Wednesday, November 9, 2011


The Gymnasia 1505 is one of the oldest (more than 20 years) and the most advanced secondary education institutions of Moscow. Apart from high quality general secondary education the school specializes in providing the basic knowledge in pedagogical (teachers' training) disciplines. High level of education allows the graduates to pass the exams in the universities successfully (100% result in 2010).

There are 300-400 students in the school. The Gymnasia boasts an interactive/innovative approach conducted on the base of author programs initiated bt the teachers of the Gymnasia. The school is headed by L.N. Naumov - author of a number of books on the History of Russia. One of the teachers - A.I. Molev - was warded "The Best Teacher oif the Year" in Moscow in 2010.

Meeting with the representatives of the District Department of the Ministry of Education of Russia and the principal and faculty of the Gymnasia 1259, which is a "magnet" school for the advanced study of English, Chinese, German, and French. Also joining us were the Deputy Chief of Central District Education of Moscow, Smirnitskaya Marina Vladimorovna, and Deputy Director of the Methodical Center, Cherenkov Maxim Vyacheslavovich.

Olga Semenovna Kruglova spoke extensively about the renovation of the school in central Moscow and the unique atmosphere of the school, the sense of personal competence instilled in teachers and students, and the partnership that has been created with parents, teachers, and the students in the upper school.A dynamic principal who sets high standards, Ms. Kruglova emphasizes the nurturing of intelligent, creative, and innovative thinkers have been working closely for two years in creating an experiential/inquiry-based curriculum aligned with rigorous state/federal standards where pre-primary courses are offered and every first-grader is equipped with a laptop. Took many pictures of classrooms "in action" and where lityeracy in both Russian and English was emphasized from grade 5 - 11th grade. Truly an inspiring experience where Kusnetsova Ludmila Petrovna presented a program where the goal is to keep kids (particularly boys) reading after 3rd grade and building prior knowledge through reading non-fiction. Also had a conversation about what teachers and schools nurture to make sure kids keep reading over the summer holiday.Uniforms, superb behavior, and enthusiasm for achievement were hallmarks of this school.

Also met with Voloshenko Elena Alekseevna at the Kindergarten of the Gymnasium of the Russian Museum ( I could not help but think about Culver-Stockton's Museums as Classrooms Initiative!) This kindergarten is a unique educational establishment. It is a pre-school stage of education at the Gymnasium under the auspices of the Russian State Museum. The Gymnasioum is a unique secondary school as it is a part of educational programs of one of the main galleries of Russia - The State Russian Museum, an art gallery devoted to Russian art. Education in history of art and art education is started very early from kindergarten alongside a regular pre-school education and successively elementary and secondary education.

At 7 years of age, children begin primary school after starting school at the age of 4. They start secondary at 10-11 years of age and finish secondary at age 17-18. The Russian State 90% of the school's budget with 10% the responsibility of parents. Oral literacy emphasis from 4-7 years of age - kinesthetic, musical, and games comprise much of the literacy activities as children learn communication, interactive, and beginning reading skills similar to Chicago's Reading in Motion. The fine arts are an integral/embedded component of the curriculum. I observed lessons in music, art, and oral literacy and had a great time! I'm sure my reading students see here some of the strategies I've been encouraging them to incorporate in their building of s literacy philosophy.

In his book, The Post American World (2008) Fareed Zakaria introduces the reader to a very new time frame as he writes. "This is not a book about the decline of America, but rather about the rise of everyone else." Emerging economies from Brazil to India and from Russia to China are on a steady pace to shift and diversify the full range of economic power points. Zakaria is suggesting that the United States should use its characteristic adaptability and energy to re-create its role in this new time and to thrive!

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting, Terry! Thank you for sharing your experiences with the Culver community.