Development Of Dialogue And Socio-Cultural Competencies Of Children In Russian Megacities Edutainment-Centers


The paper analyzes the development of dialogue of cultures in the practice of edutainment centers in Russian cities included in the RWC rating — a rating of cities that develop the cultural capital. (In the field of sociology, cultural capital comprises the social assets of a person (education, intellect, style of speech, style of dress, etc.) that promote social mobility in a stratified society. The works demonstrates the results of research of edutainment-programs and factors of children’ dialogue and sociocultural competences development in edutainment-centers. The results are obtained using content analysis research methods, factor analysis and focus groups of interviews with teachers, tutors and game technicians at edutainment centers. The results of the analysis of the dialogue and sociocultural competencies developed in children are also presented, obtained by a method of interviewing parents, parent monitoring their children after attending educational programs at edutainment centers. The study describes the specifics of dialogue and sociocultural competences development in children in various organizational forms of edutainment centers are described: cities presenting professions, science parks, interactive museums. The features of organizational forms at edutainment centers are disclosed: cities of professions (Kidburg, Kidzania, Masterslavl), science parks (Mars-tefo, Sirius, Tesla Park), interactive museums (Museum of entertaining sciences, Museum Experimentium, Leonardo Museum, Einsteinium). The authors analyzed which new educational technologies used in edutainment centers contribute to the development of dialogue and sociocultural competencies in children.

Keywords: Cultures’ dialogue subjectdialogue and sociocultural competenciesedutainment centers


In the current decade, creative industries are actively developing in megalopolises of the world, forming a creative capital in the society.

According to the UN experts, creative industries include fashion industries, cinema, design, art crafts, cultural and entertainment centers, cultural and developing centers and other creative industries based on intellectual activity (UNESCO/Creative Industries/UN Report, 2020). For cities of the world, it is important to develop creative industries (Landry, 2018a; Nartley, 2018), since it is precisely this branch of socio-economic activity that affects the development of human capital, both professionally employed in creative industries and using the social and cultural services of creative industries (Prokhorova & Vaganova, 2019).

We are interested in studying social and cultural centers – edutainment centers that implement developmental programs for children at the intersection of education and leisure. ( Edutainment is a method in which education is inseparable from entertainment. In other words, this is a game learning aimed at recreation and assimilation of social experience in all its manifestations: knowledge, skills, abilities, emotional and evaluative activities ). Edutainment centers include Cities of professions, Science parks, Interactive museums. Such centers support certain standards of sociocultural activity based on a dialogue of cultures. Sociocultural institutions such as edutainment centers influence the development of a new generation of children, forming a new culture of interaction and communication in children (Harper-Scott & Samson, 2009).

To assess the contribution of creative industries organizations to the development of the cultural capital of cities all over the world, PwC and the Calvert 22 Foundation (supporting innovative projects and creative industries) annually present an index of urban creative capital (“PwC, Calvert 22…”, 2018).

Among the world cities included in the top 100 cities developing creative capital, we identified 9 Russian cities that have taken top places in this rating and developed edutainment centers: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Voronezh, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Khanty-Mansiysk, Samara, Volgograd.

Universal University (the University of Creative Industries) estimates the contribution of creative industries as 0.5% of Russian GDP. The assessment of creative industries’ contribution shows that the contribution of these industries to the development of a new culture of interaction and communication in the society is quite high (“Future technology: 22 ideas…”, 2020).

Creative industries include edutainment centers — educational and entertainment centers which present cities demonstrating various professions (Kidburg, Kidzania, Kidspacey, Masterslavl), Science Parks (Mars-tefo, Sirius, Tesla Park), Interactive Museum (Experimentium Museum, Museum of Living Systems, Einsteinium Museum, Culinary Museum).

According to the results of parental surveys in the study of edutainment centers (Fiofanova, 2018), cities of professions, science parks and interactive museums more effectively organize a developing culture among edutainment centers, in contrast to schools (traditional education). Edutainment centers are more effective in developing a cultural dialogue in children using new forms of interaction and new educational technologies (New World Encyclopedia, n.d.).

Problem Statement

Judging by the generalized results of a survey conducted among parents, a problem emerged: what factors make the cultural environment of edutainment centers different from the cultural environment of schools. Why do parents think that edutainment centers are more likely to develop dialogue and sociocultural competencies in children than traditional schools?

Research Questions

The reflection on the research problem allowed us to formulate research questions:

- What development programs are implemented by edutainment centers in Russian cities (according to RWC rating)?

- How do these programs condition the development of dialogue and sociocultural competencies in children?

- What factors of the organizational culture of edutainment centers make it more productive in contrast to school organizational culture?

- How do edutainment centers develop a culture of dialogue: ethnic (dialogue of ethno-cultures), age (dialogue of childhood and adulthood), professional (dialogue choosing a profession with existing professionals)?

The combination of these issues allowed us to identify the institutional features of edutainment centers and the features of educational technologies, the forms of interaction between teachers, tutors, game technicians of edutainment centers with children.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the research is to study the specifics of dialogue culture in working with children in edutainment centers and to identify the features of the development of dialogue (communicative) and sociocultural competencies in children through edutainment programs.

