General Curatorship As A Special Task In Teacher’s Work With Foreign Students


The considered problem is important due to increasing integration of Russian universities into the world educational area. At the same time, expanding of the foreign contingent at the different level of education requires universal work. According to it, there were added two important tasks to the significant educational aims of preparing highly qualified specialists: complex and effectively solving problems with adaptation and education. As an object for research there are presented features of acceptance of tutor and understanding of his/her role at high school. The main methods of research – the diagnostic assessment and comparing – the authors compare points of view from both sides: tutors and students. During the analysis there were defined features of the Institute of Curatorship at the preparatory level of the educational preparation of foreign students at the Kazan Federal University and were considered modern trends in training of young teachers for the specific nature of tutor’s work. A survey among listeners and lecturers of the preparatory faculty organising foundation programmes for foreign students enabled us to focus on the competencies and personal characteristics of future teachers and showed out some issues which are need to be considered during the process of preparation for the professional pedagogical work.

Keywords: Tutorcuratorshipinteractionforeign studentssocialcultural adaptation


Studying the mechanisms of interactions of tutors and students and the role of the curatorship was subsequent and became especially essential during the last years. The tendency of the University education to globalization and increasing in the number of international educational programs defined for the next ten years necessity and significance of the helping teacher or curator. For an understanding of the considering processes of adaptation and interaction of students in new conditions, it is possible to use postulate of new social situation for the personal development (Vygodskiy, 1984).

Problem Statement

The collection and analysis of theoretical and practical information about general curatorial work helped to focus on different aspects of interpersonal communication between teacher and student. Due to experimental data, it is possible to show the ambiguity of answers and diversity of social expectations from different sides according to current requests, problems, and conflicts.

Research Questions

A central place in this situation takes crises or «cultural shock» which have young people, came to another country with a different language and mentality. The basis for the researches consists of theoretical regulations of Developmental Psychology (Abramova, 2007). Furthermore, it is important to remember that curator’s work directly connected with the pedagogical traditions in education. The main strategic purpose of the curatorship can be reached by the professional actions, knowledge and experience of teacher and willingness to co-operation and interaction with the foreigners from different parts of the World. An existing at the preparatory faculty for foreign students’ scheme-model points to it (Azitova, 2018). It has step-by-step character and includes analytics, monitoring, psychological and educational planning, correction and estimating of the results.

Using of appropriate tactic in the frames of both class and non-class work makes the interaction more efficient and demanding. The materials of the article reflect psychological factors of adaptation of students at the preparatory faculty (Musharapova, 2000). Not occasionally that KFU program, developed in 2013 on request of the Department of Youth Policy, is called “Psychological and educational basics of organizing work with the youth students in new social and cultural conditions”. Yearly taking into consideration changes and additions, it is renewed and has a sequent development among the supervising teachers.

Purpose of the Study

For the relevance and objectivity of the presented research components were formulated following task:

  • determination of the content of the categories “curatorship and tutor’s work”;

  • highlighting of the main factors and conditions influencing on the process of an efficient interaction of students and curator (frequency, external conditions for interaction, self-motivation and psychological and pedagogical background of the teacher, student’s adaptive ability to concrete social situation requirements);

  • collection of the material about the basic tutor’s characteristics which he/she has to have according to the opinion of both sides: students and lecturers (stress resistance, tolerance, ability to resolve conflicts, erudition, communication, modern point of view on the World, energy, basic knowledge of psychology);

  • analysis of the experimental data with the purpose of reflection of common correlations in curatorship practice.

Research Methods

The tasks of this research and features of studying material helped to choose methods of diagnostic and comparative analysis as the main. They most fully reflect changes in the pedagogical practice of tutors. The base contents understanding of methodology as a system of principles and ways of organizing theoretical and practical activities. Due to the diagnostic though survey and interviews, 106 students and 45 lecturers were polled. Using this data from the preparatory faculty and pedagogical observations were made diagrams with the results.

The analysis of diagnostic work in the aspect of the developed problem showed that issues of interaction of curator and listeners are still studied not enough. This exclusion afforded to word the hypothesis: the main factors influencing on the process of effective interaction ate tutor’s experience, work systematic, emotional and psychological support, fast reaction, problem-solving, kindness and individual attitude.


Totally there were involved 45 lecturers. Analysis of the results of diagnostic observation afforded to conclude that the majority of lecturers has a satisfying experience of tutor’s work: more than 10 years – 62,5%, more than 5 years – 26,1%, and less than 3 years only 11,4%. Thus, the formed level of skills and competencies of lecturers is high enough. Regarding the question about foreign students contingent with which tutors have to deal, most of the students come from South-East Asia: China, Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Indonesia and also there are students from Colombia, Ecuador, Benin, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire Republic.

In the same way, 106 students were involved in the survey. Analysis of the diagnostic observation afforded to summarize that the majority of students is younger than 20 years old – 66,7%, 25,3% of students have age between 20 and 25 years old and only 8% of students are older than 25 years old. The question about the most convenient group to study separate students for 3 big parts: 42,5% of students would like to study with the representatives of different countries, for 34,5,% of student it does not matter and 23% of students would prefer studying with the representatives of the native country. Meanwhile, 68,1% of lecturers voted of mixed groups considering features of temperaments and cognitive characteristics.

