Theses Doctoral

Mathematical Extracurricular Activities in Russia

Marushina, Albina

The dissertation is devoted to the history and practice of extracurricular activities in mathematics in Russia. It investigates both the views expressed by mathematics educators concerning the aims and objectives of extracurricular activities, and the daily organization of such activities, including the pedagogical formats and the mathematical assignments and questions to which extracurricular activities have given rise. Thus the dissertation provides an overview of the history of extracurricular activities over the course of a century, as part of the general development of education (including mathematics education) in Russia.
The study called for a multifaceted investigation of surviving sources, which include practically all available textbooks and teaching manuals, scholarly articles on conducting extracurricular activities, magazine and newspaper articles on conducting extracurricular activities, surviving memoirs of participants and organizers of extracurricular activities, and much else, including methodological materials preserved in archives, which have been located by the author.
Summing up the results of the study, it may be said that two major goals have always been important in extracurricular activities in Russia: the first goal is motivating students; the second goal is preparing the mathematically strongest students and providing them with an opportunity to deepen and enrich their mathematical education. Of course, extracurricular activities have not been aimed exclusively at these two goals, and at different stages of development additional goals (such as ideological preparation) were also formulated. Broadly speaking, it may be said that the history of the Russian system of mathematical extracurricular activities in general has been strongly aligned with the history of the development of the system of Russian school education. The study analyzes the specific character of extracurricular activities at each of the historical stages of Russia's development, in particular, it lists and described the basic forms of extracurricular activities, paying special attention to the indissoluble connection between the so-called mass-scale forms, in which millions of schoolchildren participate, and forms and activities that are engaged in only by a very few. Also provided is a survey of the changes that have occurred in the mathematical problems that are offered to students.
The author believes that familiarity with the longstanding tradition of extracurricular activities in mathematics in Russia may be useful also to the international sphere of mathematics educators, since the issue of motivating students is becoming increasingly important. The study concludes with a discussion of the possibilities and the expediency of putting such experience to use.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics Education
Thesis Advisors
Vogeli, Bruce R.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 4, 2016