Tomsk program.
Tomsk Region Administration ordered program development. Leading Tomsk universities, schools and lyceums were elaborating this program. The TSU faculty of psychology was responsible for its coordination. Order placement as well as its approval took much time. As long ago as in May of the previous year a business game for the youth called “Creative City” was arranged within the XIV Tomsk Innovation Forum with the participation of program developers. Sergei Gradirovsky, the Chairman of the Social Council of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Development was leading the game. The Debating Club “What School Education Must Be Like in the Innovative Russia?” with Alexander Gardon as a moderator and the panel discussion “School Education Reform: Potential of Collaboration between Universities and Schools” under the guidance of Isaak Frumin, Scientific Supervisor of the Institute of Education Development at the Higher School of Economics, were also devoted to this issue.
- The main idea of the program is to unite efforts of higher education institutions and schools to prepare people for innovative development of the region. The competition for young talented people is growing and we need to bring them up. We have made a decision that it would be right to update the potential that we possess in universities and schools of Tomsk region and which does not usually intersect. And we consider that new education quality can be obtained if some mechanisms will be established to make these two levels work together and cooperate. It means universities will not simply come to schools with their programs but they will elaborate these programs together with schools and work together to bring up young talents, – adds Eduard Galazhinsky, the head of the program, dean of TSU faculty of psychology.
According to the estimates of Tomsk designers of the program approved by Moscow experts, there is a significant potential created in Tomsk to form the sector of innovative education. And scientists should be attracted to “spontaneous” innovations in education to think them over, to structure them, to create a pool of innovative developments which will be available to join for any pupil or teacher. Creation of network programs, projects, innovative developments constitute the main applicable result of the program.
- Designers have already managed to represent development possibilities of the open educational space in several areas. The first one is the creation of such a space in the cooperation between schools and universities where pupils regardless of their geographic location could use innovative developments and services for the maintenance of individual educational programs. So, we will create a unique self-developing and self-organizing regional educational milieu, – specifies Mr. Galazhinsky.
It is important that mechanisms to control the open educational space potential are offered in the program. This is the support to innovative projects existing in the region, exercising of their educational effects, development of educational networks around them, distribution of this experience.
The second area concerns the creation of a pool and then a portal of innovative developments that young teachers and administrative personnel could use. These innovative developments are to be improved to the “technological” level with the help of universities.
The third area covers network project creation. Next year the designers plan to make several projects and regional models on the arrangement of specialized education that could be used both for village and city schools. And one of the models of specialized education is to be implemented not in an educational institution but through the accumulation of efforts of several organizations and teams.
The fourth area is network program development, which is of special importance when switching to new educational standards, for example, in a primary school. The Federal Education Standard (FES) provides for a large number of hours for extracurricular activity but schools do not have resources therefore. That is why we need to accumulate efforts of educational institutions of general and additional education. Another example of an interesting program can be seen in Strezhevoy and Kozhevnikovo where representatives of business, vocational training schools, school and higher education institution united and created a program to prepare pupils for business activity, to form their entrepreneurial competences.
The major principle of open educational space development is to go beyond a separate educational institution and to use potential of the whole region. The designers state that tools and general approach for the open educational space have been developed. Now it is time to form regional educational models whose variety is an essential condition to enhance quality and to prepare the best specialists for new economy.
Russian newspaper – nedelya (week)