This article deals with the problem of systemic development of an educational organization as an organization aimed at upbringing of younger generations. The team of authors presents here their vision of ways to make this development successful. Analyzing the key components of the maximum realization of their upbringing potential, the authors propose concrete solutions that allow, in their opinion, to improve state of affairs in such an area of school education as upbringing. The focus of attention of the researchers are on such components of an educational organization as: the goals of an educational organization; the activity by means of which these goals are achieved; the main subjects of this activity; relations arising in the process of joint activity between these subjects; the management of the educational organization. The main methods of the research are: the analysis of scientific literature on the problem, the analysis of past and modern Russian and foreign experience of upbringing in the educational organizations, the questioning and interviewing of teachers applied to identify the most widespread problems in the organization of upbringing activity of teachers, the included observation of upbringing activity of teachers and also the reflection of own experience of upbringing activity used for comparison and specification of the data obtained by means of other methods. The conclusions presented in article are the result of a long-term research conducted by Laboratory of Strategy and Theory of Personality Upbringing functioning within the Institute for Strategy of Education Development of the Russian Academy of Education.
Keywords: Upbringingeducational organizationdevelopmentteachermanagement
The pedagogical science has always been faced by the task of searching and finding of effective mechanisms of upbringing. The solution of this task is impossible without detection of effective ways of overcoming fragmentariness of upbringing work in school.
Considering the issue of system development of the educational organization as an organization aimed at upbringing of the younger generations, it would be useful to refer to the results of the researches in the sphere of the theory of upbringing systems. Karakovskij, Novikova, and Selivanova (2000) who stood at the origins of this theory distinguished among the main components of this system: the goals of the educational organization; activity by means of which these goals are achieved; the main subjects of this activity; the relations between these subjects arising in the course of joint activity and, at last, management of the educational organization. Let's notice that none of the components of the system exists separately from others. It is connected by a set of threads with others, and the value of each of them is determined by its position in the system (Ehko, 2006; Levi-Strauss, 2001; Rodriguez, n.d.; Sossyur, 1977). This provides a possibility of functioning of all system.
Obviously, the above comments fully apply to the functioning of such a complex system as an educational organization. However, how is it possible to make this functioning successful? How is it possible to transform it into development? Let's try to find answers to these questions.
Purpose of the Study
For this purpose, we need to consider all above-mentioned components of the educational organization in the context of their development, the high-quality improvement directed to the maximum realization of upbringing capacity of this organization. The solutions proposed below were the results of the long-term research conducted by laboratory of strategy and theory of personality upbringing, functioning within the framework of the Institute for Strategy of Education Development of the Russian Academy of Education.
The main methods of this research were:
- the analysis of scientific literature on the problem, allowing to use the results, received by other researchers in pedagogics and other industries of scientific knowledge in our work;
- the analysis of past and modern, Russian and foreign experience of upbringing in educational organizations which is carried out on the basis of monographic descriptions of this experience by the heads of educational organizations or teachers;
- questioning and interviewing teachers used to identify the most common problems in the organization of upbringing activities of teachers, to identify the motives and goals of their upbringing activities;
- included observation of the upbringing activities of teachers and reflection of their own upbringing experience, used to compare and refine data obtained using other methods, as well as to expand the empirical base necessary to develop proposals for the development of upbringing in educational organizations.
The first major component of such system as the educational organization, are its purposes. What aims are pursued by the modern educational organization?
Analysing not declared purposes, but the real goals to which the most of educational organizations strive today, it becomes obvious that the school’s dominant goal today is, at the best, the child’s intellectual preparation providing his further education in a good institute and its future career. In the worst, it is training of the child for satisfactory passing the unified state examination (the fact that these two goals do not always coincide is noted by many of the respondents we surveyed). The goals of upbringing, social development of the child, preparing him for harmonious existence in a complex and highly flexible system of social relations are given minimum attention.
It's not just that the evaluation of the results of the Unified State Examination by its graduates dominates in the modern system of assessment of Russian school. In our opinion, the point is, the imbalance of the current educational organization concerning two major components of human life: career and happiness. The current education system is focused mainly on the future career of a person studying in school, and, of course, it is dominated by relevant values - knowledge, discipline, success, assessment, rating. In the case of realization of such a mission, the school can really help a child to enter a prestigious university, to find a well-paid job, to make a good career, which ultimately benefits the country's economy. Moreover, a developed economy, as it is considered to be, is an indicator of the development of society ...