Edutainment industry developed in the process of transforming the traditional system of continuing education in the search for answers to the challenges of changing cultures, including a new culture of childhood, a new generation of children. The edutainment form is an integration of education and entertainment (the word consists of two words “education”, “entertainment”).

Research Methods

The methodological basis of the study was:

- The theory of creative industries “Creative industries” (Landry, 2018b) and specialized industries,

- The concept of the creative industry 4:0 structure (Van Heur, 2019),

- Concepts of developing children's education as an open sociocultural space and environment of self-determination (Asmolov, Popov, Moeglin), (Moeglin, 2018).

The research methodology is based on the methods of content analysis of developing programs at edutainment centers, the methods of factor analysis of dialogue and socio-cultural competencies in children, the method of comparative analysis of the institutions at edutainment centers and schools, and the method of statistical analysis.

The combination of the above methods allowed us to objectively answer the set research questions and reach the research goal.


The study involved 170 edutainment centers from all over Russia. Of these, 65 cities of professions, 85 interactive museums, 20 science parks. All edutainment centers are developing according to the principle of a network organization, the centers of which are represented in different cities of Russia, but in a single network.

Representation in the study of organizations by the main activity formats:

1) cities of professions — a network including: Kidburg, Kidspace, Kidzania, Masterslavl, City of Masters, City of the future;

2) interactive museums — a network including organizations: Experimentanium, Tesla Museum, Einsteinium, Museum of Living Systems, Galileo;

3) science parks — a network including organizations: Mars-Tefo, Science Park, Sirius Park.

These organizational forms of edutainment centers are developing throughout Russia in the legal framework of franchisee agreements, in the above-mentioned cities, too. According to the foreign franchise in Russia, there is only one city of professions (Kidzania). An example of the largest network of occupational parks at the global level is Kidzania (24 parks in 19 countries).

The largest all-Russian network of profession towns is Kidburg (11 parks across Russia: 4 in Moscow, 2 in St. Petersburg, 1 in Rostov-on-Don, 1 in Yaroslavl, 1 in Voronezh, 1 in Nizhny Novgorod, 1 in Vladivostok).

The widest network of interactive museums in Russia is the Einsteinium interactorium. Their parks are located in 19 cities: Chita, Pyatigorsk, Anapa, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Salekhard, Omsk, Voronezh, Cheboksary, Vladivostok, Tolyatti, Vologda, Syktyvkar, Saratov, Ulyanovsk, Krasnodar, Yaroslavl, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Volgograd. Einsteinium helps children understand the laws of physics, mathematics, quantum mechanics, chemistry.

Interactive Museum "Galileo" is located in 6 cities: Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara. Programs for children in Galileo are built on the cognitive principle of scientific and educational paradoxes. Pondering paradoxes, children set up experiments, embodying their hypotheses on the interactive exhibits of Galileo.

Science parks are less developed, due to the need for large investments in their construction. The task of science parks, such as Mars-Tefo, Sirius, is to develop the scientific thinking and activity of children through the technology of scientific expeditions. The technology of scientific expeditions puts children in a situation where children need to communicate in a new way: agree on the route of a scientific expedition, enter into a dialogue to solve expeditionary tasks, distribute roles and conduct a dialogue on ways to achieve objectives.

New practices of edutainment centers create a new developmental culture for children: both a new interactive culture and a new culture of education and leisure. In such a culture: a child is an active subject of dialogue, educational, leisure and sociocultural activities. In edutainment centers, through specialized programs, children develop dialogue (communicative) competencies and sociocultural competencies. Development occurs through the inclusion of children in the activities of a multi-ethnic team, endowing them with playing roles of representatives, scientists or politicians, from different countries, different scientific communities or professions. Thus, entering into a multi-position dialogue during the game plot (professional — in the cities of professions, or scientific-research — in science parks and interactive museums), children are immersed in a new dialogue culture and themselves realize a dialogue of cultures.

The rules of the dialogue of cultures and the culture of dialogue in edutainment centers are formed not only for children, but also together with them. It means that, before starting the edutainment program with children, the game engineer discusses how to interact, how to solve possible conflicts, what is the ethics of the dialogue. During the implementation of the edutainment program, the tutor observes communication in a group of children, advises, acts as an intermediary in difficult communication moments of game stories about professions or studies.

Using the method of content analysis, we studied the developmental programs of edutainment centers; using the method of factor analysis we identified the factors that determine the development of dialogue (communicative) and socio-cultural competencies in children.

Edutainment technology is based on such organizational and pedagogical techniques as:

Event-Based Learning, an approach in an organization when the implementation of an edutainment program is built on events. Such events may include research expeditions, scientific or career festivals, intellectual competitions, achievement fairs, etc. Coexistence is realized through the dialogue activity of the game engineer from the edutainment center and children.

Learning Through Storytelling (Gina, 2019), a way to build an edutainment program as a story. The construction of a storytelling plot can be arranged in the form of scripts for comic book expeditions, online correspondence, route task sheets, movie scripts, etc.

