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MASU opens a unique Federal Innovation Platform on psychology and pedagogy

  • 23.03.2023
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MASU opens a unique Federal Innovation Platform on psychology and pedagogy

Innovative educational platform called 'Psychology and Pedagogy convergentor' will start its work in a form of Federal Innovation Platform on the basis of MASU Psychology and Pedagogy Institute.

Federal Innovation Platforms (FIP) are expert networks that develop educational methods and programs, apply existing ones to solve non-standard tasks, and implement new approaches in education management. The status of FIP is assigned to organizations that are engaged in the modernization and development of the educational system, taking into account the main directions of Russia's socio-economic development.

MASU's FIP is aimed at developing the techniques of students' convergent training, where they will study how to solve complex pedagogical tasks for their future career. The name of the new FIP conveys its purpose, as 'convergo' in Latin language means 'I incline together'. Convergent training is an interdisciplinary approach to teaching students, including those studying non-pedagogical disciplines, with the help of lecturers and specialists from various fields in order to form such a skill as teamwork to deal with challenges in education and pedagogy.

Since the opening of the FIP at the university, MASU researchers have already begun to study the issues and requests of the regional education system. Having carried out the analysis, they developed two new convergent educational courses for students of both pedagogical and non-pedagogical specialities.

'Complex problems in the regional educational institutions' work require complex solutions, usually provided by not only subject-matter experts, such as teachers, psychologists, speech therapists and others,' said Tatiana Kuzmicheva, Head of the FIP and Director of Psychology and Pedagogy Institute.' Bearing this in mind, we now have a multidisciplinary team of to study each issue from different perspectives in order to analyse and develop new courses and programmes. Through the close cooperation with the experts, our students will see that in order to solve challenging problems they need such skills as working in a team, listening to and understanding each other, as well as building horizontal communication.'

Psychology and Pedagogy Institute has started forming the interdisciplinary teams of students for developing design solutions, apart from completing a series of advanced studies courses for teachers of the regional educational institutions and altering the students' internship structure.

A simple example of such a request may be the interior design project for a school for students with disabilities. It is a multidimensional task that, in addition to aesthetic solutions, will also require an analysis of the students' psychological and mental health, the institution's budget, the school's pedagogical methods, technical and legal aspects of the educational process.

'In order to work effectively, the team for such a project should consist of students studying design, psychology, speech therapy, pedagogy, economy, law, and engineering. Another task may be the development of strategies for working with children from migrant families or most-at-rick families. Here, in addition to teachers and psychologists, we will need students studying linguistics, cultural science, social work, and sociology,' commented Tatiana. 'In the future, students who have gained experience of such work will become leaders within their speciality, gathering teams around them for a comprehensive solution of professional tasks in practice.'

Tatiana Kuzmicheva believes that such an approach will not only satisfy the demands of the regional educational system, but also help to overcome the difficulties for students understanding the practical significance of certain disciplines that are not directly related to their future career.

As the head of the FIP states, such a convergent approach, as a practical tool for ensuring the individualization of the educational process, is a unique development of MASU, which has no alternatives in any Russian university. The approach in it pioneering and innovative nature has been recognized by the academic community of Russia through implementation of projects supported by the Russian Science Foundation, presentations of the university's work at leading Russian academic venues, the publication of scientific articles in leading scientific journals, the organization of the National scientific and practical conference in MASU 'Education in the Arctic: from idea to practice, as well as through numerous victories of Psychology and Pedagogy Institute's student association at national and international competitions.

By 2025, the FIP team plans to publish a number of scientific and methodological works, such as textbooks, articles and manuals, as well as to design a platform for the dissemination of convergent training methodology through courses, webinars, and access to the project's database.

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation selects applications for granting the status of FIP each year since 2019. MASU was awarded the status for the first time following the results of the 2022 competition.

MASU has also initiated the implementation of the FIP project on the basis of Philology, Media and Communications Department at Linguistics Institute. More details on this FIP project to follow soon.

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