A Foreign Country As A Subject Of American Mass Media Discourse

Abstract

This study is the complex research aimed at the analysis of the educational achievements assessment in the dialogue between experts and residents of the International Children Camp Artek. Dialogues of teenagers with teachers and mentors, as parts of the educational programs designed by Artek project office for developing personal competencies of children, have been described and analyzed. The criteria of examination of children educational achievements digital portfolios have been described and analyzed. Types of examination of the educational achievements of children, that are seeking a trip to Artek, in the dialogue with experts have been analyzed: screening examination, accompanying examination when choosing educational programs upon arrival in Artek, consultative examination after the program as expert assistance in the implementation of the project developed in Artek by children. The evaluative research of 423,546 digital portfolios was aimed at the analysis of educational results, personal competencies and the stratification of 4,593,504 sociocultural achievements of children from all regions of Russia. Methods of comparative, quantitative and qualitative analysis, hermeneutical methods of examination, as well as content analysis of digital portfolios were used in the survey. The systematic qualimetric, activity-based, and competency-based approaches became the methodological basis of the examination. The selection mechanisms, tools and operating principles of the automated system for assessing educational results, with the aim of encouraging adolescents with a voucher to the Artek have been described. Evaluative research has shown the effectiveness of educational programs in Artek for improving communication, leadership and cooperation skills among adolescents.

Keywords: Educational dialoguedigital portfoliopersonal competences

Introduction

A unique resource with no analogues worldwide was created in Soviet Russia: the federal centers of Artek, Orlenok, Okean and the system of children camps. This cluster can and should become a valuable element of the modern educational system and a federal instrument for the encouragement of talented teenagers for their sociocultural achievements that motivate younger generation for high educational results. The successful implementation of the National Projects for sustainable development and transition to an innovative economy, approved by the President of Russia, largely depends on modern schoolchildren. Those National Projects, where the main success factor is the human capital and technical advantages, rather than the raw material resources of the country.

Since 2017, the Automated Information System “Putyovka” (hereinafter referred to as AIS) has been launched in order to create an objective mechanism for distribution of trip vouchers to ICC Artek, as a method of encouragement for educational results and sociocultural achievements. With an aim of creating a system for identifying talented and gifted children, and under the Government Decree No. 386 from 10 March 2015, the selection of applicants for a state-funded trips is based on the following principles: encouragement of sociocultural achievements of children; transparency of selection procedure; representation of all social groups.

The automated system has become an interregional mechanism for rating the achievements of teenagers in various fields (science, sport, art and communication), eliminating all biased factors of conflicts of interests of the involved adults.

By the 20th of April 2020 423,546 digital portfolios of applicants for state-funded admission to Artek camp were registered and processed in the system. The automated system keeps the information on 4,593,504 sociocultural achievements of teenagers from 85 regions of the Russian Federation.

Problem Statement

In the modern conditions of rapid digitalization of education, accelerated by the global pandemic, educational dialogues and outcomes are being digitized as well. There is an obvious need to develop new approaches, forms and ways to assess educational results and sociocultural achievements of the younger generation.

Sociocultural development is impossible without accepting spiritual values and moral principles of human relations. "The leading role in sociocultural modernization of the world is played by the so-called post-materialistic values (values of human self-realization and self-development), human capital as the motive power of innovation, the correlation of the population quality and growth of well-being of the people in the country... Positive socialization presupposes supporting sociocultural and friendly family environment, as well as relying on cultural traditions of dignity and humanistic relations" (Asmolov & Guseltseva, 2016, p. 9).

Sociocultural communication between generations determines the development of culture and economy of the country, social background, social norms and experience of interaction with other people. Sociocultural achievements of a teenager become the basis for the development of personal qualities, mastering new types of sociocultural activities, formation of values, development of communicative skills, ability to cooperate and assess themselves within the norms and rules of the society.

According to the Federal State Educational Standard (FSES), the process of sociocultural development is aimed at the formation of an independent and mature person, improvement of all spheres of interests and activities of a teenager and adjustment to the system of values and social norms accepted in the society. The achievement of these goals is possible through the creation of conditions for the development of creative potential and communicative abilities, formation of an active social position, implementation of the principles of humanism and personality oriented education (Vinogradova, 2017).

