From the Literature Review Report: profile of CReLES in Russia

Introduction and Background

According to Article 68 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Russian language is the state language of the whole territory of the Russian Federation and is also the language of instruction in schools. There are several articles in “the Law on Languages” that allow the use of other languages in schools.  It is the right of the citizens of the Russian Federation

to receive a general education (except secondary education) in their native language from among the languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation, as well as the right to study their native language from among the languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation, including the Russian language as their native language, within the scope of languages provided by the education system (Part 4, Article 14).

There are also some programmes to support the native language and personal development of students in a multicultural environment. For example, the Republic of Kalmykia has undertaken a programme for the conservation and development of the Kalmyk language along with the preservation of the ethnic culture of the children by creating such an environment in the schools. [3]

The Russian Federation state also defines the basic curriculum requirements and the compulsory fields of study such as the Russian language, foreign languages, mathematics, history, politics and natural sciences (Part 5, Article 12 of the Federal Law dated December 29, 2012, No. 273-ФЗ). Every school designs its curriculum, which is based on state requirements, and there can be some extra or optional disciplines. Therefore, all curriculum-related issues are within the remit of school leadership be it curriculum implementation, classroom assessment or teachers’ professional development.

The choice of language of instruction is made when applying to kindergarten, grade 1 and grade 5. At the same time, learning the state languages of specific republics is not mandatory for all schoolchildren in the region; the choice is made by the parents or legal representatives of the minor. The Russian education system uses 58 languages, and Federal educational programs have been approved for 13 national languages. At the same time, there is such a concept as “state languages” — they are defined in 22 Federal subjects, and 36 languages have the status of state languages of the Russian Federation (at the same time, Russian is also defined as the state language in all subjects).

As regards initial teacher education and CPD programmes, there are no such programmes at a national level that addresses the issues of social inclusion, multilingualism and multiculturalism. There is however a training program ‘Design of extended education programmes for children’ which is primarily designed to teach pedagogical methods in the new subject areas that although not explicitly stated has the potential to take into account cultural characteristics of students.

Culturally Responsive Leadership in the Russian Education System

School leaders in the Russian Federation spend most of their time on administrative and leadership tasks, including meetings, writing reports, and responding to requests and much less time on curriculum and teaching-related tasks (Lenskaya & Brun, 2016). According to Part 2, Article 26 of the Federal Law dated December 29, 2012, No. 273-ФЗ “On Education in the Russian Federation”, the management of an educational organisation is carried out based on the principles of single-authority and collegiality. The combination of these principles is the foundation for leadership practices at any school. Therefore, the common type of leadership in Russian schools combines hierarchical and advisory management models. Furthermore, School principals do not generally have high visibility in the local community except for holding public reports, which are also made available on the website of their schools.

Pre-service and CPD opportunities are also available for the school leaders are in alignment with the policy expectations of their role.  As such, most of the training programmes are aimed at developing the competences of administrative and economic management. Of note however, is that, akin to Ireland and Austria (apart from their Masters program), there is no information on the development of culturally responsive leadership in professional development programs or in open sources. However, there is a possibility that a culture-oriented module may be offered within the programmes ‘Innovation management at educational organizations’ and ‘Management of educational work at educational organizations’.

Finally, School counsellors have a multifarious role (paragraphs 4 and 5, Part 3, Article. 28 of the Federal Law). They are required to carry out professional activities aimed at preserving the mental, somatic and social wellbeing of students and staff in the process of education and training. They have to promote the protection of the personal rights of children across school and community in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Counsellors have to participate with the school administration in the planning and development of educational and correctional programmes of educational activities, taking into account individual, age and gender characteristics of students and in this way have a significant role in shaping the school environment as it applies to migration background students.

[3] Development Programme National-Regional Education System as a condition for sustainable development of the personality of a child with multilingualism and multiculturalism in MBOU October Secondary School named A. Durneva (2017 – 2020)