But whether the progress of society should be measured only by means of GDP? In recent years, in the most different comparative international researches (Ortiz-Ospina & Roser, n.d.; Paul, 2014; Wilner, 2011) even more often began to pay attention to such subjective indicator as happiness level. And this is a good trend. The fact is that the desire not to produce, but to be happy is peculiar to human nature. Philosophers, poets, artists inform us about this. However, psychotherapists who treat workaholism (work addiction) and neurosis, caused by the cult of success, recall the fact that career and happiness do not always coincide. Obviously, both, the career and feeling of happiness are equally important for completeness of human life. However, the education system is weakly focused on the latter and, certainly, it does not always have a place to such values as friendship, love, family - that is, what makes a person happy in many ways. Therefore the school does not set the task (at least as one of paramount tasks) to teach the child everyday skills which will help him to be guided with the complex world of human relationship - with parents, friends, work colleagues, darlings. After all, it is precisely this that education is aimed at. Alas, today it is simply not on the school agenda.
How is it possible to change the situation? It is known that the organization’s control structure largely determines the structure of the organization’s goals. Perhaps, it makes sense to make changes in the structure of control. The current monitoring and evaluation of schools often compels teachers to classify children as under-performing, despite the fact that they are not successful in mastering only the curriculum. At the same time, leaving school, such graduates can be very useful to society - well-educated, respectable citizens, excellent parents, skilled workers. Realizing this, many teachers intentionally overestimate grades to such children, giving them chance to graduate from school "successfully". Despite the fact that everyone knows about the existence of this problem for a long time, in the pedagogical community they openly talk about it little and reluctantly. This problem is lifted by Potashnik (2018) in one of the articles. He wrote about the "white lie" practiced in such cases by teachers. What can we do? Why does, in the presence of the Law on Education, in which it (education) is understood as upbringing and training, “graduates’ life” in real practice depend on the results of the training? Obviously, the current control system is not perfect.
In the 1980th, the famous psychologist Gardner (2011a, 2011b) suggested to consider mental abilities of a person more widely, than it was accepted. He believed that the human intelligence could not be reduced only to its cognitive manifestations, that there were many types of intelligence. In addition to the linguistic, logical-mathematical and spatial intelligences that we are used to, Gardner proposed to take into account, for example, musical intellect (associated with a person’s ability to feel rhythm and have a musical ear), kinesthetic intelligence (associated with the ability to control his body) and personal (connected with ability to operate the feelings and emotions and also to understand feelings and emotions of other people). It seems that such a view of mental abilities of the child would seriously help the current education system. This would allow us: firstly, to imagine what kind of graduate we (parents, teachers, society in general) want to see "at the exit" from school, and secondly, to evaluate our children's achievements more truly, (and not in words) considering and respecting their individual development trajectories.
Indeed, as A. Einstein subtly noted (whose intellectual abilities in childhood, by the way, were also evaluated by teachers ambiguously), “if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life, considering itself a fool’’.
The most important components of such a system as the educational organization, are the activity which is also carried out in it and the relations between its participants developing during it. Let's look at these components. In fact, at school these are the main components that determine the achievement of goals set by the organization.
When does the school reach the set goals of education? The answer to this question is known to most of the specialists working at school: when teachers become significant adults for children - authoritative, interesting, and outstanding. The experience of such bright educators as Makarenko (2003), Karakovskij (2008), Yamburg (2017) proves this.
But when do teachers become such significant adults for children? And it is not difficult to give the answer on this question: when they begin to experience a sense of community with each other (Stepanov, Parfenova, & Stepanova, 2017; Who influence the child most parents, teachers, friends?, 2018), a sense of belonging to some common circle uniting them – fans of literature, water tourists, theatre goers, football players, activists of search group, fans of board games etc.
The answer to the following question is obvious: when can children and teachers have such a feeling of community? Of course, when they unite around some kind of activity, which is fascinating both for those and for others. Moreover, it is not so important what kind of activity it is - game, sport, tourism, creativity, leisure communication ... It is important that teachers and children would have interest in school together. Their school life must be rich with bright, interesting, meaningful events. And if it is interesting for children and adults, the goals of upbringing are achieved with greater efficiency.
However, there is a serious problem in implementation of such joint activity requiring the solution today. Moreover, it cannot be solved, without mentioning the following component of an educational system – subjects of this activity. Of course, first of all, it concerns the main subjects of the educational organization – teachers and students. How favorable are the conditions for initiating and organizing interesting and meaningful activities of children and adults in school — both in and after class? The answer to this question, unfortunately, is not optimistic. The main reason is the time resource, which the modern teacher has much less than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Time is the main resource, which (as it shown in surveys) is sorely lacking for the current teacher who implements the functions of upbringing in school. Its absence is the main demotivating factor. What steals the teacher's time?
