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Article

Российская школа: альтернатива модернизации сверху

Вопросы образования. 2011. № 3. С. 5-54.

Russian school: an alternative to modernization from above. The current paper is concerned with an analysis of main challenge to contemporary school education and of examples of good responses to these challenges in different countries. The authors use results of international surveys of quality of education and comparative educational research to discuss competitive advantages of Russian educational system and its potential for development. Current school system in Russia can be attributed to the «fair» one according to the classification of McKinsey&Company. There are different strategies to reach the «good» or «great» level. Changing the whole system and elimination of a backlog were very popular in post-soviet Russia. These strategies use administration as a primary resource. They are very expensive, insensitive to local features of the system and contribute to the accumulation of «fatigue of changes». There is another possible strategy - development of strengths. This scenario implies successful initiative and interest of researchers, teachers and schools as the main sources of changes. This approach can be called «humanitarian modernization of education». The authors discuss possibilities of using this strategy and a set of measures which are necessary to consolidate and to use the competitive advantages of Russian educational system.