I welcome the opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable contribution that self-esteem has made to our teaching activities.
As a Russian school principal, with about 15 years of
experience, I am positive about the wide possibilities of our method.
Teachers have tned the activities and seen the successes.
Our school has been given the name of 'Zemskaay school1. There
is no appropriate English equivalent for this title. It can be only
interpreted in a descriptive way, like a sort of 'home-school' which
has close ties with parents, with our own home, with our hometown and
through it with the whole homeland. We live in a spirit of cooperation,
like bees in a hive, with everybody doing their own jobs and helping
others. One African proverb says 'it takes a whole village to raise a
child'. In the long run it takes the whole homeland to raise children,
ready to build their happiness and the happiness of our community.
The staff at our school value all the components of
self-esteem, but there is one which is especially close to our Russian
hearts - the feeling of affiliation. We interpret this as going
shoulder-to-shoulder, elbow-to-elbow. Russians are known to be able to
do great things when they are together.
The concept of our school is formulated as 'Dignity,
self-esteem and the responsibility of the individual'. Dignity is
understood as spirituality, morals, honour and devoted service to other
people of our country; self-esteem as a combination of qualities
ensuring success in life; and responsibility as a feeling of duty.
All the basic components of self-esteem are in accordance with
our national and traditional ideas. Our well-known thinker, llyin,
states that 'our love for the Russian nation, the feeling of
responsibility for all that has ever taken place in it, our dignity and
our honour are three main sources, which are to build a new Russia,
feeding its consciousness of law and building its spiritual culture'.
The educational process needs psychological support and this is
where self-esteem helps a lot, activating useful trends and building
skills necessary for creating success in all areas of life.
The aim of our school is to develop our students'
personalities, to help them develop reflexive thinking, to equip them
not only with knowledge, but also with the skills to attain personal
All this is achieved through:
In the curriculum it is realised through educational
components such as 'humanology'. 'etiquette1, 'rhetoric1, 'security
rules of our life activities'. There are also specialised courses and
lessons such as 'Home ruling', 'Native Land', 'Folk Craft', 'National
Dances', and so on. The students are able to learn to express
themselves in different
kinds of cognitive activities.
- the content of the educational
components of our curriculum, bearing
in mind the age characteristics of our
- implementing the programme in the
teaching staff through scientific and
practical conferences, methodological
seminars and simulation games
- combining these components in different
ways in the organisation of lessons
- constant close ties with parents, who
take a very active part in the organisation
of different exhibitions, competitions,
performances, holidays (eg 'Our School
Holiday1, 'the day of Slavonic Alphabet
and Culture', 'Shrovetide' with pancakes,
and the like). Our programme is also
realised in the work of concept circles.
The organisation of the content of the educational process depends
on two influences. On the one hand there is the outside influence of
the state and the region, and on the other the inside influence of the
school staff, the students themselves and their parents.
It is worth mentioning here that the parents and the students
express a very high opinion of our educational plan, which is
especially stressed by different testing programmers, where our
students willingly share information and show their positive
improvement in their behaviour and their characters. Children get
affirmation for their specialness, for their curiosity, for their
growing, abilities and uniqueness
Galina Kravchenko h^ served as principal of the 'Zemskaya
Gymnasia', primary and secondary schools in Balashikha, Russia which
now serves as a model for schools throughout the country.
It gives me great personal pride to tell you that our graduates
repeatedly show good results in different competitions, and get a high
percentage of medals. More than 90% of our graduates have entered the
best educational establishments of the highest range, and many of them
have already become efficient specialists. Thus, we have been supplying
economic, philosophic and scientific spheres of our country with fine
The hands of our former students are lying on the ruling wheel
of our Russian culture, and it is our contribution to the future of our
country. Our former students form the face of a new Russia. They know
that no-one can be happy in an unhappy land and they are doing their
best to make a difference (one of the self-esteem principles). When
speaking about their homeland they say i can, I was taught at school
how to make a difference, and I will1.