Skip to main content

Teachers criticized the officials’ recommendations for distance learning: “You can’t teach this way”

The Ministry of Education has published recommendations for schools on organizing a distance student. In particular, the department invites educational institutions to use various models of hybrid education, including in the case when some of the students are at home, and some are in the classroom. In addition, officials advise to conduct online lessons only in the most difficult disciplines. The rest of the subjects are recommended to be studied in an asynchronous order, when the teacher sends the assignment, and the student completes it. MK asked the teachers themselves what they thought about the new recommendations.

During the pandemic, the ministry suggested that educational institutions use a hybrid teaching format for students in grades 5-8 and 10 according to one of four models. For the rest of the students, it is proposed to use full-time education or alternation of full-time and distance learning.

In the hybrid learning model, the teacher is at school and the children are at home, for example, if one of the classes is quarantined. The second model assumes that the teacher teaches from home, and the children study at school under the supervision of a volunteer; this option is implemented in cases where the teacher is at risk. The third situation is that the teacher and some of the children are in the classroom, while the other part of the students works from home. This can happen if the children are quarantined after a trip, or the illness of a family member, or when someone’s parents wrote an application for transfer to telecommuting. And, finally, in the fourth model, a part of the students are at school together with the tutor, and the teacher and the second half of the class go to the lessons from the computer.

“The biggest questions are raised by the third model proposed by officials,” says geography teacher Alexander Popov. – The problem is that the teacher is not able to fully work with children in person and remotely at the same time. When such a model is implemented, neither one nor the other gets normal knowledge. It is clear that officials want to simultaneously please parents on opposite sides of the barricades, those who are in favor of a point and those who are in favor of distancing during the pandemic. But in practice, nothing good will come of this idea, the teacher cannot burst.

In its recommendations, the Ministry of Education gives a transcript of distance and e-learning. Distance assumes a lesson in real time. In e-learning, the teacher directs students to assignments for independent work, and then controls its implementation. Schools are encouraged to schedule their timetables so that half of the lessons are in one form and half in another. Officials advise remotely to conduct classes in subjects with a high grade of difficulty. For secondary school, this includes mathematics (algebra and geometry), chemistry, physics, biology, foreign and Russian languages.

“If you follow the recommendations of officials, it turns out that remotely studying such important subjects as literature, history and geography can be left to chance,” says Natalya Smirnova, a teacher of Russian and literature. – If online training lasts a couple of weeks, you can still survive, but in some regions children are already studying remotely for the second month, and there is no end in sight. In our school, part of the lessons in each discipline is transferred to electronic format. For example, I teach 2 literature lessons online in real time, and instead of the third, I give independent work that needs to be sent by e-mail. But even with this approach, the quality of education decreases, we lag behind the program, children perceive information worse. If we follow the orders of the Ministry, we will simply lose knowledge of the subjects. In addition, there will be an inequality between teachers – why some should fully teach lessons, while others only send and check assignments?

When determining the duration of the lessons that take place online, the Ministry recommends following the SanPiN norms. In accordance with them, the maximum duration of one lesson for students in grades 5-6 is 30 minutes, and for students in 7-11 grades – 35 minutes.

– It is impossible to fully complete the program even with a reduced time of lessons at a distance, – Andrey Nikolaevich, a mathematics teacher, is sure. – I teach in specialized mathematics classes, their program is complex. In the lesson, especially for 6th graders, it takes about five minutes only for all the children to enter the conference and turn on the cameras. At the same time, in the recommendations, teachers are also encouraged to interrupt so that the children do warm-up and visual gymnastics. If you follow all the rules, at best 20 minutes remain from the lesson. It is important to understand that it takes a lot of time for children to independently analyze a misunderstood topic. Most of them are looking for information on the Internet, and as a result, they sit behind the screen for longer than in the case of a full analysis of the material in an online lesson. And the participation of parents in teaching children with reduced classes is also increasing, I do not think that many will like it.

Russian teachers were crushed with a lethal tool

The term “resentment” has been known in science for a long time, since the time of Nietzsche. It means a feeling of hostility to what the subject considers the reason for his failures (“the enemy”), impotent envy, a painful awareness of the futility of attempts to raise his status in life or in society. In short, it is a deficiency syndrome.

