In this second issue of 2002, “OZ” continues the discussion of key issues in Russian higher education, which began in the previous issue. The first issue on education revealed a great controversy over the very goals of education. Our various authors, representing the top experts in Russia, strongly disagree on the essential issue of whether the society needs to train professionals or educate good citizens. Some argue that creating a flexible workforce rather than producing excessive numbers of overeducated unemployed is a necessity for the national economy, whereas others are convinced that renouncing the old-fashioned ideals of education, such as raising critically thinking individuals, would undermine the country’s future. The question of priorities for educational policy remains open.
In the “Point of view” section, Leonid Venberg, Doctor of Philosophy and author of papers on long-term planning presents his reflections on Alexander Filippov’s article published in the first issue on education. The section is complemented by the viewpoints of Yaroslav Kuzminov, Rector of the State University Higher School of Economics (about economic issues involved ineducation) and Vladimir Mironov, Head of Philosophy Department, MSU (Moscow State University) on problems of teaching philosophy.
The “Reform” section features articles about the education-reforming process in Russia by a noted sociologist, Tatyana Klyachko, Director of Center of Educational Policy and Mikhail Vilchek, First Deputy Chief of the Expert Office of the President of the Russian Federation.
The “Problem of the University” section, begun in the last issue, is continued by the pre-announced articles by Dr. Alexander Kyosev, professor of Department of Cultural Studies, University of Sofia; historian Alexander Sogomonov, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences; Dr.Mikhail Tsfasman, Senior Research Assistant, Institute for Information Transmission Problems (IPPI), National Center for Scientific Research, France and who is also the Research Pro-rector, Independent University of Moscow, and translated chapters of Jose Ortega y Gasset’s Mission of the University.
The “History of the Issue” section contains a story by Irina Kulakova, MA, History, MSU about Moscow State University in the XVIII century with a reference to statistics on Russian education.
In the “Models of Education” section, you will find articles by Boyan Znepolsky, Senior Assistant at Chair of Sociology, Sophia University St. Kliment Ohridski; philosopher Yuri Tiurin on Danish educational system; and two references on French and German educational systems.
The theme of education is further developed by exclusive interviews with eminent Russian high-school education practitioners, such as Igor Chapkovsky, a theorist and expert of family educationand Leonid Milgram, National Teacher and ex-principal of Moscow school #45. Igor Sharygin, Member of Executive Committee of the Internatinal Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) and Head of Geometry Section, Moscow Center for Continuous Mathematical Education.
The open discussion part of this issue of “OZ”, which discusses various other topics of interest to readers, includes the following sections: “Myths”, “Debate on the Language Reform”, “New World”, “Old World”, “Neighbors”, “Country of OZ”, and section of book reviews, including, as announced in the previous issue, the “archeological-find” book reviews, i.e., reviews of interesting rare, old books published before 1850.The “Myths” section presents pieces by Vadim Rudnev, Doctor of Philology, on advertising as a textual art; and Alexander Sogomonov, MA, History, Senior Research Assistant, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, on education and the middle class. The “Controversy” section continues the discussion of the current latent reform of the Russian language. Dr. Alexey Shmelev, Full Professor of Philology, Chair ofthe Russian Language, Moscow State Pedagogical University and Chair of the Russian Language, Philology Department, MSU, argues in favor of the reform. In the “New World” section, Leonid Rabinovich describes the perspectives of oil industry development in the first two decades of the XXI century. We publish Olga Edelman’s fascinating piece about the Russian Czar’s train crash in the “Old World” section. Former Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Moscow “Ogonyok” magazine and writer Vladimir Nikolaev contributed an essay about Soviet lyceum for the “Country of OZ” section. Finally, in the “Neighbors” section, Yaroslav Dobroliubov shares his impressions of his journey to Yerevan, the Armenian capital, and main city. This poetic essay bridges this issue to the next one, which will focus on how the world is viewed from Russia.