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Consortium of leading universities training for sociologists: the main aspects and results of activities

1.    The history of creation

A consortium of leading universities training for sociologists (hereinafter Consortium) was formed in February 2008 with the aim of developing State educational standards of the third generation. The prerequisites for the creation of this new type of inter-university associations were:

  • Very poor quality of previous generations of State educational standards in Sociology – universities had to adapt to all sorts of errors and inconsistencies, unacceptable for a document regulating the educational activities;
  • Experience of teamwork to improve educational standards: universities formed a group that have combined their professional and methodological expertise to develop proposals to improve the standards of training for sociologists.

The main tasks of the new association were formulated by the participants as follows - to implement new ideas in standardization of higher education according to the needs of universities and eliminate in the third-generation standards those errors and inconsistencies that were typical for the second generation standards in sociology.

 

2.    The functions of the Educational and Methodological Association (EMA) and new forms of inter-university cooperation

Within 6 years from the date of creation (2008-2013) the Consortium performs basic functions of EMA in sociology:

1)      The development of Federal State Educational Standards (FSES) of the third generation:

-         Federal state educational standard of higher professional education for  the educational programme 040100 Sociology ((qualification (degree)"bachelor"), registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on February 11, 2010 No.16373

-         Federal state educational standard of higher professional education for  the educational programme 040100 Sociology ((qualification (degree) "master"), registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on February 11, 2010 No.16373

 

2)      The development of  tentative curriculum:    

-         the tentative curriculum for  the educational programme 040100 Sociology, qualification (degree)"bachelor",

-         the tentative curriculum for  the educational programme 040100 Sociology, qualification (degree)"master".

3)      The development of tentative educational programmes including the tentative curriculum, matrix of competences, models of training  programmes in all disciplines of the tentative curriculum:

-         the tentative training programme for the educational programme 040100 Sociology, qualification (degree)"bachelor", approved by the Rector of Research University - Higher School of Economics on 01.11.2011.

-         the tentative training programme for the educational programme 040100 Sociology, qualification (degree)"master", approved by the Rector of Research University - Higher School of Economics on 01.11.2011.

4)      Modernization of FSES of the third generation[1] at the request of the Ministry of Education and Science:

-         New edition of FSES for the educational programme 330200 Sociology, qualification (degree)

·        “the academic bachelor",

·        “applied bachelor”

-         New edition of FSES for the educational programme 330200 Sociology, qualification (degree)

·        “master”

5)      The development of FSES project of postgraduate training for the educational programme 330200 Sociology

The project was sent to the Ministry in June 2013

6)      Methodological support of the implementation of FSES

            In February 2011, the Department of Sociology of the HSE established the Centre for the Development of Sociological Education (CDSE), whose task is to coordinate the activities of the Consortium:a synthesis of proposals and distribution of work; expertise and coordination of development to create methodological materials that meet new demands.

          The main documents of the methodological providing of FSES include  the tentative curriculum and the tentative training programmes developed by the Consortium in accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Coordinating Council of  EMA.

          The alternative program for the tentative training programme  of  bachelor recommended by the current EMA in sociology, contains the typical mistakes of theprevious years ( unacceptable deviations from the requirements of FSES and the discrepancy of working training programsto the tentative curriculum[2])

7)      Exchange of experience and dissemination of best practices

The traditional forms of exchange of experience in 2011-2013 are:  the organization by the universities of the Consortium of round tables and methodological seminars (2 round tables, 4 seminars (including 2 outdoor seminars) at the Institute of Sociology of Russian Academy of Sciences, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia and other); reports at the round tables and methodological seminars of other higher education institutions (3); reports at the all-Russian conferences and congresses.

Major publications describing the methodological developments of the Consortium (in Russian):

·        Bershadskaya M.D., Chepurenko A.Y. Novye obrazovatel’nye standarty po sociologii i uchebno-metodicheskiye zadachi sociologicheskikh vuzov// Sociologicheskiye issledovaniya, 2011,No.9,;

·        Bershadskaya M.D. Funktsional’ naya gramotnost’ shkol’nikov i problemy vysshey shkoly//Otechestvennye zapiski 2012,No.4, p.122-130;

·        RadaevV.V., Chepurenko A.Y., Bershadskaya M.D.Osnovnye aspekty I rezul’taty deyatel’nosti razrabotchikov FGOS VPO po napravleniyu “Sociologiya”//Yubileinyi sbornik nauchnyh trudov UMO i NMS,2013, p.264-269.

 

3.    New forms of inter-university interaction. Social networking

At last year's meeting of the Consortium (November 10, 2012) it was made a decision to expand the exchange of experience by organizing a platform for the discussion of methodological materials and the proposed means ofassessment of competencies in social networks. In 2013 on the Facebook page there was organized a group of sociologists ( CDSE group) which to date has reached 100 people. The page of CDSE constantly updates information on the activities, events, methodological materials in education, announce new publications of sociologists, presentations of reports on the competence-based approach to the results of education. A free exchange of opinions is important not only for active participants, but also for all members of the group, taking into account that well-known  Russian sociologists (Alexander Chepurenko, Nikita Pokrovsky, Pavel Romanov and others) take part in the discussions.

 

Evaluation of educational programs in sociology:
Russian and foreign experience

          Typical shortcomings of monitoring .

Monitoring of the competence-based educational programs is  one of the most labor-consuming and important functions of  EMA. Monitoring data of the educational program in sociology published on the website of the Faculty of  Sociology of Moscow State University[3]  seem to us  unconstructive, inaccurate and do not reflect the essence of the competence-based approach to the results of education[4] And it takes place despite the availability of quite good methodological materials for monitoring the effectiveness of the implementation of FSES[5], developed by the Association of Classical Universities of Russia (ACUR).

     Self-evaluation of educational programs and its impact on the quality of education.

The process of self-examination is not a new phenomenon in Russian education. However, along with the formalized process of self-examination, it is necessary to offer universities the methodology for self-assessment, influencing the quality of the competence-oriented educational programs. Such self- evaluation is the basis for  carrying out the international expertise on the methodology proposed to HSE  by the well-known international expert  V. Briller.

The development and approbation of self-assessment of competence-oriented educational programs in sociology (bachelor, master) with the recommendations of international and Russian experts and with the release of appropriate methodological manuals for universities of the country - such project was proposed by the Consortium for 2014. Its fundamental difference consists in a real improvement of quality of educational programs as the main result of the self-assessment process.


[1] FSES in the new edition are developed in May 2013, modified according to the remarks of experts in June 2013; currently the documents are being coordinated by the Ministry of Justice.

[2] Bershadskaya M.D., Chepurenko A.Y. Novye obrazovatel”nye standarty i uchebno-metodicheskiye zadachi sociologicheskikh vuzov// Sociologicheskiye issledovaniya, No.9, 2011

[3] Materials of the meeting of Educational and Methodological Council on sociology and social anthropology of EMA on classical university education

http://www.socio.msu.ru/?subaction=showfull&id=1354466351&archive=&start_from=&ucat=1&

 

[4] Criticism should be correct // published on the website of ЭСМ

[5] O nekotoryh resul’tatah monitoringa effektivnosti vnedreniya FGOS v uchrejdeniyah vysshego professional’nogo obrazovaniya  // Materialy k sovmestnomu zasedaniyu s’ezda AKUR b rasshirennogo Soveta UMO po klassicheskomu universitetskomu obrazovaniyu. Moskva, 2011.


 

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