Research Questions

1) What types of educational data are analyzed and what educational results are evaluated in the digital portfolio of the child through AIS?

2) What methods of analysis of educational data are used in the examination of the digital portfolio?

3) What types and criteria of expertise are used in Artek camp to assess educational achievements? How and in what forms is the dialogue with the participants of educational relations organized whilst analyzing educational achievements?

Purpose of the Study

The examination of digital portfolios rating system of Artek camp residents, stratification of their sociocultural achievements and identification of the potential of the federal hub of digital portfolios, with an aim of efficiency of educational policy improvement.

Research Methods

Examination data:

  • 4,593,504 sociocultural achievements;

  • 423,546 Artek residents digital portfolios.

Methodological framework:

  • Cognitive theory, provisions of system and activity approaches in the cognition of social phenomena;

  • Philosophic and general scientific principles: interrelation of the subject and object, personality and activity, process and result, theory and practice;

  • System, optimization, modular-competent approaches to the object and subject of the study.

Research methods:

  • qualitative-quantitative analysis;

  • comparative analysis;

  • sociological survey;

  • focus group;

  • interview;

  • examination.

Examination methods:

  • Analysis of documents, concepts, projects and programs;

  • Hermeneutical methods (interpretation, modelling).

Here is the explanation for the choice of methods. The digitalization of education is accelerating. The majority of schoolchildren, aiming for high results, are engaged in the creation of their digital bank of achievements. There is a great diversity in the types of digital portfolios: portfolios of grades, processes and competence development. The most popular type is a Showcase - a collection of final artifacts, the best achievements in the areas of interest, projects and other educational results. Portfolio value is determined by the content, that characterizes the number of efforts and the scale of achievements (Mullen & Laurie, 2003). "Personal Success Story" plays an important role in the formation of personal qualities and gives children confidence in their abilities, so it is important to encourage teenagers success using pedagogically appropriate methods and valuable for children encouragement rewards (Tubelsky, 2012).

We determine sociocultural achievement as an acquisition of social status through substantial personal efforts. Encouragement consolidates the achieved results. It is expressed in public recognition by an authority figure or public body. Its social significance is defined by drawing public attention to worthy examples.

Gazman (1995) based his system of pedagogical support on the thesis that children develop more successfully during socialization, which promotes the acceptance of socially approved values and behavioral patterns. Therefore, the criteria of encouragement for sociocultural achievements should reveal the children potential and guide them in their self-development, acting as a navigator.

This examination is a survey aimed at obtaining the valid data on the problems raised above as a means of supporting and managing educational innovation in the form of a federal database of digital portfolios of schoolchildren. Openness to all research methods and methodical tolerance is what distinguishes educational expertise, so we can name it Evaluative Research (American Evaluation Association, 2004).

The choice of the right criteria is initial in Evaluative Research (Scriven, 1991). So expert actions were aimed at defining criteria and directions for the expert evaluation. It is advisable to carry out the examination in 3 fields:

  • Examination of selection procedures: how and by what criteria the digital portfolio is analyzed, how the rating of the candidate for a state-funded trip is formed, how equal opportunities are ensured.

  • Examination of developing scenarios of educational events in Artek camp: thematic partner programs and educational projects of Artek, developing personal competences of children.

  • Examination of perspective support: a comparative analysis of the sociocultural achievements of a child before coming to the Artek camp and its educational results in the Artek camp programs provide the basis for designing possible post-Artek educational trajectories of development.

The methodological basis for each of the above-mentioned directions requires some explanation.

Examination of selection procedures: system-methodological approach, methods of quantitative and qualitative analysis of educational data, “methods of “in-memory-analysis” in the study of digital footprints, analytic and statistic methods of research of Intelligent Tutoring System; methods of analysis of digital services and data analysis of Learning Management System)" (Fiofanova, 2020a).

