ISSN 0798 1015


Vol. 39 (# 05) Year 2018. Page 33

Network routes of non-formal education for different age community of the CIS countries: (multipolar and interdisciplinary approaches)

Rutas de la red de educación no formal para diferentes edades en comunidades de países de la CEI: (enfoques multipolar e interdisciplinario)


Received: 28/09/2017 • Approved: 25/10/2017


1. Introduction

2. The basic concepts of the research

3. The purpose of the study

4. The main ideas of the research

5. Results

6. Discussion

7. Conclusions




The article presents a multipolar and interdisciplinary approach to the study of network routes for non-formal education of mixed-aged communities that can be built on the basis of using complementary approaches: pedocentric - andragogic, systemic - synergistic, eventual - ambivalent; interdisciplinary approach. The authors carry out the analysis of the wide experience of CIS countries in the organization of activities for the non-formal education by the example of an annual international cultural and educational Issyk-Kul forum (Kyrgyz Republic). In addition to the construct "diversified educational paths", the use of the construct "socio-cultural practices of non-formal education" is suggested in the sphere of non-formal education.
Keywords: non-formal education, communities of different ages, educational network routes, multi-polar approach, interdisciplinary approach, Commonwealth countries.


El artículo presenta un enfoque multipolar e interdisciplinario para el estudio de las rutas de la red para la educación no formal de comunidades mixtas que pueden construirse sobre la base del uso de enfoques complementarios: pedocentric-andragogic, sistémico-sinérgico , eventual-ambivalente; enfoque interdisciplinario. Los autores llevan a cabo el análisis de la amplia experiencia de los países de la CEI en la organización de actividades para la educación no formal mediante el ejemplo de un foro anual cultural y educativo internacional Issyk-Kul (República Kirguisa). Además del constructo "caminos educativos diversificados", se sugiere el uso de la construcción de "prácticas socioculturales de educación no formal" en el ámbito de la educación no formal.
Palabras clave: educación no formal, comunidades de diferentes edades, rutas educativas de redes, enfoque multipolar, enfoque interdisciplinario, países del Commonwealth.

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1. Introduction

Human resources are considered to be the most important resource of the CIS countries and post-Soviet space шn the international documents of recent years. Their reproduction is associated with the conditions which enable every citizen to connect and use creatively both traditional and innovative formation of social experience. Non-formal education for different categories of population plays an important role in the realization of this objective. It has become necessary due to the following socio-cultural trends: the growth of communities of different ages in education, interest in strengthening the institution of the family, a request for family leisure, all this being a modern expression of the humanistic tendencies. The second trend, the migration dynamics is associated with a boom of socio-economic development. It affects the formation of the needs of all family members coming to learn the language and culture of the host side, or receiving vocational training in the most required professions. Sociologists note the third trend: today the number of pre-school children decreases while the number of the working adults increases (Starodubov, n. d). Networking as an effective form for the existence of communities of interest marked as the fourth trend of our time, which is impossible to be ignored. All of the above draws the interest of science to the study of mixed-aged communities and their positions in the formation of a new subject. The interest of society and the state of the CIS countries is reflected in the request for a new version of the laws "On Adult Education", "On enlightenment." Socio-economic instability in the countries of the CIS; the inability of the formal education to meet the growing educational needs; demographic dynamics; the appearance of adult participants need to enter into communion not only for the sake of knowledge sharing in the type "teacher-adult and student-child", but for establishment of a new entity formation (mixed-aged community). All this requires new approaches to education, taking into account the specificity of mixed-aged communities and increase the importance of non-formal education.

2. The basic concepts of the research

Diversified network of non-formal education paths is a phenomenon of mixed-aged communities, which emerged recently, during last 15-20 years. Being the object of study, this phenomenon necessitates not only theoretical work, multivariate analysis, but also the method of observation. It should be noted that modern diversified paths of informal education are dependent on changes in the cultural processes of modern society.

Cultural and social phenomena and processes of contemporary reality are accompanied by the inevitable division of society into numerous "conflicting local groups", into multidirectional subcultural communities. A variety of subcultures, on the one hand, increases personal self-determination and self-realization, but on the other hand, for larger groups it is objectively difficult to develop common goals, retaining unity. Therefore, it is necessary for everyone to answer the questions "whom I am with", "whose value system I accept", etc. At the same time we see an obvious craving of a modern man to join communities of interest, including the Internet space.

In view of these processes is necessary to analyze the existing paths of informal education, primarily in terms of their feasibility, viability, and design them on the principle of social and cultural integrity. In this regard, it looks logical to use the construct "socio-cultural practices of non-formal education" together with construct "diversified educational routes".

3. The purpose of the study

Network diversified paths of informal education are difficult to be regarded in the framework of the only methodological approach (Kukuev 2010).

