The article is devoted to the peculiarities of the formation of a social demand for additional education in rural areas. The importance of meeting the social demand when introducing an personified (individual) accounting system is emphasized. The study found that rural children, having approximately the same amount of free time compared to their urban peers, are less engaged in additional education and self-education. When formulating an order for additional education, actors (subjects) pay attention to the number and sufficiency of institutions, areas of activity and programs offered to children. The lack of institutions and areas of additional education is partially compensated by non-formal forms of education. When determining the list of programs in demand, the problem of reduced motivation of children was identified, which is reflected in the demand for programs. The opinions of respondents about the importance of additional education are systematized. Children put the process and forms of organizing activities in the first place, parents put the satisfaction of interest and results at the forefront, teachers – the possibility of personal development. The opinions of respondents on the importance of the personality of a teacher in additional education are presented. The article analyzes how the assessment of the importance of additional education for a child changes depending on their age. Disagreements in the positions of the actors can cause difficulties in the formation of demand for additional education.
The social demand for additional education determines the content and serves as a criterion for assessing the quality of its results. Social actors (children, parents, the public, employers, public organizations, the state), providing the system of additional education with certain resources, using its services, are interested in the results and determine the directions of development.
According to Khomenko (2006) most of the confrontations between family and education stems from the fact that the activities of an educational institution or a teacher do not meet the expectations of parents. Without the study and formation of social demand, this imbalance will persist, and the expectations of a family and society will not be satisfied.
With the introduction of the personified accounting system, the dependence of additional education on the social demand of the subjects has increased. New organizations are emerging to provide additional educational services. These are schools, commercial organizations, individual entrepreneurs who have obtained a license for additional education, who are interested in attracting and retaining the contingent of students. They need to know the educational guidelines and requests of their customers in order to timely create the necessary conditions, select pedagogical support, and offer demanded programs.
Specialists in pedagogy, psychology, sociology, marketing investigate the problems of research and the formation of social demand for non-formal and additional education. Factors influencing satisfaction with non-formal education are studied by He et al. (2018) in the USA; the content received informally and in remote form is explored by Rehm et al. (2018); activity of older people in continuing education in Thailand is analyzed by Dhirathiti and Pichitpatja (2018). Russian scientists Builova and Klenova (2018), Zolotariova and Sukhanova (2013) contributed to the development of basic concepts, tasks, functions, structure elements, and the methodology for forming a social order. The relationship between personal orientation towards education and the degree of a person's need for additional educational services is revealed in works by Lavruhina (2015). Lekomzeva and Sukhanova (2012) and Skudareva (2015) are engaged in the problems of individual expectations in the context of social demand for education; they also analyze the experience of studying social order for additional education in the regions of the country. Human intelligence in the context of continuous education and the conditions for its formation is considered by Pushkarev and Pushkareva (2017).
The social demand for additional education has specific characteristics in different settings and among different population groups (Ebert & Freibichler, 2017). With a significant number of works devoted to this topic, the issue of the features of the social demand remains insufficiently studied. Most of the works are devoted to the study of this problem in urban areas. It is rather difficult to draw objective conclusions about consumer satisfaction with the organization of additional education in rural areas, therefore the authors set themselves the task of finding answers to the following questions:
- What are the opportunities to meet the demand for additional education of rural children?
- What are the features of the social order for additional education in rural areas?
- What is the significance of additional education for children and parents living in rural areas?
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the article is to identify the characteristics of the demand for additional education of rural children and their parents.
In accordance with the stated objective, the following methods were used in the study:
- analysis, synthesis, generalization and systematization of theoretical materials and available experience on the research topic;
- focus group, questionnaires, interviews, conversations, observations;
- processing and interpretation of the results obtained
The study, which took place in 2019 in the Yaroslavl region, attracted 333 respondents (156 children, 139 parents and 38 teachers), who represented rural educational organizations of various conditions of functioning (full-time school, complex school, basic school, small school, school with a preschool group).
Using the term "social order/demand for additional education" we mean the totality of educational and related requests and requirements that are presented by social subjects (actors) to the education system.
Children need free time to study additional programs, so school children and their parents have to allocate hours for additional classes in the child's general time budget. 38.2% of schoolchildren and 57.8% of parents say that children have 4-5 hours of free time. Almost a quarter of children (22.4%) and 39.1% of parents define 2-3 hours of free time, and 23.8% of children say that they have 3-4 free hours. The amount of free time of rural children is comparable to the amount of free time of their urban peers, but in rural areas a smaller number of schoolchildren are engaged in additional education (4.2% of all surveyed children). This is confirmed by comparison with data from other studies (Kosaretsky et al., 2016). At the same time, children and parents are ready to devote part of their time to additional education, but their opinion on the amount of time required for additional classes differs from the ideas of urban areas residents. About 41% of rural parents and teachers believe that 2-3 hours a week can be allocated for additional education of children, and 30.1% of parents and 13.6% of teachers think that 1 hour a week is enough. Urban parents believe that additional education should take up from 2 to 5 hours of 2-3 lessons per week (Zolotariova & Sukhanova, 2013).
Currently, the potential of a rural child's free time for education is not used. Children “go for walks a lot” (mentioned by 45.3% of children and 31.7% of parents), play (11.1% and 26.8%), watch TV (8.4% and 18.3%) and engage in various hobbies (8.4% and 5.1%). The total share of children engagement in supplementary education is small (according to 4.2% of children and 13.6% of teachers), most of the programs are traditional for rural areas and have a sports and regional history focus. Less than 1% of students study pre-vocational educational programs, 1.3% of children are engaged in self-education.