Forming stage

For reaching pointed tasks were analyzed theoretical and methodological works for curatorship problems and was recognized that terms curatorship and tutor’s work are familiar for Russian mentality and often replace each other. In the scientific publications this issue one of the most challenging. It will be discussed below. The word «tutor» is usually used for teacher helping with an educational process while curator is used for an organizer of art exhibitions and similar events. According to practice, curator at the High school performs educational, informing and psychological functions.

Based on the diagnostic, the main definition of the term «curator» is considered as a senior helper in the educational and adaptive process. The survey contented questions with the opportunity to choose a few answers. So, for each question, it was supposed 100% for all answers. The sample showed that the maximum received following characteristics: 73,9% of lecturers voted for a senior helper, 43,5% also voted for organizer and informer and 43,5% voted for an intercultural guide.

At the same time was found out the level of necessity of tutor’s work: 69,1% of teachers support the idea about such curatorship work at the faculty without any doubts, 25,1% voted for tutor’s work with some changes in this system, for 13% of lecturers it was difficult to answer this question but nobody expressed negative opinion about uselessness of curator’s work. Generally, from students side the curator’s work was ranked on the scale from 0 to 5: almost 46% chose maximum, 24,1%, and 20,7% chose 4 and 3 points respectively and 1 and 2 points were equally chosen by less than 9,2% of respondents.

Control stage

The basic results of the research carried out significant in correlation statistic if students have had a tutor before study at University and if they recognize the influence of such work. According to the survey data, 30,7% of listeners do not have an experience of work with the curator while 47,7% of students highlighted positive experience of such work with the teacher at school. Also, between both groups of respondents, the correlation between the most problematic groups was found. The survey presented that in mixed by the national characteristics groups there are more challenging situations and conflicts: 60,9% of teachers and 40,1% of students voted for this case. Second place in a mentioned question took groups of the same nationality: 6,5% of lecturers and 30,1% of listeners chose this answer. Meanwhile, groups of same sex received 26,1% and 13,5% of votes from lecturers and students and groups of mixed sex got 6,5% and 12,6% of votes, respectively (Figure 01 ).

Figure 1: Lecturers’ and students’ answers for question about most problematic groups
Lecturers’ and students’ answers for question about most problematic groups
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The held analysis showed that actually teacher’s experience, his/her abilities to solve problems, communication and psychological help, tolerance, fast reaction, and erudition have the most significant role. Among them there are should be mentioned strictness and individual attitude. In dependence of competences skills and knowledge of tutor there was made a conclusion about curator’s important role. It is implied social and psychological support, energy and talented managing of the group. Especial attention is paid not only for formal education but also for informal interaction between the tutor and the group. For example, visiting events, theatres, museums, Kremlin, city’s streets and collaborative participating in sports events, projects and competitions are considered.

Due to the prepared sample of answers, there was carried out a conclusion about the professional and personal characteristics of the tutor. The diagram (Figure 02 ) presents the ranking of qualities from the most important to less important. Each criterion was estimated at 100%. Among them the capability to resolve conflicts got 91,3% and 56,8%, communication receive 73,9% and 43,2%, for tolerance voted 69,6% and 23,9% of respondents, for fast reaction – 39,1% and 45,5% and for erudition 30,4% and 31,8%, respectively. It is interesting that erudition and fast reaction prevail among students’ answers. Stress resistance and modern point of view at the World have almost equal esteems – approximately 20% of votes from lecturers and students. Individual attitude received 14,6% and 11,3% and strictness got 4,3% and 2% from teachers and listeners, respectively.

Figure 2: Lecturers’ and students’ ranking of the tutor's characteristics
Lecturers’ and students’ ranking of the tutor's characteristics
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Considering this data, it is possible to discuss new ways of development of preparation curators and improving their personal qualities during the pedagogical practice on the modern technological platform in the nearest future. These opportunities will enhance the level of curator’s background and help to recognize the significance of their role in curatorship.

Thus, familiar diagnostic researches touching criteria of ranking, functions, results of work, frequency and specific of problems could influence on creating different educational programs. From the one side, it is necessary to turn curatorship in a real active instrument not only at the preparatory level for foreigners. From the other side, it is important to highlight modern trends in the preparation of young teachers.

Among the positive moments in the idea of Curatorship Institution in Kazan Federal University it is important to find out and develop 3 main consisting parts: 1) existence of effective personal characteristics; 2) different ways of interaction – formal and unformal; 3) teacher’s motivation in professional realization and interest for actual problems of tutor’s work.


The exploration of scientific literature at the mentioned issue gives an opportunity to track the tendency in using familiar terms ‘curatorship’ and ‘tutor’s work’. According to an encyclopedia, the meaning of the word «curatorship» traditionally was defined as a person who looks after someone’s working process or generally observes the deals of structure. In particular, one of the meanings of ‘curator’ stands by teacher or educator in some educational structures, who controls students studying process (Prokhorov, 2000). Adopted from English language word «tutor», which from word to word means «home teacher», defines mentor or educator in the Great Britain system of Primary and High school education (Kuznetsov, 2000).