First, forcing a teacher to a large academic load. Today, it often comes to 30-35 hours a week with additional classes. Will there be a real sense from the teacher by the end of the school day, when there is an opportunity to organize an exciting joint activity of children and adults? Accumulated tiredness is the reason of irritability, bad mood and, in the end, professional burnout. Neither the first, nor the second, nor the third, as we know, cannot be good companions of upbringing. Alas, the current education system leaves almost no time for children to have an interesting life at school. The motivated part of children is loaded with the curriculum (from 8th grade children have 7 and more lessons, extracurricular activity is also added), tutors, preparing them for passing SFE and USE, as well as very extensive homework after school. The unmotivated part of the children simply ignores the school as a space of educational forcing.
Secondly, it is the control of the teacher’s professional activity that has intensified in recent years, and the teacher has to spend a lot of his time throughout the school year to prepare for various forms of it. In addition, total control forms the teacher's fear of making a mistake. And this, as we know, narrows his creative potential, which is so important in upbringing. Such control provokes the risk of substitution of motivation, when the teacher seeks to work no longer for the sake of getting a proper upbringing result, but for the sake of praising the administration and avoiding sanctions.
Thirdly, this is an abundance of rating regional and municipal events in which teachers are forced to take part, because the rating of school, the fate of its director and (sometimes) teachers' salaries depend on this. According to the plan of their developers, rating events and competitions would have to stimulate teachers to the upbringing work, aimed at personal development of the child. But, unfortunately, often it is not the case. The pursuit of rating points steals precious time from a really working teacher and forces him to be engaged not in those affairs which are interesting to children and to him, but in those, that are rated, for participation in which it is possible to get rating points.
The peculiarity of work of the modern teacher is that it is very difficult for him to distinguish his working and his free time. His working time overlapped with his free time. This fact cannot but be alarming. Psychologists from the University of Zurich conducted a study (Wepfer, Allen, Brauchli, Jenny, & Bauer, 2018), one of the results of which was the following conclusion: workers who do not have the ability to clearly distinguish between their work activities and their free time feel much worse than those who, having the same load, can still afford to separate work from rest. People feel exhausted when, for example, they often take work at home, often think about work during rest, prepare for their upcoming work at weekends or in the evening. To his enormous workload of a teacher at school and traditional preparation for lessons at home, there is added preparation of various kinds of accompanying documentation, trips to rating events, the need for developing E-school resources, communication with parents in WhatsApp, etc. etc. They often just have no opportunity "to switch" and restore the forces. And the feeling sick goes hand in hand with the lowered productivity of work and decrease in creative potential. The vicious circle closes.
Improving the situation with the school's time resource is impossible without making appropriate management decisions. What would be considered here firstly? To make the right decisions in the field of management, it is important to have a correct understanding of the main factor in the development of upbringing in school.
Today very few people will argue with the fact that the main character of school upbringing is the teacher – that is the one who directly works with children who carry out upbringing activity. This activity as the psychological science convincingly demonstrates (Leont'ev, 2005; Mahoney, 2017; Maslow, 2016; Polyakov, 2004), is induced by the corresponding internal motive which in upbringing activity always coincides with its purpose - the development of the child's personality. The lack of this motive or its substitution by another leads to upbringing imitation. In other words, the upbringing potential of activity of the teacher will not be fully realized if the teacher spends class meetings, conducts children in a campaign, puts with them a performance first of all not for the sake of the child’s personality development, but for the sake of, for example, praise of the administration, avoiding of sanctions, accumulation of rating points for school, increase in the stimulating part of salary … By the way, this upbringing activity differs from activity of representatives of many other professions where the lack of the corresponding motivation worker does not necessarily play negative role on the results of work. This is a bad news to supporters of rating estimation and effective contracts.
It follows that the main factor in the development of upbringing should be sought not in some new system of regional or municipal activities for children, not in new technologies or forms of upbringing and not in new educational standards - no matter how useful they may seem to us. The main factor in the development of upbringing is the upbringing motivation of teachers. Simply put, not a single event will be carried out properly, not a single technology will be mastered and used, and not a single standard will be implemented if the teacher's appropriate professional motivation is not developed. He can perfectly imitate all this, but he can hardly organize the upbringing process without appropriate intrinsic motivation.
Therefore, the support of educational motivation of teachers has to be a priority of competent management in the sphere of upbringing. Its solution, in our opinion, lies not in the sphere of economics (the introduction of a new wage system or an effective contract), but in the field of management psychology. To improve the quality of upbringing activities of teachers in the education system from all the basic management functions (planning, organization, motivation, control), it is necessary to give the priority to the motivation functions, to be exact - to the function of elimination of the factors demotivating the upbringing activities of teachers (Stepanov, 2018).
The work was carried out under the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) (project № 17-06-00116-ОГН).
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30 September 2019
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Dyachkova, T., Parfyonova, I., Stepanova, I., Stepanov*, P., & Selivanova, N. (2019). Development Of Educational Organization As An Upbringing Organization. In S. K. Lo (Ed.), Education Environment for the Information Age, vol 69. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 734-741). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.09.02.83