The Potential of a Museum in the Conditions of Crisis and Transformation of Modern Education
Kildyusheva Alina
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-69-79
Abstract:

The article by P. Orekhovsky and V. Razumov ‘Carnival Time: Russian Higher Education and Science in the Postmodern Era’ focuses on the acute problem of the crisis state of modern science and higher education in the Russian Federation. The current situation is considered by the authors ‘from the inside’, since they are representatives of the university and academic environment, they see many ‘weak points’ in the system more clearly. Using the metaphor of carnival (according to M.M. Bakhtin), the authors analyzed the postmodern state of intellectual activity, paying special attention to the ‘new’ roles of teachers and scientists, viewing their spheres rather ‘pessimistically’. In addition, the authors also considered other problem areas of the post-industrial society: economics, HR, engineering, technology. Moreover, the article by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov provides an impetus for reflection not only on the topic of the crisis in education as such, but also allows us to look at the transformation of education from the inside. The processes of globalization, technicism, scientism, intellectualization, digitalization, informatization, automation, communication, unification, service, consumerism and at the same time, the observed crisis phenomena in the economy, science, education have covered all spheres of life, including they penetrated into the value - the cultural component of our being. In the proposed work, the main attention is paid to the consideration of the museum's potential (primarily its educational activities) in the context of the crisis of modern culture. In general, the idea of cultural heritage has changed, the discourse about the meaning and prospects of the museum in the ‘era when Google is just one click away’ (according to D. Scevers) has been updated. Reflections on the status of the museum in the culture of the information society are associated with its economic and social significance, as well as with the modernization of museum work methods. Why do people need a museum and what role can it play in the new educational paradigm? Shall we interpret formal and non-formal education as partners or competitors?

Modern University Education: Administrative and Bureaucratic Pressures and Their Consequences
Ivanov Andrey,  Fotieva Irina
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.1-113-128
Abstract:

The article considers two interrelated problems of modern Russian higher education: the strengthening of administrative coercion and control as well as the introduction of distance education. As a theoretical and methodological basis of the study, the authors rely on the socio-philosophical analysis of the problems of education in the famous S.I. Hessen’s work, where three basic principles of the effective functioning of the university are highlighted: the completeness of scientific knowledge, the freedom of teaching and learning, and self-government. The authors substantiate the view that at present all these principles are violated. Violation of the first of them is manifested in a decrease in hours devoted to the teaching of fundamental disciplines and in a general orientation toward the graduation of a “narrow” specialist; the second principle is incompatible with the extremely increased reporting of universities and overly formalized indicators of the quality of their work. Violation of the third principle is manifested in the gradual elimination of university autonomy, in particular, free election of rectors. The most negative manifestation of administrative pressure, according to the authors, today is the forced introduction of distance learning. The authors critically analyze the main arguments put forward in favor of this project: saving university budgets, ensuring a higher quality of teaching, the need to follow the general logic of modernization of education as a whole. The solution to financial problems, according to the authors, should not be based on forced economy, but on the competent organization of the country’s economic life. An appeal to a higher quality of teaching, which, it is argued, must be provided by teachers from the country’s central universities, is based on biased and unproven ideas. In addition, for mastering critical and systematic thinking skills, conducting scientific discussions, direct communication between teachers and students is necessary, which is not feasible in the conditions of online teaching with a very large number of students. In addition, the authors highlight the idea that nobody takes into account the need for close knowledge of a particular audience by a teacher to choose an adequate style of lecturing or conducting practical classes. The article concludes that the current administrative-bureaucratic style of managing higher education, in which not only the basic principles of the successful functioning of the latter are violated, but also destructive reforms are carried out, is destructive not only for education as such, but also for the state itself.

Carnival of Education: between McDonald’s and Traditionalism
Illarionov Grigory,  Kudashov Vyacheslav
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.1-129-144
Abstract:

The article by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov expresses the attitude of the Russian professors to the processes of transformation of domestic science and education and the search for their foundations, one of which was the concept of the carnival of M. Bakhtin. The applicability of this concept in relation to postmodern social reality is questionable, since the carnival involves the inversion of the “triumphant truth”, relativized in the familiar form of “buffoonery and debunking”. Modern reality no longer contains the “triumphant truth” that could be subjected to inversion; in this regard, only buffoonery remains from the concept of the carnival. We offer our own view on the foundations of the transformation of science and education in Russia, in a postmodern manner suggesting the duality of reality. The first is bureaucratic reality, described by the metaphor of McDonaldization (D. Ritzer), focused on the goal-oriented market relations of “educational services”, quantitative calculation of ratings and controllability of the system. The second reality is the collective unconscious of Russian teachers, whose position is not close to the carnival inversion of M. Bakhtin, but to the traditionalist mystical and religious inversion of R. Genon. Modernity appears to be a distortion of the primordial Tradition, the sacred initiation, in the role of which the Soviet system of science and education most often appears. Each phenomenon becomes the opposite of its true meaning - “servants” teachers, “athletes” scientists, “clowns” experts, while “true” science and education are presented as something self-evident. Both realities are not capable of dialogue, since the former is oriented towards market-oriented rationality and social opportunism, while the latter is oriented toward implicitly or explicitly sacred ethical values of the “cult of science and progress”. Under these conditions, it is naive for scientists to wait for an understanding of their intentions from the reality of the bureaucracy, but it is pointless and destructive to conflict with it. A more realistic way of developing science and education is the self-organization of the scientific community through the formation of circles and dialogue between them, which can be a real discussion.

