All posts by zhuldyz1003

Questioning a well-being of children raised by grandparents

In this post I would like to share with you my thoughts concerning children raised by grandparents. In other words, why some children are raised by grandparents, and how it influences those children.

It is true that in some families children may spend more time with their grandparents than they do with their parents. Some parents are forced by different circumstances to send their child to their grandparents for a long period of time. These circumstances may include financial pressure, career aspirations, housing issues, lack of availability of kindergartens or others. As a result, parents might need to make a heart-breaking decision to separate themselves from their kid for some time. Such decision may have both positive and negative outcomes. From the one hand, it might be beneficial to be raised by grandparents as they can provide “a loving, familial home environment” and close ties to family for their grandchildren (Edwards & Daire, 2006, n.p.). Grandparents may also teach grandchildren wisdom, patience, hard work, care, and many things about life that they have seen and learnt. On the other hand, it might be stressful both for parents and children to be separated from each other, and might even affect a psychological well-being of a child. For instance, depending on the age of the child, he/she may not recognize their parents, be hurt to be away, and even feel some offense towards their parents. It might be easier to overcome this period if the distance is not so long, and parents often visit their child. Unfortunately, sometimes parents are not able to visit their child as many times as they want to due to long distance or other obstacles. And they may not see each other for a year or more.

Moreover, there are cases when grandparents own or adopt their grandchildren. Such tradition exists in a number of Kazakh families. Grandparents would usually adopt their oldest grandchild. Such adopted grandchildren may or may not be aware that the people whom they call uncle/aunt are in fact their biological parents. Such decision is usually made by grandparents. Some grandparents choose not to tell the truth. It might be easier for the child who knows about his/her biological parents to accept them and be close to his/her siblings, whereas the ones who are not aware usually find it hard to accept their parents and siblings and be close to them when they reveal the truth. For these children their parents and siblings are no closer than any other relative in their family. As a result, both the child and parents may suffer.

Having read a few articles related to the US context on child’s psychological functioning raised by grandparents, I’ve found out that, although, many kids raised by grandparents “enjoy favorable functioning, others experience significant school-adjustment difficulties” (Edwards, 2009, p. 128). Moreover, research revealed that these children “often encounter behavioral, emotional, and academic problems at school, and the problems they experience indicate these children require intervention assistance from psychologists, school counselors, and other school professionals” (Edwards & Daire, 2006, n.p.).

This made me think about this issue. I started to wonder if this can be true in our context. I would be really interested if any of you know research-evidenced data on Kazakhstani children raised by grandparents and their school-adjustment process. If you also haven’t come across such study, what’s your personal attitude towards the children being raised by grandparents?


Edwards, O. W., & Daire, A. P. (2006). School-age children raised by their grandparents: Problems and solutions. Journal of Instructional Psychology,33(2), 113. Retrieved from:

Edwards, O. W. (2009). Empirical investigation of the psychosocial functioning of children raised by grandparents. Journal of Applied School Psychology,25(2), 128-145. Retrieved from:

Is collegial model applicable to Kazakhstani educational context?

In the discussion to follow I would like to share my opinion about the applicability of collegial model to Kazakhstani educational context. For my groupmates from HE cohort this topic might seem as one of the topics which we already discussed, although, I hope that both our peers from other cohorts and my groupmates will have thoughts to add to the topic. As a person who is interested in pursuing a career in education I’m interested to find out more about the realities of Kazakhstani educational context as my experience in the field is somewhat limited.

We had a very interesting discussion in our Educational leadership, change and management class about applicability of the three models by Bush (2011), namely, political, formal, and collegial, to Kazakhstani context. Before I go further, let me give short definitions of each model.

According to Bush (2011) collegial model can be defined as the model in which organizations make decisions on the basis of discussion with members of the organization “leading to consensus” (p. 72). In other words, power to make decisions is shared among all members of the organizations.

Political models emphasize the importance of “negotiation and bargaining” process in making decisions (Bush, 2011, p. 99). It is assumed that organization members form groups which are engaged in activities depending on their interests (Bush, 2011, p. 99).

Formal models apply to hierarchical systems which promote the “authority” of leadership and the “official structure” of the organization (Bush, 2011, pp. 40-41). More specifically, organizations are considered to have a hierarchical structure in which the head is the central figure, possessing formal authority over other members of the organization (Bush, 2011, p. 41).

The majority of our group was in agreement that some kind of “hybrid” model would work best for Kazakhstan. Despite the fact that it might seem that Kazakhstani context is not yet ready to pure collegiality, I strongly believe that the reform initiatives of Kazakhstani government on granting autonomy to education institutions and introducing shared governance system can be successfully implemented if collegial model is gradually introduced in academic organizations. This way leaders will be able to benefit from the expert knowledge of the faculty and acknowledge their needs as well as the needs of students, as faculty are the ones who do research and teach, not the leaders. As it was emphasized by Altbach (2011) faculty are the heart of academic organizations.

Moreover, I had an experience of working with leaders practicing both formal and collegial models. Interestingly, when you work under the formal model you get used to your role of an executor where your boss is the central figure who decides everything and you don’t need or can’t take charge and responsibility to change something. In other words, you are comfortable with your role and don’t strive to change or improve anything in the organization. I feel less devotion to the mission of the organization with this model, because your boss, rules, and instructions seem to have more importance than the organization as such. I also met some leaders who pretended to practice collegial model, but not in reality. More specifically, they would ask for your opinion just to make an impression that your opinion is valuable, but in most cases your opinion is not taken into account when making final decisions. I noticed that the majority of staff members became discouraged by this because they didn’t feel the value of their contribution.  Whereas with the collegial model I noticed positive influence on my work performance and responsibility as I had so much trust and freedom in organizing my work and I clearly felt that my participation and opinion are important for the unit. And I can initiate changes if necessary. This way I noticed that not only me, but my colleagues became devoted to their work and the unit. The work atmosphere was encouraging and motivating.

At the same time, with so many changes happening to the education system in Kazakhstan, it is important to consider their process of implementation in places. Change is a painful process, especially when it is not “owned” by the organization members (Bush, 2011, p. 59). In my opinion, the successful implementation of the reform initiatives of the Kazakhstani government is not possible with the current formal model practiced in most universities. It may lead to failure of reforms, because participants may not be committed to these changes. It is crucial to consider the realities to ensure the successful implementation of these reforms which is not possible to achieve with “top-down” approach (Bush, 2011, p. 59). Collegial model will help to acknowledge the needs of the major customers including teachers and students, and will help to adapt the reforms accordingly.

To conclude, I would like to add that there is no best single model that suits all organizations. It depends on many factors including the type of the organization, staff, aims, and other. Therefore, the leadership should consider all factors when choosing the model and the approach. However, in my opinion, the education system of Kazakhstan could benefit from implementing collegial model.

What about you? Do you agree that the collegial model is applicable to our education system? How do you see this working in practice?


Altbach, P.G. (2011). The past, present and future of the research university. Economic &         Political Weekly, 46 (16), 65-73.

Bush, T. (2011). Formal models. Theories of educational leadership and management (pp. 40-   71). SAGE Publications.

Bush, T. (2011). Collegial models. Theories of educational leadership and management (pp. 72-            95). SAGE Publications.

Bush, T. (2011). Political models. Theories of educational leadership and management (pp. 99-  123). SAGE Publications.