We offer our own version of a combination of approaches based on the concept of education as an intersection of the life experience of people of different ages (V.I. Slobodchikov); as well as on the statement of multiparadigmatic character in modern education (SHiyanov 2005). In addition, we should take into account the conclusion of modern sociology that almost all main activities are transferred now into the virtual space of the Internet (Korytnikova 2007). The specificity of the interaction in virtual reality consists in the fact that real people do not take part in it, only their images. On the other hand, the network structure allows modern communities to exist and to accept the new members. Only those communities survive, which have mastered the logic of the network, which, in its turn, allows diversifying cooperation, making a multimodal communication system, so it can integrate a variety of forms of interests and values expression (Kastells 1989). Thus, the new (multipolar) approach to the study of informal education communities of different ages is based on using the following pair of complementary, mutually enriching approaches: pedocentric - andragogic, systemic - synergetic, event - ambivalent.

Separation of pedocentric and andragogic approach is based on the need to consider the age characteristics of children and adults, their interests and capabilities (Glazyrina 2006).

The existence of such system features of mixed-age community, both structured and open, allows us to consider the study the phenomenon based on a systemic and synergetic approach. The systemic approach allows us with regard to the components of educational activity of mixed-aged community (goals, objectives, content, forms, methods, etc.) in a relationship of integrity to overcome the fragmentation of the educational activity. The processes of mixed-aged community self-organization leads to the emergence of new system components, the restructuring of existing and creation of new links between elements of the system, new connections with other systems.

Event-driven approach considers the event as the unit of space measure of the non-formal education structures. We consider this approach in two aspects. The first is based on an understanding the features of connections between the "cause - effect" or "goal - means", which are the essential characteristics of the space. The second one is understood as practical actions-events that have an impact on a person, changing his/her ideas and values. Event-driven approach allows interpreting the space of non-formal education communities of different ages as a dynamic network of interconnected pedagogical events, generated between children and adults and capable of performing integrated condition of personal development. Network form of a virtual reality is a mechanism for maintaining information and emotional component of the existence of the association. It allows the use of network information resources in a more extensive way; certain examples being educational web quests (SHarikov 2000).

Ambivalence allows us to consider non-formal education both in terms of its expected positive results and in terms of taking into account the possible risks. Networking with people of different ages in virtual reality allows an adult to learn modern ICT technologies, and the young people to take part in real interaction. Therefore, the communication methods are complementary (Boyd 2014; EU Kids Online: Final report, 2009).

Key concepts of multipolar approach include mixed-aged communities as subjects of non-formal education; non-formal education communities of different ages; space of non-formal education communities of different ages; intergenerational dialogue.

Let us consider the features, specifications and interconnection of key concepts of the approach.

The key concept is "community." The sense of belonging and solidarity is at its base. Characteristic features of the community are the interest and closeness. In the virtual space of networking people of different ages, it is easier to find common ground, create the basis for a meeting in reality.

In the mixed-aged community its members get the opportunity to understand and master the social and cultural space, using several channels, due to their belonging to different generations of participants. Similar needs and interests create conditions for value-semantic interaction between members of different ages to communicate, work together.

Diversified educational paths mean specifically developed, based both on the resources of educational institutions and on educational objects, provided by cultural institutions, social institutions, etc., differentiated educational programs, which ensure student position of the subject selection, development and implementation of educational programs under the condition of teacher support in self-determination and self-realization of the student (OECD. Education Today 2013).

Space of non-formal education communities of different ages means a dynamic network of interconnected pedagogical events created in the environment of children and adults by the efforts of its subjects and capable of performing an integrated condition of personal development. In this case, the formal education can be supplemented by the non-formal one (Asmolov 2010; Klimenko 2012).

As institutions of non-formal education we consider a variety of organizations working in the field of education (clubs, libraries, theaters, museums, etc.); institutions, not related to education, but carrying out educational and socialization activities or having similar educational component (family, community, youth organizations and movements, etc.). These institutions are complex, multivariate, formed in accordance with the principle of diversification of new norms and traditions of non-formal education, an important element of which becomes networking in virtual reality (Ivanyushina 2014).

Comparing the potential of the same age and of the different age network communities, we can select a number of advantages, which are capable of: 1) actively transmitting the experience from the adults to juniors, strengthening and ensuring the continuity of the development of each participant, and mixed-aged community; 2) providing participants with the formation of functional literacy, development of different social roles; 3) implementing the principle of lifelong learning; 4) creating conditions for the formation of managerial competence, the ability to find solutions to life problems (CHernoglazkin 1995); 5) providing a social and socio-psychological protection in the form of assistance from the older to the younger, support for those who are unable to realize themselves in the peer group. (Farber  and Mazlish 1974) 6) creating new group entities and the new space of non-formal education, which is embedded in the traditional system of education in Russia.

