Reformists vs. Traditionalists

A recent article in The Economist entitled “Reformists and traditionalists are at war over Russian schools” paints a adversarial picture of educationalists in Russia. According to the article, the reformists are promoting student-centered pedagogies, hands-on technological skills, and collaboration to prepare graduates for the modern workplace; the traditionalists, on the other hand, are emphasizing vospitaniye and the classics through more standardized direct instruction.

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The article raises interesting questions for me about the situation in Kazakhstan, a country which often mirrors Russian models of government, education, management, and policy. With so many Kazakhstani educators on this blog, I would be curious to know how they see Kazakhstan’s education in this dichotomy. I know NIS is seen as a reformist force, with its team teaching, project-based learning, IB courses, and criteria based assessment. Are there traditionalist critics out there? Are mainstream schools caught in a tug-of-war about these approaches?

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What are your thoughts?


1 thought on “Reformists vs. Traditionalists

  1. Yes, there are many critics. I met a lot of teachers in my region (South Kazakhstan) who were complaining about incompatibilty of these new reforms (recent updated program) in mainstream schools. Especially, most of them are those teachers who graduated in Soviet times; so far, I have not met any young teacher who says that the updated program is worse than the traditional.


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