Going beyond or overcoming threshold concepts, a pedagogical method that changes the threshold ideas of children through paradoxes, encourages children to look at the problem under study with different eyes (for example, through absurd reasoning to show how chemical and physical processes manifest themselves every day in the kitchen; this technique helps to connect science with practice.

Thematic educational and leisure sessions, a principle in which edutainment programs are built not within the framework of disciplines or subjects, but within the framework of an integral large topic of a thematic session (Brown & Bimrose, 2018); it develops a new culture of dialogue based on interdisciplinary and intersubject communication.

The institutional development of edutainment centers and their geography in Russia are presented in table 1 - Geography and institutional forms of the edutainment industry.

Thus, we can generalize the structure of the development of the edutainment industry and the practices they implement for developing the dialogue (communicative) and sociocultural competencies of children. At the same time, edutainment centers are places of a new culture of dialogue with the child through the initiation of their subjective position, the right to choose a program, choose a game scenario, choose a profession to try, choose a role in a game plot through a dialogue with a tutor-gamer and dialogue reflection with a tutor- game technician.

The culture of dialogue with the child in edutainment centers is based on recognition of the subjective position of the child, respect for the child's choice of ways to achieve the goal.


The dialogue culture of edutainment centers is based on the principles of humanistic anthropology, cultural principles of the dialogue of cultures (age-related cultures, professional cultures, ethnic cultures). These principles form the basis of the development programs at edutainment centers. Edutainment programs develop the dialogue and sociocultural competencies of children through the practical implementation of the above principles, new forms of child development through dialogue with the tutor and gamer in choosing programs, samples of game or research subjects in edutainment centers, dialogue reflection of the results achieved by the child on the edutainment program in dialogue with the tutor-gamer, as well as the creation of navigation along the possible paths of further development of the child through dialogue with a specialist of the edutainment center.

Dialogue (communicative) competencies in edutainment programs include the ability of children to build a dialogue with each other, the ability to discuss problems in a dialogue during a game scenario (career towns) or a research (science parks) scenario of an implemented edutainment program.

Sociocultural competencies in edutainment programs include the ability of children to navigate the world of the culture of professions, science, sociocultural self-determination and make individual choices.

According to the results of edutainment programs implementation, the development of dialogue and socio-cultural competencies of children shows progressive positive dynamics in all respects of dialogue and socio-cultural competencies.

According to the interviewed parents, whose children attend edutainment programs in edutainment centers, the dialogue and sociocultural competencies of children achieved through edutainment programs are demonstrated by the children at home, in the family too. This, in the opinion of the parents, encourages them to change the culture of family education, family life, and to build a dialogue with their children in a new way.

Most countries build a strategy for socio-economic development based on the conceptual idea of ​​ human capital development. The methodology of education and its role in the development of human capital in the context of an open educational space, creating opportunities for self-determination of children and manifesting the subjective position of the child, creating conditions for the development of children's talents, and a culture of dialogue in the children's community are changing.

Cultural evolution is associated with the creation of sociocultural opportunities for the development and realization of human potential.

Over the past decade, sociocultural centers (edutainment centers) have been intensively developing in Russia and in the world: cities of professions (Kidzania, Kidburg, Masterslavl, etc.), interactive museums (Experimentanium, Museum of Living Systems, Einsteinium, Labyrinth, Lunarium, Moebius, Edison- studio, etc.), science parks (Mars-Tefo, Eksplorium Park, Quarki Park, Smart Park, etc.). These new institutional forms create a new developmental environment for children by implementing alternative educational approaches to traditional institutions (schools) based on the principles of self-determination in the space of opportunities, the implementation of subjective choice, testing, creativity in a team of different ages, project activities, and cultural dialogue.

The school as a traditional institution does not cope with the challenges of a changing childhood, requests for the development of future competencies.

Based on the implementation of the priority areas of the Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development of Russia, a search is made for the answers of Russian society to big challenges, taking into account new technologies, social institutions at the present stage of global development using the methods of the humanities and social sciences.

Since sociocultural (edutainment) centers were originally created not as pedagogical practices, the educational and developmental potential has not been fully studied. At the same time, the contribution of edutainment centers to the development of the cultural capital of cities, to the development of innovative infrastructure of cities is one of the indicators of the contribution of creative industries to the development of human capital, as well as in the calculation of world ratings of the Innovation Cities ™ Index 2019 by 2THINKNOW, Creative Capital Index of Russian Cities (2016) and PWC and Сalvert 22 (2018).

Thus, edutainment centers form a new cultural capital — a new generation of children with new dialogue and cultural competencies.

Table 1 -
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Sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, bilingualism, multilingualism

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Fiofanova, K. A. (2020). Development Of Dialogue And Socio-Cultural Competencies Of Children In Russian Megacities Edutainment-Centers. In Е. Tareva, & T. N. Bokova (Eds.), Dialogue of Cultures - Culture of Dialogue: from Conflicting to Understanding, vol 95. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1044-1051). European Publisher.