Excessive control kills the quality of education

Nietzsche considered ressentiment a feeling characteristic of the morality of slaves, who, by virtue of their position, cannot change anything in the world. When the world defies influence, slaves destroy it in their imaginations, radically deny its existence.

Obviously, we are a society of victorious ressentiment. The Internet era, with its worldwide openness, made it impossible to barely ignore the realities, but, in my opinion, gave birth to a hellish cocktail, which I would call digital resentment.

In this explosive mixture, both slaves of impotent envy of other people’s successes and slaves of numbers have found their niche. How, how do these, at first glance, such diverse phenomena merge in a single burst of “creative” energy?

This phenomenon requires detailed consideration. Moreover, he realizes himself, first of all, in the educational field. First of all, in accordance with his nature, he tries to burn out all living things, and in this he invariably succeeds. Examples are endless, but we will fix the fresh one.

The unique Institute of World Culture, founded by one of the last great humanitarians of the 20th century, Koma Ivanov (Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich Ivanov), is living its last days. Only three years have passed since the day of his death, and the institute is living out its last days! Why is this so?

Coma Ivanov is a young friend of B. Pasternak who left wonderful memories of him, a polyglot, an expert in more than 36 languages. In 1958 he was dismissed from Moscow State University for disagreeing with the official assessment of Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago and supporting the views of Roman Yakobson. According to one version, he was fired for “not giving hands to the literary critic Cornelius Zelinsky, who was especially actively involved in the persecution of Pasternak.” The dismissal decision was officially overturned as a mistake in 1988.

In 1959-1961 he was the head of the machine translation group at the Institute of Precise Mechanics and Computer Science, and the chairman of the linguistic section of the Scientific Council for Cybernetics of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich, like no one else, understood digitalization, for he participated in the creation of a computer that calculated the flights of Soviet spaceships. In fact, he is one of the founders of Russian informatization. An outstanding encyclopedist, a match for the titans of the Renaissance, he was the author of more than a thousand scientific papers recognized throughout the world.

At the same time, Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich was a man of great social temperament. During the years of perestroika, he became a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, director of the Library of Foreign Literature.

I met him in the eighties of the last century, when he, together with his father Alexander Menem, headed the society “Cultural Revival”, where I was assigned to be responsible for the work of the pedagogical section. The tact and modesty of this man did not cause surprise, since such are all bearers of true culture.

What has become objectionable to the brainchild of a truly outstanding scientist? Neither then, in the eighties, nor in modern times, did he hide his political views. Problems arose when a new political situation developed in the country, which Ivanov did not accept and more than once openly criticized the current government. Interest in him and his brainchild quickly cooled, although the Institute continued to work, publishing outstanding monographs, collections of articles and the periodical Anthropology of Culture under its own stamp. Now his brainchild is threatened with death.

But back to digital resentment. Strictly speaking, any fanaticism, whether it concerns traditional braces or figures, gives off slavery. The object of blind adoration is not essential. But digitalization is a powerful weapon that it was a sin not to use. The expression has already become a meme: whatever you make – you get a Kalashnikov assault rifle. This time, too, they are trying to use the figure as a tool of total control in the field of education.

They are trying to extend control to the holy of holies, to the content of education. The cover for the special operation is the “noble” concern for the preservation of a single educational space. To keep it in all cities and towns of the fatherland, a universal killer tool was invented – “Thematic frame”, where it is necessary to list the topics of study by subject, the sources used, and the number of hours allotted for their assimilation.

In the nude, cleared of ringing rhetoric, this educational skeleton should most likely look like this:

Two hours for a crime;

Two hours for punishment (I mean not a section of jurisprudence, but a novel by FM Dostoevsky);

Two hours on the earthworm.

A step to the right, a step to the left, as well as a jump up or to the side are considered as an escape from the domestic field of public education.

Teacher, as soon as you fell on it, be so kind as to sprout on it not wildly, but a culture neatly cut off and grafted by the state gardener. With the same success, you can set aside half an hour to study each sister from Chekhov’s play. And that’s the end of it.