Methods of research: problem analysis of philosophical, sociological, psychological and educational research; analysis of educational paths with library programs, analysis of the results of educational, creative, search activity of preschool children, school children, students, adults; expertise; method of observation activities of visitors; questionnaires; interviewing.

4. The main ideas of the research

The main provisions, which lie in the basis of multipolar approach to the formation of differentiated network paths for non-formal education communities of different age, are the following.

At the core of the development of non-formal education is the motivation of the participants to education.

Non-formal education can be effectively built based on event networks that affect the activities and outlook of the participants.

For the development of non-formal education communities of different ages it is necessary to create special conditions for inter-generational dialogue of the participants of event education networks, taking into account the difference in their age characteristics.

The possibility of self-organization processes of learning communities and further developing them as subjects of educational networks by the internal potential participants in groups and open exchange with the socio-cultural space of the territory with the use of modern ICT technologies [25].

Potential of mixed-aged communities is revealed in the course of the interaction of the new groups of its subjects and the new space of non-formal education, which can be viewed in different social strata.

The regularities, observed in the process of the formation of differentiated network paths non-formal education for communities of different ages are the following:

1. The modern man lives, develops, operates in various educational, upbringing opportunities and developing the functions of different ages of generality, which are characterized by different values and meanings, objectives, forms and activities, structure and duration of the operation. This dictates the need for hedging the risk of negative processes of mixed-aged communities, treating them as integrity.

2. A variety of mixed-aged communities makes it difficult to identify their common characteristics, opportunities, conditions for the development of a subject position in the choice of educational path. Each community creates special conditions, has its own opportunities and risks. The most favorable are the open communities, which are formed on a voluntary basis, through self-selected subjects, determining their participation in the community affairs (Biancani and McFarland 2013).

3. Different age community affects the process of development of a subject position of its members in choosing the educational path by:

the type of connections and relationships in community. For the development of a subject position it is necessary to set the most favorable balance of mobile emotional ties and rational relations, characteristic for an event community (I.Y. Shustov); event-driven community may occur within an existing community or as a new short-term community (SHustova 2009);

(self) organization of reflexive processes in the community;

character of the interaction of community members (role interaction hinders the development of subjectivity);

the position taken by the adult participants in mixed-age community. Position of the adult as an equal, allowing escape from relations "teacher-student" and build a relationship of partners, providing each other assistance and support in personal development (Survey of Cybernetics: a Tribute to Dr. Norbert Wiene, 1969; Wells 1999).

Guidelines of modeling differentiated network paths for non-formal education for mixed-aged communities: they have a set of principles of adult learning, succession and continuity of learning, diversification, priority of individual rights and equality of national cultures and different religions, reliance on national traditions, and taking into account the best international practices.

The algorithm of realization multipolar approach isbased on the use of the following pairs of complementary, mutually enriching approaches, in the process of solving the problem of modeling diverse network paths for non-formal education and the choice of the participants of mixed-aged communities. It is characterized by 1). The search for effective mechanisms of formation of motivation. The problem is to find a civilized mechanism of control of educational activity of teenagers, youth and adults in the difficult, conflicting and heterogeneous societies. The most important mechanism is the creation of unique forms of economic exchange between the government and members of mixed-aged community. Democratic educational socio-cultural practices build up an effective arsenal of influencing people by maintaining many learning resources. 2) Awareness of the learners – the subjects of non-formal education – with their educational needs and organization of the conscious activities to meet them. 3) Restructuring of existing and formation of new connections between individual and group entities non-formal education. 4) Formation of a subject position of students. 5) Creating the conditions for self-organization of mixed-aged community as the dominant in the process of socio-cultural institutions.  6)  Creating a space of non-formal education of mixed-aged group of subjects as a dynamic network of interconnected pedagogical events, information and emotional support, which interacts in the virtual space. 7) The development of the route of non-formal education aimed at personal development by the different age community. 8) Estimation of efficiency and adjusting the paths of non-formal education.

5. Results

An annual international cultural and educational forum in Cholpon-Ata (Kyrgyz Republic) can serve as an example of realization of multipolar approach. Organizers of the forum are the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic; Secretariat of the Council of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States; Institute of pedagogical education and adult education of the Russian Academy of Education.

At Issyk-Kul Forum each country presents its community, which includes children, parents, teachers, organizers of education, scholars, politicians, cultural figures. These communities make up a larger community of Issyk-Kul Forum. It is an example of the compatibility of its members, an example of socially significant communities that enable both children and adults to choose the most interesting and meaningful educational paths for them.

Social networks allow forming the community step by step, tracking its further self-organization. Therefore, the primary monitoring of expectations allows determining priorities of each group.

Teachers are focused on professional and personal success.

Children tend to self-assertion.

Parents wish their children to be a success.

Leaders of the education system desire high formal indicators of their school, to form its positive image in the new competitive environment of educational institutions.

