Let the individual come to the centre


Ashot Bleyan

From the diary of the Educomplex director    Part 1

People tend to believe the education they have got and with this their school, their teachers, their books, their lifetime, their Soviet to be exclusive. I have never been infected with this malady, although one can perceive from my diary-blog that I have had a full childhood, adolescence and youth. To be fair I am saying with confidence that the school number 60 after Vahan Teryan, which I attended in 1962-1972, was among the high rating schools in Yerevan. “If you are complaining about the Soviet education system”, they ask me, “Where is your knowledge from?” Here is the fault, and here is the source of updating and reforming education.

How does man, generation, society get new knowledge? First of all through self-education, and it is dangerous when the Armenian society, its school, its teacher, professional institution continue to ignore the factor of self-education in all the spheres of redesigning our life. The title of Maria Montessori’s work “Self-instruction and self-upbringing at primary school” may become the name of our author pedagogy: it is the same in the middle school, and it is the same in the primary school if we are able to act in concrete and small steps. Moreover, a bad teacher and a bad school can be differentiated from a good teacher and good school with their attitude towards this self-instruction and self-upbringing. What I said completely refers to the child's pre-school development and to the institution named pre-school or kindergarten. How else can we avoid the deadlock conditioned by the inertion of the Soviet past nursery school, ten-year secondary school and five-year higher educational institution on the one hand and our present intellectual and spiritual laziness – on the other hand? How can one use one’s intellectual and spiritual potential directed with these pedagogical treatises.

   I didn't take any pedagogical course at the faculty of physics of Yerevan State University. I have assimilated pedagogy through self-instruction. I can say for sure that in 1985 I came to School 183 with my well known pedagogical library: Ghazaros Aghayan, John Dewey, Gianni Rodari,   Maria Montessori…,  In the 1978-85s I was eagerly absorbing knowledge in pedagogy by self-education and I had already segregated and summarized the works of my and your favourite well-known pedagogues available in Armenian or Russian languages. In the 1985-1989s I studied new works of the above mentioned authors.

As you see I haven’t changed my pedagogical taste. It is the same in literature, music, and architecture. Better to have few but with high quality. We need to specialize in our specialty. Each of us is paid for the efforts made in specialization with discoveries and new beliefs without which a researcher or research work may have no value. The Magazine Dpir came out later. At first it was paper based (1992-1997) and since 2006 we have been publishing its electronic version, and then I had the support of the Educomplex library, my colleagues' blogs, the examples of such constant readers as Mr. Gevorg Hakobyan and Susan Markosyan.

I have recently been reading the texts of the articles and translations of my Sebastatsi colleagues. And now I have decisively turned back to reading this monumental work by  Maria Montessori. I wish we read it together. I have chosen the chapter Children's Rights in the 20th Century. Reading is sure to have the sign of individuality as it is a most serious intellectual work. How will you read and reread it? It is your right according to your everyday routine. I am convinced in one thing: You should read it if you are my colleagues. Thank the Dpir for organizing our self-instruction in this way.                                

What an active-social-educational-cultural system our http://www.mskh.am is for working out, implementing and spreading our author educational programs! It is a multilingual, unhindered, free public area for the learners of all ages, nursery teachers, teachers of all the fields, parents who are engaged in educational activities… Here you are, our 8th grader Areg Galoyan has had a proper interference with the public educational standards by suggesting 10 skills for a 10-year-old child.        

Look how the second graders of our basic school have gone into neighborhood life under the guidance of their teacher Tamar Marimyan: It is a real Eco activity.... I wish this project implementation and the summary of its results became an article in the Dpir.

I began working in the field of education and got a job in a public school with a firm decision to create a national school, but it was incredible to create a national school in the Soviet during its prosperous period of time.

I like this mobile creator's school, Bleyan's school which we have now. We are on the right way and are engaged in pedagogy where the observing-researching individual is the main person, and we should be pleased with what we have to tackle the day's concerns.   

Yesterday I took part in two TV shows, gave one interview, was present at two official receptions and enjoyed the five-year-old children’s performance of the monthly review-game. The so called national education becomes a reality through such alive, lively, ritual and spontaneous games.  Ghazaros Aghayan was surprisingly not only the first in Armenia but also in the whole 19th century world to give importance to game-songs, game-dances, game-speeches, game-performances, and he worked out and left such unequaled samples.... Mrs. Aida, pre-school program supervisor, with the teachers and their assistants make us happy with their progress. They do make progress in game-playing, singing and dancing and they do everything so willingly. Their collective game-performance, their activities are more and more shown on the media.

Outside the Educomplex my task is to take part in TV shows, meetings where I disseminate our socio-educational views, comment on my-your-our initiatives. Being independent, carrying out author pedagogy does not allow isolation. It also requires that we should be in constant partnership, otherwise we will remain within our declarations, formulas and wishes and we will not be self-realized. It woud be a pity. Our lifetime is counted and especially for me as I am persistently becoming 60. Dear Sebastaties of all ages wherever you are, the most difficult thing for me is to delay something which has been half done, and it is unbearable and intolerable to postpone it one more day. The work should of course be mobile and creative but at the same time it should be conscientiously done. That is the trinity sacrament of this period of time. I suppose you were looking for it.

To be continued.

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