Account of the International Conference on Pre-School Education

On December 22—23, the Republic of Sakha Ministry of Education and Science held the regional science-to-practice conference “Pre-School Education Quality as a Strategic Resource.” The Conference was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of pre-school education in the Republic of Sakha. It brought together more than 1,400 experts in pre-school education from Russia and foreign countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Belarus, and Azerbaijan. Laboratory of Child Development at MCU’s Institute of System Projects was the Conference’s partner. Laboratory’s staff presented their research at the Conference.

In his speech, Associate Professor Igor Shiyan, Head of the Laboratory, highlighted the structural and process aspects of pre-school education quality which should be put special attention by authorities of various levels — from ministries to kindergartens’ administration.

Associate Professor Tatiana Le-van, a leading research fellow of the Laboratory, and Anna Yakshina, a junior research fellow of the Laboratory, participated in the “Environment is the third educator” section. They presented their research on the principle of participation in pre-school education. Anna Yakshina commented on the presentation:

We spoke on the decisions which children make in the kindergarten, how they acquire experience of participation, and what can be done to make participation an adopted practice that changes not only the environment but also relations within the kindergarten’s community.

Besides, Anna Yakshina took part in the “Child and Book” session, where she presented the Laboratory’s research on the condition creation for developing interest in reading and writing among pre-school children. The speaker also gave practical advice to teachers and parents.

Also, students and graduates of the Master’s degree program “Design and Expertise of Pre-school Education (theory by Lev Vygotsky)” shared their experience in arranging informal professional communities for pre-school teachers’ professional improvement. Vera Seliverstova wrote in her blog:

No doubt, the teacher plays a special role in the education of a pre-school child. Children are lucky if their teacher has established his bona fides as a person and professional. Professional communities help a teacher grow and wise up. And colleagues from Tatarstan, Yakutsk, Kostroma, and Moscow and we spoke on those communities. How interregional projects have been established and implemented, which exciting applied results we obtain. It has been a pleasure to give the joint creative presentation. We designed it for a few minutes when gathering together in a Zoom meeting. Igor Shiyan and Tatiana Le-van told us many kind and supporting words. We are glad to share the values with the leaders of the scientific community. It is important to seminate experience, and we urge pre-school teachers to find their community. And if you cannot, establish and lead your one!

Irina Panifidnikova told about the Lev Vygotsky International Contest, which became a resource for pre-school teachers’ professional development and a meeting point for practitioners from entire Russia:

I hope to have delivered my thought that the Vygotsky Contest is a unique opportunity to prove oneself as a Vygotsky theory follower and supporter and make prominent one’s professional opinion on child-oriented education