Scientists and researchers aspire to validate their theoretical ideas, concepts, implementation of models.

Politicians strive for socio-economic prosperity of the country, its promotion on an international level.

It is obvious that such community can become a public platform for the coordination of socio-political systems and universal ideas of development of the child and the adult in the space of their life.

Educational paths of non-formal education communities of different ages suggest changing the following components of education and training: the role of non-formal education in the general system of state education; emergence of a new subject of education; the position of the adult learner; the child's attitude to the educational process; the world view of all subjects; the methods of formation of education process; focus on joint activities for children and adults; the criteria of the evaluation of education and upbringing.

The practice of educational activity testifies to the ongoing crisis related to the lack of active interaction in the forms of communication and decision-making; lack of conditions to meet the need for self-realization and to form an initiative, independent, responsible person; misunderstanding by the leaders of educational organizations of the importance of partnership with the other socio-cultural institutions. In this regard, the study of diversified networks becomes one of the most important directions of development of Russian pedagogical science. The use of modern network services and event networks in the modeling of non-formal education paths intensifies the process of knowledge exchange, significantly increases the motivation for self-development and comprehension of the new, raises the sense of individual responsibility in group activities, emotional perception and a feeling of psychological support from the outside. This shows the high potential of networks in the implementation of personality educational paths.

6. Discussion

This research, based on a combination of several approaches (multipolar pedocentric - andragogic, systemic - synergistic, eventual - ambivalent) is an example of interdisciplinary research, which today is the most effective in studying the phenomena of the humanities. Until recently, it has traditionally been monodisciplinary. However, since the late 1960-s, the scientific community has actively discussed the dominance of an interdisciplinary approach (T. Benson, J. Mittelstrass, E. Moren, J. Rose, E. M. Mirsky, I.V. Lysak, E.I. Snopkova and others). Thus, its opponents (T. Benson) singled out its shortcomings in the disciplinary approach: the limited period of research, its high cost, problems in terminology, etc. (Benson 1982, p. 48). E. Morin explains interdisciplinarity as follows: "Interdisciplinarity can mean only and simply that different disciplines are applied together ..." (Morin 1999, p. 111). In turn, the proponents of the interdisciplinary approach in scientific research put forward their arguments, speaking not only of interdisciplinarity, but also of its development in the long term - a transdisciplinary approach in the human study. For example, the German philosopher J. Mittelstrass believes that transdisciplinarity is identical with interdisciplinarity and its main significance lies in the fact that it allows to overcome disciplinary dead ends (Mittelstrass 1993, p. 18). His Russian colleague, I.V. Lysak, explaining the interdisciplinarity advantages, writes that only at the intersection of sciences "it is possible to obtain a truly new knowledge that clarifies the true essence of the objects under consideration. This is the reason for the wide dissemination of new or self-proclaimed approaches to research, called interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity, polydispinarity, transdisciplinarity (Lysak, n. d., p. 134). Despite the ongoing discussions, scientists, including modern teachers, actively use an interdisciplinary approach in many countries of the world.

In Russia, scientists are advocates of an interdisciplinary approach (Mirskij 1980; Lysak, n. d.) considering the following components as compulsory components of an interdisciplinary study: identification of a single subject / object of study, which is of interest to different scientific disciplines; close interaction of all participants in the study (Mirskij, 1980, p. 14). The analysis of comparative studies of the countries of the post-Soviet space allows to assert that the interdisciplinary approach is today in the center of attention of scientists of these countries and is actively developed by them.

Therefore, E.I. Snopkova (Belarus) notes that some examples of knowledge on an interdisciplinary basis are already presented in the methodology of pedagogy. This, in her opinion, is a synergistic model of completely defined pedagogical phenomena, and interdisciplinarity is a specific feature of modern post-nonclassical science, which is based on the integration of natural, social and humanitarian disciplines (Snopkova, 2015, p. 112). A.K. Koussainov (Republic of Kazakhstan), who compares the systems of education of different countries, is convinced that the further development of scientific research in the humanitarian sphere will be based on an interdisciplinarity (Koussainov 2013). In many countries of the post-Soviet space, research in the field of education is conducted by specialists of various sciences, for example, in the field of linguodidactics, informational didactics, and neuroscience.

7. Conclusions

The conducted research shows that the expected result of development of mixed-aged communities of diverse network paths of non-formal education is to engage children and adults in the updated interpersonal relationships, modern network virtual practice. They also enable children and adults to join the system of social relations defined by the state and society, to master the positive ways of interaction with the surrounding society. The presented research is interdisciplinary, which today becomes mandatory for such kind of research conducted in the humanitarian field of science.


This research is carried out within the frameworks of the State assignment No. 27.9426.2017/BCh, No. 27.8520.2017/BCh).  


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Revista ESPACIOS. ISSN 0798 1015
Vol. 39 (Nº 05) Year 2018


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