The commincation of Artek camp residents with teenagers, their parents, teachers and representatives of education departments regarding selection procedures of digital portfolios have been organized mainly online. For a qualitative analysis of educational data, it is advisable to identify the range of the most encouraged sociocultural achievements as the main accents of the educational policy. During the creation of AIS, the following preliminary steps were taken:

  • Content analysis of the regulatory and legal framework of the Russian Federation to determine target system goals and priority directions of the development of the country (FSES, Concept of the Federal Target Program for Education Development, National Project "Education", Strategy of Innovative Development of the Russian Federation, Concept of Development of Extended Education);

  • Diagnostic research and focus groups of main participants of the educational process (children, parents and the teaching community) to identify main types of sociocultural achievements through the prism of their opinions;

Dialogues, to identify the main areas and types of sociocultural achievements, as most meaningful from the point of view of the participants, were organized in the form of full-time, part-time and distance learning. Educational results in the following activities were considered most valuable:

  • education and science;

  • culture and art;

  • sports;

  • social activities.

Improving the quality of educational outcomes is a system priority of educational policy. We mean not only individual educational results, but also qualitative characteristics of the territory and equality of opportunities for all children. "Faith in equal opportunities for children and equal relations between children and adults is a necessary condition for the normalization of pedagogical life... Adults open up the possibility and necessity of children initiative, thus ensuring the possibility of cooperation (including educational) and resolving the main contradiction of current relations, when educational efforts of children are killed by adults themselves" (Shuleshko, 2015, p. 10).

To create equal conditions for participants, who study in different educational environments, a settlement type coefficient has been introduced. Urbanization is an advantage for candidates from bigger cities and is represented in the number of activities available (competitions, contests, festivals, clubs, art studios), compared to the opportunities for candidates from smaller settlements. The correlation between children success and their place of residence has been confirmed by many studies. Children living in cities have a wide range of possible options for the realization of their abilities. It allows them to dip one's toe in different areas of activity and take part in federal and international competitions.

On the basis of the above-said, in order to objectively measure the amount of efforts of a teenager at each sociocultural achievement, the following corrective coefficients were introduced:

  • scale of achievements: international, all-Russian, interregional, regional, city, district;

  • settlement type: regional center, city, town, village.

Thus, to examine the selection procedure, 2 main criteria have been defined:

  • Sphere of sociocultural achievements in the digital portfolio;

  • Corrective coefficients.

Examination of developing scenarios of educational events in Artek camp is based on methods of revealing connections (Fiofanova, 2020b) and empirical methods of evaluative research: experiment, observation and comparative research. It involves methodical evaluation of thematic partner programs and Artek camp educational projects that develop the personal competencies of children.

Dialogues between children and Artek teachers, mentors, representatives of thematic partners, that provide educational activities, are countless. The accompanying educational communications begin as soon as children arrive to the Artek camp:

  • Acquaintance with possible profile programs (focus group, interview);

  • Sphere of interest and choice of additional education programs (sociological survey);

  • Determining the personal trajectory of education (modeling);

  • Excursions, thematic lessons, quizzes, contests etc.

The design of educational activities in Artek is determined by age, interests, level of personal abilities and competences of children. Constant communication, that updates the initial information, allows the educators to make sure that they provide the right level of the challenge - "beyond what the young person can do by him or herself and just within what he/she can do with support" (Smith et al., 2016, p. 20).

Principles of educational dialogues organization and personal trajectories of development:

  • Combination of individual and group educational activities: different individual programs are supplemented/intersected in different project groups (Soares et al., 2017);

Combination of soft skills and hard skills. Understanding how various skills are connected and how they strengthen one another allow creation of programs on interrelated skills while performing a specific task. Developers of programs should consider it throughout the program (Global Partnership for Youth Employment (GPYE) World Bank (IBRD), International Youth Foundation (IYF), 2014). Key words of soft skills are introduced and added throughout the program in a cyclical sequence, that offers many chances to practice the same skills in different contexts or phases of activities (Smith et al., 2016);

  • Partnership, in which teenagers are perceived as equal partners, allow them to try out new activities and roles (Search Institute, 2014). Such programs should include educators, who are sensitive to the reality of children, and who interact with them in a positive and respectful manner (Miller, 2005).

According to the conceptual ideas of examination of educational innovations, the examination of perspective support uses methods of comparative analysis and modeling (Prozumentova, 2007).

