Pur­pose of the pro­gram

Developed in the 50’s — 60’s of the last cen­tury ped­ago­gic­al meth­od­o­logy of col­lect­ive cre­at­ive edu­ca­tion (CCE) is known by many names: meth­od­o­logy of col­lect­ive cre­at­ive deeds, Com­munard’s meth­od­o­logy, Igor P. Ivan­ov’s meth­od­o­logy, com­mon care ped­agogy, ped­agogy of social cre­ativ­ity. Its main prin­ciples are the fol­low­ing: improve­ment of the life around, com­rade­ship and cre­at­ive team­work. The cre­at­or of this meth­od­o­logy aca­dem­i­cian Igor P. Ivan­ov imple­men­ted it in the Com­mune of Young Frun­zents (1959–1968), and then in the stu­dent Com­mune named in hon­or of Makar­en­ko (1963–1991).

The most import­ant thing about this ped­agogy is that it is the most con­sist­ent and effect­ive (among the oth­ers that we know) attempt to put the adoles­cents and adults in the world of genu­ine human rela­tions — human rela­tions as they ideally should be. Such rela­tions are based on sin­cer­ity, respons­ib­il­ity, trust, con­sid­er­a­tion and respect for every­one, caring about each oth­er and the world around. Rela­tions in which there is no ali­en­a­tion, where people nev­er take advant­age of each oth­er. Thus, as M. Chek­ma­ry­ov (a mem­ber of the Com­mune named after Makar­en­ko) said, ele­ments of human­ism evolve in the world of con­sumer­ism.

The factors that make this world arise and exist are simple and well known sep­ar­ately. How­ever, the com­bin­a­tion of them is unique in the Ivan­ov’s meth­od­o­logy, and they are much more pro­duct­ive being used togeth­er. These factors are:

  1. tasks that require full involve­ment of each mem­ber of the group, co-ordin­a­tion between par­ti­cipants, full com­mit­ment and «tun­ing on each oth­er» while the task time is extremely lim­ited. All these beget  unali­en­ated human rela­tions and devel­op neces­sary human qual­it­ies;
  2. plan­ning in a team, col­lect­ive ful­fil­ment and work analisys, col­lect­ive reflec­tion of gained exper­i­ence;
  3. inform­al­ity — it is extremely import­ant that com­munard groups are formed neither by order of any kind of author­it­ies, nor by mar­ket demand; they arise from intern­al needs of their organ­izers and, ulti­mately, because all the par­ti­cipants want it;
  4. suc­ces­sion — it is very import­ant for such a group to have a num­ber of people with the exper­i­ence of such rela­tion­ship, people, who can trans­fer trad­tions and the «atmo­sphere».

The per­son­al factor is also very import­ant. Such groups are often formed around a lead­er and fall apart when he or she leaves the group. How­ever, as V.I. Lants­berg writes in his art­icle «Ped­ago­gic­al Myth­o­logy», CCE meth­od­o­logy works not only when the lead­ers are cha­ris­mat­ic, it works with the help of any good, fair people. Per­son­al factor is really import­ant, but we don’t mean that a per­son should have some spe­cial tal­ent, you just have to be your­self and to be com­mited to the rela­tion­ship (the meth­od does not work «mech­an­ic­ally»).

The teen­agers and adults who took part in com­munard teams wanted to imple­ment their exper­i­ence in new con­di­tions; social and ped­ago­gic­al phe­nomen­on called Com­munard move­ment (asso­ci­ation) evolved as a res­ult. There are dif­fer­ent points of view on this move­ment and its pos­sible impact on social devel­op­ment, and one of them (expressed, for example, in the pre­face to a col­lec­tion of com­munard songs by Roman Sinel­nikov) is that if the Com­munard move­ment had not been «supressed» in the mid-60s and were fully developed, the Soviet Uni­on would have grown a gen­er­a­tion of people for whom the Com­munard motto «Our pur­pose is the people’s hap­pi­ness» was not a form­al motto, but their choice in life. In this case the whole his­tory would have been dif­fer­ent…

How­ever, even in not so good spir­itu­al, social, and polit­ic­al envir­on­ment the Com­munard move­ment con­tin­ued exist­ing. It exists today, although in a dif­fer­ent, lat­ent form, fallen into pieces, sep­ar­ate «islands». Here are the names of only a few of the most well-known groups work­ing on the basis of this meth­od­o­logy stead­ily for dec­ades: the Arkhangel­sk City pupils’ headquarter, organ­iz­a­tion «Edin­stvo» (Unity) in Ryazan, Moscow mil­it­ary search team «Dozor»,  school under the dir­ec­tion of V.A.Karakovsky (Moscow).

As we see it, the ped­agogy of com­mon care is the most con­sisit­ent prac­tic­al imple­ment­a­tion of the philo­soph­ic­al prin­ciple of rad­ic­al human­ism: «Every per­son has the Sun inside — just let it shine!» And as Olga Mar­iniche­va wrote in her art­icle «Ideal­ists», «this tech­nique works in any social and polit­ic­al con­di­tions, it is for the Spir­it to sur­vive under any con­di­tions».

At the same time, groups that work in CCE meth­od­o­logy, inde­pend­ently of the socio-polit­ic­al con­text, face some intern­al chal­lengesthat  lim­it their devel­op­ment; as we know, sys­tem­ic solu­tions of these prob­lems have not been found yet. In the pro­gram «For­mula of Unity» we are try­ing at least to put these prob­lems at the cen­ter of our atten­tion and to look for empir­ic­al approaches to their solu­tion.