Does it look unreal and even caricatured? “Who are you laughing at? You are laughing at yourself, ”the mayor of Gogol’s“ Inspector General ”proclaims. Later the same phrase was repeated by V.I.Lenin, ironically about the policy of trusting socialist revolutionaries to the capitalists and their government during the First World War. The leader of the world proletariat, I remember, promised the speedy construction of paradise on Earth. However, the Social Revolutionaries quickly felt the total control of the new government, which could not be compared with the royal oppression they hated.

But then the coveted gadgets were not in the hands of the Bolsheviks. Not like now! It is worth implanting this very “skeleton-skeleton” into an electronic journal, as the teacher will be forced to play according to the prescribed rules, since the electronic system will not accept any other variations. She will instantly signal the regulatory authorities about the slightest failures. Exaggeration of the control function is a fundamental mistake of those who are fighting to improve the quality of education. In fact, everything happens exactly the opposite. Excessive control kills quality.

Digital resentment is more powerful than Goethe’s Faust. The ending of the phrase, as you know, belongs to JV Stalin and refers to the assessment of M. Gorky’s story “Girl and Death”. The Generalissimo clearly understood a lot about the standardization and nationalization of education. Many people are still nostalgic for those transparent, like a teardrop of a Komsomol member, times when all teachers, without exception, knew what and how to teach. Flag in their hands.

But for some reason, it seems to me that digital ressentiment brings certain death to an innocent girl named culture.

Teachers asked to cancel exams in schools during the pandemic

The first quarter of the school year showed that the educational results of schoolchildren after the spring retirement, to put it mildly, leave much to be desired. Now teachers and experts in the field of education suggest that a decision be made as soon as possible to abolish the OGE and spring CDE, and leave the USE only for those entering universities.

Study in light package

Back in September, it became clear that the spring remoteness hurt education. However, instead of allowing teachers to restore the gaps in students’ knowledge in September, the officials let the VPR (All-Russian Testing Works) on schools, which could not be carried out in the spring.

In addition, since the beginning of the school year, classes have been quarantined one by one, which further worsened the situation. In this regard, the trade union “Teacher” has sent to the Ministry of Education its proposals on urgent measures necessary to bring the education system into a working state. We talked with the co-chairman of the trade union Vsevolod Lukhovitsky about how to preserve full-fledged education for children in the context of a pandemic.

– For the second month, teachers and parents have been living in a situation of extreme tension, while the Ministry of Education and regional ministries pretend that everything is in order, and training during an epidemic is the same as regular training. In the meantime, due to the new increase in the number of cases, a significant part of educational institutions, individual classes and students switched to distance learning. With remote teaching, the load on teachers, schoolchildren and their parents increases significantly. It is clear that we are in an emergency, but we need to sacrifice something in order to get out of it with minimal losses, both in terms of health and the quality of education.

– What measures need to be taken right now?

– First of all, right now it is necessary to announce the abolition of the OGE, VLF and the final essay for the current year, and leave the Unified State Exam only for those entering universities. These decisions need to be made in advance in order to reduce the burden on teachers and schoolchildren during online learning, to enable them to study the current program, and not to train children for exams.

In addition, it is necessary to allow schools to independently change and shorten curricula, this will, if necessary, reduce the number of online lessons and the volume of educational material. The fact is that education in a pandemic will not allow the majority of schoolchildren to master the educational program in the required volume. Even in those regions where distance learning has not been introduced, classes are occasionally quarantined, teachers spend a lot of time on sick leave, and a growing shortage of personnel due to the dismissal of those teachers who are not ready to work in difficult conditions of epidemiological restrictions.

– Will you fail to complete the program in any case?

– It is better to grasp at least part of the material well than to get a spring situation, when many have nothing left in their heads. The problem is also that Russian education is still not ready to move to distance education on a massive scale. The point is the lack of technical means, and the shortage of teaching methods, and the fact that in a situation of severe stress and high morbidity, teachers cannot master these methods in a matter of days.