The system of tutor’s work, implemented into Russian reality at the end of last Century, was accepted as educational navigation while a curatorship was considered as social navigation. Generally, the tutor was a coordinator in a whole educational process and in choosing a trajectory for the development that helped to solve current studying problems directed students in scientific and project work. In fact, the curator’s work was not limited only by the content of concrete discipline but had a purpose to give a social-oriented support connected with the emotional and psychological balance and adaptation to new conditions (Bim-Bad, 2002). It should be declared that at the boarder of the 20th and 21st centuries the difference between touched upon terms was eliminated. Nowadays both words often replace each other as the social curatorship and educational administrating are similar. The same point of view was presented by the modern authors. At the modern time tutor is a curator, an academic consultant and individual educational mentor (Kuzminykh, 2014).

As the authors of the tutor’s kit noticed, one of the aims of pedagogical support is a help in getting experience in emotional relations in a form of personal orientation (Voloshina, Karnaukhova, & Nikitaeva, 2010). Thus, a person who supports students in such a way also is a mentor and helper during the whole educational process. Definitely here is placed the main rational basis which implies the conductor between the group and society. It implies the presence of a teacher or tutor. The interpretation of curatorship traditions and historical and theoretical issues was mentioned in many works of Russian scientists (Barbariga & Fedorova, 1979; Dzhurinskiy, 2008; Proskurovskaya, 2009; Velikanova, 2011). Authors explain the appearance and dynamic of the development of the curatorial system in various conditions from different points of view. As examples, the experience of the oldest Universities of Europe is presented.

Velikanova and Tretyakova (2013) have an outstanding point in her publication. She considers curator as a social producer and supposes the tasks and functions of the curatorship through the students’ social practice. In the article of Lourence (2002) curatorship is shown as a united specific form of High Education and scientifically proved reality. There is possible to replace accent to collaborate work and successful studying. In such context, it is interesting to consider what Mandel (2014) had to say about existing and potential types of curatorship. According to his strict definition, the curator is an optimistic, mobile, flexible, sensitive teacher who easily orients in any situation and makes fast decisions noticing the interpersonal and international features of communication. Curator is capable to plan work, reach perspective goals, react and reflect students’ tastes and interests. Among the serious researches, it is necessary to highlight works connected o psychological and pedagogical problematic in a curator’s work. Sokolova (2007) separated deformations and mistakes of teacher’s activity and ways of its correction. Beylina and Rudenko (2016) considered the structure of curatorship and its potential in meaning of realization of the State Educational Standards of High Education.

In the frames of this article, it is not possible to list whole authors who have publications devoted to considering a theme. An exploration of issues about students’ specialization, dedicated to basic directions of the academic groups’ preferences, is presented in works of Chermyanin, Korzunin, and Skorokhod (2015) and Lyubin (2016).

Among the common methods to describe curator’s work as a category of education, which is practically used, there are could be mentioned scientific researches of Musharapova (2000), Parshina (2007), Radnaeva and Shibaeva (2016). They are dedicated to the dynamic of development and factors of adaptation of foreign students on the bases of structural departments of Universities. Basing on the wide range of the materials, authors carefully consider conditions of real practice and aspects of psychological and pedagogical support of students.


Curatorship as a phenomenon and structure in the educational system has a huge potential. Interaction between a tutor and foreign students is useful actual almost at al first stages of the educational process, including the preparatory faculty level. It is found that quantitative and qualitative characteristics from the diagnostic methods reflect an increased interest to the curatorship and role of curator. It is the basis for the behavioral stereotypes in the educational sphere which helps to realize the social expectations of young people and involve them into an educational process. However, the lack of it and its low efficiency may have a negative influence on education.

According to this base, there are found the main problems which should be considered: 1) the system, generally, works at the preparatory level and sometimes at the lower ones; 2) the is necessary not only in adaptation and education but also in the process of scientific determination; 3) there are required concrete methods for differentiation and specialization of contingent.

In turn, an establishing of reliable contact and close interaction with students marks tutor’s work and demonstrates his/her professional and personal characteristics. Among whole modern trends in High school education, the non-stop processes of scientific exchanges and intercultural dialogues form basic influence from both sides to each other and are presented as the fundamental ones. The curator here is an intercultural conductor.

It may be recommended to develop a special course of curatorship according to actual educational plans of pedagogical professional preparation. Its exploration of the specific of familiar work, functions, and obligations of curators will introduce the teacher to new communicative tactics and psychological method of conflicts resolution. The course may include films, cases, and examples from real situations, psychologists’ recommendations and test materials.

Thus, forming of the competences of curators will stand during the professional activity more successful if the process is organized in a goal-oriented way with recognition of practical skills and previous experience.


The work is performed according to the Russian Government Program of Competitive Growth of Kazan Federal University;


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23 January 2020

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Spiridonova*, A. V., & Spiridonova, L. N. (2020). General Curatorship As A Special Task In Teacher’s Work With Foreign Students. In R. Valeeva (Ed.), Teacher Education- IFTE 2019, vol 78. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 489-497). European Publisher.