MUNICIPAL PUBLIC INSTITUTION
SECONDARY PUBLIC SCHOOL "PHINIST"
/ ROSTOV-ON-DON, RUSSIA /

    
    
     Address : Russian Federation, 344092, Rostov-on-Don, Kapustin str., 18/2.
      Phone: (863-2) - 74-56-16, (863-2) - 35-00-95.

In a course of political, economic and cultural changes of our society there came a need to create an educational model of raising a child as individual apt to entirely percept the world, to hold moral values and to be able to adapt to an ever changing world. These are the basic problems facing the "PHINIST" staff.

"PHINIST" school was founded in 1993 by the group of school teachers and scientists of the Rostov State University. The school staff consists of well-trained, highly qualified specialists, 8 of them have science Degrees, 2 teachers were selected and named as "Soros High School Teachers". The school comprises four stages: preschool, primary school, junior school and high school headed by one Principal Z.V. Miroshnikova, the Honored Teacher of the Russian Federation.

The Day Board "PHINIST" school is open from 8 a.m. till 6 p.m. During the day children are provided with 4 meals, medical care, and skilled teaching. All these factors made it possible to form a model of basic and extracurricular studies and activities which take in account
     • age and personal individualities of our students;
     • changing different activities (including learning process) into doing sports, enjoying recreation, walking outdoors, clubs and sections according to pupils' tastes and interests.

When curriculum designing the ideas of developing education were used (search and rehabilitation of pupils unclaimed abilities, research approach to the subject delivery) as well as programming teaching of educational cybernetics (reliable teacher-pupil feedback support to control and correct the pupil's subject mastering).

The rhythm and pace of teaching are correlated with regular results of psychological and physical investigations of the school-students. Much attention is given to physical training and special classes of psychological relaxation and self-regulation.

The bringing up system is based on the family-like model. Much attention is paid to aesthetics because art is both a universal means of communication and a means of forming creative activities in a child.

As a result of cooperation with the Rostov State University many school graduates enter different higher institutions and study there successfully.

The "PHINIST" staff consider an environment protection and description of environmental objects to be one of the most important problems nowadays. Too many ways of people's activity influence greatly on the environmental processes that cause unforeseen, unchangeable results. That's why it is very important to analyze and predict the influence of any activity on the eco-system before beginning this or that project.

"PHINIST" school is realizing the program of the environmental education and upbringing of the school-students. The program is aimed at not only academic but some kinds of practical activities such as:
     • collecting and recording different data about the Don and Temernik rivers' watershed conditions;
     • chemical, spectral and biological analyses of the collected water samples and the river bed sediments;
     • working out computer programs for statistical analysis of the results of the investigations, and modeling possible consequences of human interference in the environment.

Our school has been involved in "Eco-Bridge School Linkages Project" since 1994 to 1998. We have developed a joint environmental research project in collaboration with our partners from Oak-Ridge High School (TN, USA).

On the whole our work was organized like this: Oak-Ridge students kept a look-out of forest succession. They conducted a study of the growth patterns of various species of trees to assess the overall health of the local watershed. Numerous data was collected and recorded in the field by them. Rostov students developed a computer model of the site under observation which enabled them to make predictions on forest succession. This project had opened new possibilities for them to apply their theoretical skills to the search to solve environmental problems of life importance.

Since 1998 "PHINIST" school is taking part in the international ecological program GLOBE - Global Learning and Observation for Benefit of Environment. In the frame of this program our students:
     • investigate the Temernik river ( a branch of the Don river) as part of a total eco-system that includes its watershed;
     • conduct scientific inquiry into the biological, physical and chemical aspects of the river;
     • explore human use of the Don and the Temernik and the environmental impact of human activity on the rivers.

The staff of "PHINIST" noticed that participation in this program has enriched the students, teachers and the contents of educational process. In fact, Ecology has become an integrating factor which stimulates students to study chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, computing, foreign languages and humanities at school. Moreover the students of our school learn to evaluate human impact on environment and define immediate and long-term environmental threats to the watershed. Thus, they learn to behave and act in accordance with their investigational results, trying not to influence the environment in a wrong way.