All this is aggravated by the shortage of teaching staff and the high workload on working teachers. At the same time, it is also necessary to think about the health of students and teachers, the increased workload during online learning turns into various diseases.

– Is it possible to somehow improve the quality of remote training?

– In addition to the ability to change the curriculum, the Ministry of Education should officially allow teachers to independently choose the forms and methods of teaching. They should not be forced to work on a particular electronic platform that they are not used to, or to use the mandatory ezine option.

For the duration of the pandemic, all activities that are not related to the educational process should be abandoned, including taking advanced training courses, participating in competitions, etc. It is necessary to oblige the regional authorities to provide teachers with the necessary technical means and programs, as well as the Internet for distance learning. All these measures will allow teachers to devote the maximum amount of time directly to teaching children, and will make this process better.

– What about the free circles and sections that are now closed?

– In most institutions of additional education, classes are held in small groups of 10-15 people, in music schools most of the lessons are generally individual. The same theaters are allowed to work on the condition of a chess seating; similar measures could be envisaged in the same palaces of creativity, music and art schools. Not all institutions may agree to operate in such an environment, but they should at least be empowered to do so. This will preserve jobs for teachers, and give children back the opportunity to do what they love.

Glue on teachers: the law on dismissal for “strife” caused a storm

On November 18, amendments were made to the State Duma, amending the Law “On Education”, which became the fruit of the hard work of the members of the Federation Council commission for the protection of Russian sovereignty from external interference, headed by Senator Andrei Klimov. The innovation provides for the possibility of dismissing teachers “in the case of using educational or educational activities to incite social, racial, national or religious hatred, as well as induce them to take actions contrary to the Constitution of the Russian Federation.”

I immediately have a question: what else can there be a dismissal? Incitement of social, racial, national or religious hatred is, for a minute, a criminal article, namely 282nd, according to which it is necessary not to dismiss, but to initiate a case and judge any person, and it does not matter whether he is a teacher, a shoemaker, a pastry maker or the owner of factories, newspapers, ships.

Why do the deputies demand special conditions for the teacher? Under what circumstances should he not be prosecuted, but only fired?

There is only one answer: in cases where there is no corpus delicti, when certain statements are not drawn to the article. And then you can evaluate them “by eye”, give them a definition based on their own interests, from a personal relationship to this particular person, use this opportunity to settle scores.

School principals, parents, students – let’s go! Truly endless possibilities open before you. Although, I have no doubt that if this law is adopted, the teachers will shut their mouths, you will not wait for any “educational activities” from them, they will rattle off what is laid down in the program – and goodbye. What kind of sincere conversations with your beloved teacher! There are practically none of them left anyway – the teachers are so shocked and intimidated.

I wonder why our legislators are trying so hard to recruit teachers? What is happening reminds me of the situation in bad schools, where difficult children from disadvantaged families rule. In such schools, hooligans poison excellent students, rob them of their breakfast, for the sake of entertainment they come up with new tests every time – they hide their briefcases, demanding to do a hundred squats to return, then they lock them up in the classroom, forcing them to humbly beg for release … But I won’t open the door, and you will sit here all night! “

Does it remind you of anything? Well, breakfast was taken away from our teachers from the very beginning – just compare their salaries with the salaries of those who come up with more and more new laws and procedures for them. And they are forced to squat all the time: just take a series of notorious dismissals for “committing an immoral offense” – most often justified, extremely doubtful, incomprehensible and unconvincing. But this formulation is very convenient for getting rid of unwanted and obstinate teachers. And now there will be another similar formulation …

In their explanatory note to the bill, Klimov and his comrades complain about the “uncontrolled implementation by anti-Russian forces in the school and student environment under the guise of educational activities of a wide range of propaganda activities, including those supported from abroad and aimed at discrediting the state policy pursued in the Russian Federation, revising history, undermining the constitutional order ”. Gentlemen, don’t you think that your activities in some cases discredit state policy much more than all anti-Russian forces put together? As they say, with other friends and enemies you don’t need …

The teachers are very sorry: they have been turned into practically wordless slaves. But I’m even more sorry for the children. Because wordless slaves cannot teach anything good.