Educational activities should be paired with reflection (“meaning-making”) in which youth describe what they understand, evaluate their performance or choice, connect that experience to what they already know, and envision opportunities for the future (Nagaoka et al., 2015).

Comparative analysis of sociocultural achievements of children before coming to Artek and their educational results in Artek programs are the basis for designing possible post-Artek educational trajectories of development. Shortage of home territory possibilities can be filled up by dialogues with mentors, recommended by “Artek” from its resources, or experts from thematic partners. Dialogues with experts have a consultation character.

Findings

The empirical research has demonstrated the current context of sociocultural achievements:

  • initiative, cognitive and social engagement;

  • ability to create in collaboration and cooperate effectively;

  • independent thinking and effective performance.

Analysis and interpretation of the results of the sociological survey determined criteria and indicators of educational results acquired in Artek:

1) Motivation for educational achievements, indicator – an increase of cognitive interest of adolescents;

2) Ability to cooperate, indicator - group cohesion index;

3) Practice orientation, indicator - extrapolation of knowledge.

Within 3 years of global communication the hub of the federal scale, which was created for encouraging children by selection to ICC Artek, became a unique database of digital portfolios of talented schoolchildren in Russia. ICC Artek rates the sociocultural achievements from different areas of teenagers life.

AIS composing principals:

  • availability;

  • transparency;

  • competitive selection.

System characteristics:

  • automatization of the selection process,

  • minimization of the human factor on the impact of candidate selection,

  • greater transparency of selection process,

  • normalization of parameters of different social groups (considering relative indicators).

Results of the selection procedures examination

The hardware complex provides processing of information: indicators measured in points and assigning a personal rating (integral score) of each candidate in any context (age, gender, social status).

The examination of the digital portfolio of children was carried out according to 3 criteria:

  • sociocultural achievements;

  • scale correction factor;

  • urbanization correction factor.

According to sociocultural achievements, the educational results of the portfolio were distributed in the following way:

  • Education and science - 45.5% (2,087,644 achievements): winners and awardees of municipal, regional, interregional, all-Russian and International Olympiads and contests.

  • Culture and art – 26.7% (1,227,163 achievements): winners and awardees of municipal, regional, interregional, all-Russian and international creative competitions, festivals, exhibitions.

  • Sports - 21% (964,417 achievements): winners and awardees of municipal, regional, interregional, All-Russian and international competitions, sports and mass events, including applied sports.

  • Public activity - 6.8% (314,280 achievements): leaders and activists of youth organizations and movements not below the district level; schoolchildren who are authors of socially significant projects; children who have distinguished in socially useful activities, including volunteers who have earned awards for their work in the social sphere.

The "Other" section brings together achievements for which there are no awards, certificates or diplomas. To measure this kind of sociocultural achievements the following principals were taken into account:

  • Leader qualities (leadership of the sports team, School Council etc.), considering the scale of influence (city, region, republic);

  • Social activities (volunteer work, organization of socially important events), considering the scale of events.

AIS take into account of each type of achievement (for example, the importance coefficient of a letter of commendation from international competition is 2 times more than a letter of commendation from a national scale, and the importance coefficient of a letter of commendation from a school is 4 times less than a letter from a national exhibition).

Statistic and analytic data of the examination allow controlling costs and adjusting educational policy in a region. For example, funds spent in 2019 on the development of sports in Samara region and the resource remained after the World Cup have no increase in the number of sports achievements among adolescents. In St. Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia, sports achievements prevail over cultural ones. Thanks to the innovative resource, the region sees the real scale of sociocultural achievements of children and has the opportunity to certify events and achievements, and the aspects of the educational programs implementation, the connection between funding of a certain profile of activity of educational, cultural, sports institutions, the real sociocultural achievements of children become more obvious.

The availability of the unified sociocultural events information base will make possible the creation of a federal register as well as the improvement the rating system quality.

Examination of developing scenarios is aimed at analyzing individual trajectories of participants of educational events, using Artek own and attracted resources in the form of thematic partners (94 partners in 2020). Educational programs of various fields (technical, natural science, art, physical culture and sports, social and pedagogical) are competitively selected.

