Freedom of choice  as a fundamental element of education by Malinina R.L


In this period, the school education system of Russia is in crisis. It is at a crossroads between the old Soviet model which  still partially exists, and the new to our experience  western scheme.
These processes are characteristic not only. Russia but for many other countries. As the reform of educational systems as well as the unification of the national educational standards occurs at the global level. The ideas of globalization spread on education too. So Russia is seeking to enrich its educational potential  by studying the innovative experience of   organization and the content of education in other countries.

In the past, the curriculum of our country was suffused with the Soviet ideology. This was the main determinant and the unifying factor. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the school system  lost the item. And in the existing scheme only the content (program has been changed). Now there is the desire to change not only the content but the forms of the educational model to bring it closer to Western models. Introduced a few years ago  the Unified State Exam  is a telling fact of the transition state to western educational models.


But the mere transfer of Western educational models to Russia would not be able to yield the expected results as for the successful implementation of any achievements, it is necessary to take into account the national characteristics of our country, its previous teaching experience and the present state of education. It is therefore necessary to initiate exploration of the fundamental principles of Western educational systems because the study of these principles can contribute to the gradual movement towards a better educational model.

One of these principles, we believe,  is  a democratic principle of freedom of choice. A free choice teaches human responsibility. The famous Austrian philosopher and psychologist Viktor Frankl sees the ultimate goal of education to overcome the practice of education and upbringing of «standardized personality, the average person». And freedom of choice in this vein is the main precondition for raising active and creative personality.


The experience of the variability of curricula and programs used at  the lessons of physical training in our gymnasium  confirms this idea. At the beginning of the school year the pupils  vote to decide what events on what sports will be held throughout the year (the final plan is asserted by the director). In addition, they are actively involved in organizing and conducting these events. The pupils make choices taking responsibility not only as direct participants in the process but also as organizers. The competitions become much more interesting because the students  try to avoid (possible) repetition of the same schemes. They  try to bring something new to make a sporting event interesting for everybody. Thus, they  do all the way to the event: from the choice of sport participants and self-organization to popularization it among their peers.

Experience shows that pupils take part in the competitions they have chosen themselves with a greater willingness . Moreover, giving freedom of choice, we give pupils more confidence and they try to justify it. Thus, free choice not only increases interest of pupils to the sport, but it is also an essential element in raising the individual..

                                         The teacher of physical culture superior Malinina R.L.