University Management in Russia: Goals, Culture, Criteria
Diev Vladimir
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.1-77-84
Abstract:

The paper presents a response to the article by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov, which was devoted to the various problems of Russian higher education and science. As far as we agree with the main message of this article, we are trying to look at the exposed problems from the point of view of management theory. We think that our view seems relevant and methodologically justified, since most of the exposed problems require serious management decisions. It is shown that sometimes absurd reforms and reorganizations pursue very specific goals, which, at the same time, are not reported to the affected entities. In this context, the metaphor of the carnival fits perfectly, and P. A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov use it well. We show the importance of organizational culture within university management. Culture is not an object of manipulation. It is created by people and sometimes controls the leader even more than vice-versa. This is especially important because most of the elements of effective management (task setting, evaluation, monitoring, feedback, etc.) in each organization are to a certain extent determined by culture. It is proposed to return to a system of appointing university rectors, as this will increase the rector’s responsibility for decisions made, as well as eliminate elections, which are often formalities. The pyramidal structure of decision making means a critical dependence of the effectiveness of the organization on the qualities and abilities of the central unit, which, as a rule, consists of one senior official. If that official makes ineffective decisions, then even a perfect hierarchy will idle or even begin to self-destruct. The main flaw of such a structure is that all the information necessary for making decisions is concentrated at the bottom of the hierarchical pyramid (among the subordinates), and all the responsibility and the right to make decisions are at the top (among the senior officials). Our own position presupposes the justification of the transition from the current vertical hierarchical management model within the Russian higher education institutions to a subsidiarity model, according to which decision-making should be carried out at the lowest or least centralized level of government.

Education as Phantasmagoria
Kurlenya Konstantin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.1-85-98
Abstract:

This text discusses the argumentation of the authors of the article “Carnival Time: Russian Higher Eductaion and Science in the Postmodern Era” by Doctor of Economics, Professor P. A. Orekhovsky and Doctor of Philosophy, Professor V.I. Razumov, where they analyze the situation in modern Russian higher education. It is noted that the desire to expand the boundaries of scientific discourse on this urgent topic leads researchers to search for non-traditional methods of analysis of the current situation in education. In this case, the author considers the modern problems of domestic education through the prism of the literary theory of the carnival developed by M.M. Bakhtin for the analysis of artistic phenomena of a completely different order.

It is argued that the experience of a critical understanding of the problems of education in the artistic works of various authors and eras leads to obvious parallels both among themselves and with the current situation in the domestic higher education, which is confirmed by a comparison of P.A. Orekhovsky’s and V.I. Razumov’s observations and conclusions, with texts by Lao She, Jean Baudrillard, Yuval Noah Harari, with the statements of the President and Chairman of the Board of Sberbank of Russia G.O. Gref and Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation, previously the Minister of Education of the Russian Federation, A.A. Fursenko.

On the basis of multiple comparisons of a number of texts and statements, it is concluded that the progressive stratification and destruction of the system of domestic education reflects a global trend due to a change in the global social assessment of the meaning of truth and the scientific knowledge needed to find it, and the practical use in the interests of all mankind, or part of it. The author supports the forecasts by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov about the upcoming change in the types of institutions of science and education, as well as about imminent changes in the field of goal-setting and the organization of intellectual activity in states with developed scientific and educational potential.

High School Crisis or Stagnation? From Humanitarian Metaphors and Journalism towards Weberian Political Sociology
Rozov Nikolai
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.1-99-112
Abstract:

This is a response to the article by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov, “The Carnival Time: Russian Higher School and Science in the Postmodern Era”. Treatment of the negative phenomena of modern higher education in Russia using such humanitarian metaphors as “carnival”, “postmodern”, “the society of spectacle” is not productive, as well as journalistic invectives such as “spiritual prostitution”. The Weberian paradigm of political sociology as more adequate approach includes four areas of analysis: 1) politics, administration; relations of power within the university and around it, 2) economy, monetary and other resource relations in higher education, 3) culture, symbolic sphere, status, prestige, reputation as social relations. 4) solidarity and conflict; violence and violence control. The usual qualification of what is happening in Russian higher education as a “crisis” is also doubtful. A real crisis is a condition that has ceased to be acceptable while the usual ways and means of correcting the situation are useless. With this understanding no “crisis” is observed in modern higher education in Russia. The dissatisfaction of certain groups does not at all lead to an unacceptable state, to the subsequent intensive search for reasons and adequate ways to rectify the situation. Indeed, higher education in Russia is gradually leaning toward greater bureaucracy, simulation, virtualization-distance, and segregation. This state is not referred to as a “crisis”, but as a relatively stable equilibrium, getting into the attractor with vicious “stability” i.e. stagnation with slow but steady degradation. An exit from this state is extremely difficult, fraught with great alarms and threats. In order to switch to the “successful dynamism” attractor the discontent of involved social should lead to productive discussions with the indispensable participation of management practitioners, administrations of different levels, potential employers, resources holders. These groups on the basis of solidarity and trust then should realize pilot reforms with monitoring, promotion and incentives for the dissemination of successful experiences.