In the countryside, there is a mixture of formal and non-formal spheres of education, and it is important to find mechanisms that integrate them. Rural children spend time in voluntary associations, patriotic clubs, forestry areas, volunteer groups, considering this additional education, although formally this is not the case.
In the course of the study, the areas of additional education in demand were identified. These are technical (construction and robotics), sports (swimming, gymnastics, chess), artistic (dancing, playing musical instruments, drawing, theatrical art), tourism and local history. The problem of insufficient motivation of children for additional activities was revealed. The parents' request turned out to be more diverse than that of the children: parents offered 16 different programs, and children offered 12 programs, and 73.1% of schoolchildren noted that there are enough programs.
Parents spoke about an increase in the number of organizations providing additional education services, or an increase in the number of directions in already operating organizations. In the opinion of 62.88% of the respondents, there should be so many organizations that everyone who wants to can join an additional educational program; 61.85% of parents noted the importance of meeting the interests and needs of children; 17.52% – development of children's worldview; 10.3% – the opportunity to choose programs. Parents noted as a positive fact that the schools in which classes on additional education programs are held is transport accessible, and the conditions for teaching children are familiar.
Assessing additional education, children, parents and teachers highlight different aspects of its importance. Parents (27.4%) and children (38.2) believe that it is important to learn new things. Students (21.4%) like the activity and forms of study, the interests of 15.4% of children are satisfied. The opportunity to communicate was noted by 11.0% of parents and 4.1% of children. An insignificant part of parents believe that additional education is an opportunity to have a rest (6.9%). It is important that teachers note the possibility of gaining experience in overcoming difficulties (26.4%), self-manifesting and self-developing (8.4%). Unfortunately, only 5.4% of children and 1.4% of parents noticed the importance of additional education for professional self-determination. An analysis of the research results shows that additional education in the rural areas fulfills the tasks of the general development of children to a greater extent than the development of individual creative abilities.
Comparison of the subjects' answers about the importance of additional education showed a discrepancy in the opinions of children, parents and teachers, which may also affect decision-making when choosing programs. It is important for parents to see the results of a child's mastering additional programs that will be useful in the future. Among school children, only senior school students think about this. Children see attractiveness in activities and a variety of forms, but parents do not take this into account.
Teachers (20.2%) believe that personality of a program manager is important for attracting children to classes. Only 1.4% of parents took a note of this, children did not mention it at all. Differences of opinion indicate that educators overestimate their role or that parents and children underestimate the role of educators (Donovan & Cannon, 2018). In rural areas, additional programs are taught mainly by school teachers, and parents would like their children to learn from additional education specialists (Rubenstein et al., 2018). In other studies, on the contrary, the professionalism and high personal qualities of rural teachers are noted (Baiborodova & Lushnikova, 2019).
According to the results of the study, it was revealed how the assessments of various aspects of the importance of additional education change depending on the age of the students (Table 01). The greatest numbers of attractive characteristics of additional education are mentioned by 9-11 year olds. They have an interest in new knowledge obtained through various forms of activity. Schoolchildren are ready to overcome difficulties, in additional education they need to be provided with a variety of choices and changeable types of activity and content.
Younger adolescents of 12-13 years old are mainly focused on cognitive interest; in that age the need for communication increases. Older students (14-16 years old) have a desire to express themselves, get results, focus on personal interests (Osipenko, 2017). The results of the analysis of preferences in the importance of additional education should be taken into account when organizing informational and motivational support for additional education.
The research has shown that rural children are often independent in choosing additional education programs. There are cases when decisions are made together by parents and children, or the choice is made for the child by the parent. Half of the parents admit that they accept the child's decision. There are cases (about 2% of children and parents) when a parent insists on choosing a particular program. Educators believe that parents and children are influenced by the opinions and choices of other students. Senior school students choose supplementary education programs based on their professional plans (Ning & Downing, 2010).
The material and technical equipment of additional programs affects the choice of the program. Half of the parents believe that the additional programs in the school environment are sufficiently equipped. A significant part of children (75.0%) are satisfied with the equipment status of additional education, but satisfaction with resources decreases with the age of students.
In rural areas, students receive additional education services mainly at school. The offer of additional education programs is very limited. Children often do not have the opportunity to choose the desired additional education program.
Analysis of the data obtained allows us to identify the reasons for the low level of engagement of rural children with additional education:
- inconsistency in the views of children and parents on additional education;
- underestimation by the subjects of the importance of additional education for the development and future education of children;
- a limited choice of additional education programs provided;
- insufficient number of organizations and teachers of additional education.
It is important to take into account the obtained results and the indicated reasons when forming social demand for additional education, which will improve its quality and availability.
Revealing the demand should be interconnected with motivating and stimulating the subjects of the educational process to acquire additional education. Differences in views on the importance of additional education of children and parents, their underestimation and unawareness of important educational and developmental resources of additional education, difficulties in forming demand for it require purposeful pedagogical work with the subjects of education. There is a need to search for forms, mechanisms and approaches that will make additional education for rural children more accessible and attractive.
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15 July 2021
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Globalization, digital education, leadership, challenges of the time, оn-line pedagogy, universal and national values
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Bayborodova, L., Dandanova, S., & Lushnikova, T. (2021). Social Demand For Additional Education Of Rural Children. In A. G. Shirin, M. V. Zvyaglova, O. A. Fikhtner, E. Y. Ignateva, & N. A. Shaydorova (Eds.), Education in a Changing World: Global Challenges and National Priorities, vol 114. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 359-365). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.07.02.42