The interdependence of goals, content and organization of educational events with the context of life, traditions and moral values of adults and children in Artek "emphasizes not only abilities of children but also their capabilities. This arrangement of accents defines a democratic and open to a variety of perspectives style of implementing a sociocultural approach" (Tsirulnikov, 2017, p. 7).

Considering proposed by thematic partners, and taking into account the psychological characteristics and logic of the development of children's temporary groups, Artek project office develops program using the technology of sociocultural design (Tsirulnikov, 2017) and the technology of the educational network (Tsirulnikov, 2012). Educational projects serve as a resource and tool for solving practical problems of the Artek community “where children and adults live through joint emotional experience" (Slobodchikov, 2010). Teachers provide an interaction network and a wide variety of creative in-group activities. A teenager chooses a program of interest and takes part in proposed educational events. Interaction of various cultural and educational initiatives, with their features, diversity of participants from different regions of Russia, and foreign countries induce the creation of various sociocultural dialogues. In this saturated sociocultural educational space children acquire and improve personal competences. Educational achievements of children are marked with new certificates, diplomas, and medals that add to their portfolios.

It should be noted that there are certain deficiencies and contradictions in the interaction with thematic partners. More than 1/3 of the thematic partners (35%) offer Artek residents educational programs of artistic orientation, which is just 1 of 6 types of programs provided in Artek. This disbalance contradicts the Government focus on the innovative economy, which in 10 years will hugely rely on the human resource of modern teenagers.

The smallest number is 11.7% of partner organizations, which implement programs of technical orientation (11.7% of total). These small figures are partially compensated by the state and international reputation of industrial corporations: Roskosmos, Russian Railways, Rosatom, United Aircraft Corporation etc.

The value of cooperation with them lies in the possibility of using their vast resources. For example, educational dialogues between children and spacemen during a session of direct communication with the on-orbit International Space Station, or live dialogues with real spacemen in Artek have the highest educational results. Such meetings and dialogues with "distinguished adults", whether they are astronauts, sportsmen, actors, directors or teachers, which happened in Artek have formed personal competences, activated life resources and determined the choice of profession for many children.

Examination of advanced /perspective/ support implies the design of possible post-Artek educational trajectories of development. It should be noted that during this period, the Artek+ online communities provide only emotional support after returning home. This is confirmed by numerous digital traces and dialogues of Artek residents on web-forums, chat rooms and different social networks.

A new perspective for the development of constructive communications of the post-Artek educational trajectory is possible when teenager identifies a perspective project, in which he or she will be remotely assisted by mentors through a navigation sheet or periodic project sessions. Such "social elevator" will provide professional support to children from sparsely populated areas with low resources and compensate teenager deficits.

Conclusion

Thus, 3 types of examination of educational data of Artek residents are described: digital portfolios, dialogue regulations and the new methods of assessment in the form of expert methods. As well as sociocultural achievements of teenagers have been stratified; the peculiarities of educational results have been analyzed, deficits have been identified and directions of regional educational policies have been marked.

The rating system for evaluating of digital portfolios of Artek residents solves the problem of the lack of an objective and transparent federal mechanism of children encouragement, processes and stores information about the sociocultural achievements of the participants, makes it possible to calculate a federal rating for each individual and serves as a database of digital portfolios of talented teenagers from all regions of the Russian Federation. The system for evaluating digital portfolios minimizes two possible conflicts - the human factor with subjective attitude and blocks the corruption component in the distribution of state-funded trips to ICC Artek, that should serve as an encouragement for leaders with high educational results.

Artek dialogues take place in a pedagogically correct educational environment. ICC Artek inevitably becomes a powerful stimulus for the development of all participants of Artek educational programs. Communication and joint scientific, sports and creative activities of representatives from all regions of Russia contribute to the establishment of strong inter-ethnic and inter-linguistic ties of younger generation and stimulate productive communications of representatives of different cultures. International sessions in Artek motivate important peacekeeping activities of teenagers in the framework of the UN Children Assembly. Such international activities lay the foundation for tolerant, respectful and equal communications of the multicultural world. The program motivates adolescents to develop personal educational trajectories and new sociocultural achievements.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

20.11.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.11.03.46

Online ISSN

2357-1330