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Country Reports

OPPORTUNITIES FOR DEVELOPING OF SOCIALLY POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR THE YOUNGER GENERATION IN RUSSIA, Alina Radchenko

Until recently the Russian children lived in a kind of two worlds. The first one is organized and regulated by school and the other one – out of school environment – is very specific, contradictory and to some extent spontaneous. At school children have some specific responsibilities and duties, and are totally controlled by adults. When out of school they feel free. Due to School Internationalization Program among other reasons the third world evolved over the previous three years. This is a virtual world. It is pushing out the real world from the schoolchildren’s lives more and more persistently. The reason is that the virtual world better accommodates the interests of children, otherwise it would be simply expelled. So, we should raise a question: how to make the real world more interesting and child-friendly? A children’s habitat should be considered as a part of micro-environment greatly affecting personality development since birth. A child begins interacting with many people in the community long before school admission. Thus, this environment starts influencing children much earlier than any others. During the Soviet Union times the children were built into the social life since very early age. At the age of six or seven every child had its own key to the door and often was left alone. Almost in every yard there was a so called “children’s room”, so as the process did not totally get beyond control of the adults, where the children could spend some time playing table games, etc. In other words, the children got used to a kind of independent life in a society very early. The primary objective of school is to coordinate the joint efforts of a family and society aimed to maintenance of proper environment for upbringing. It should create such conditions that would eliminate discrepancies between upbringing objectives and natural needs of any normally developing human. Today, the issue of interdependency between upbringing and social environment is getting very urgent. On the one hand, family problems make the school and the teachers become real defenders for the children. On the other hand, it is getting more and more difficult to do this under the current conditions. According to Public Opinion Foundation, a child spends 2-4 hours daily on average watching TV, and even more time watching TV in a “background mode” when staying in a room with a TV on. Obviously, children are exposed to content intended for adults. For example, according the research conducted by the Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Vladimir Sobkin), the most of the 1-4 year school children prefer the reality show “House-2”. It is worth saying TV impacts the overall psychological development and formation of interests. It also provides for borrowing of behavioral models, views and values. The full article is available in Russian.