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CCU and Russian university co-produce higher education textbook

June 16, 2006

In a first-ever publishing collaboration between the two institutions, faculty members from Coastal Carolina University and the Russian State Social University of Moscow have co-published a new textbook for educators who teach in colleges and universities.

"Techniques of Teaching at the University Level," published in Russia and printed in both English and Russian, was officially unveiled at a ceremony in Moscow on June 6 attended by Dennis Wiseman, Coastal's associate provost for academics and director of graduate studies. Wiseman and Gilbert Hunt, dean of Coastal's Spadoni College of Education, contributed four chapters to the book and served as co-editors. Five chapters were contributed by faculty members of the Russian State Social University, one of three institutions in Russia with which Coastal has partnership agreements. Prefaces are provided by the heads of both institutions, President Ronald R. Ingle of CCU and Rector V.I. Zhukov of RSSU.

The book specifically addresses effective teaching at the college and university level. "While students completing doctoral programs traditionally are very well prepared in their disciplines of specialization, they generally receive little or no emphasis in their programs of study in how to communicate this discipline knowledge well to others," said Wiseman. "This simply is not one of the purposes of the programs."

"Techniques of Teaching at the University Level," written especially for those who teach at colleges and universities, introduces specific teaching techniques, including how to motivate and manage students, methods of active teaching, instructing multinational groups, and promoting diversity. The book also recommends criteria for the evaluation of student progress.

Wiseman notes that Russian and American educators share many common views on the purpose of their work at the university level and on teaching, including a belief in the importance of applied learning experience, the value of an interdisciplinary perspective, a respect for diversity, and an emphasis on "active" rather than "passive" learning.

The Russian State Social University, established in 1991, is the largest institution of higher education in Russia, with an enrollment of more than 100,000 students and branch campuses throughout the country. RSSU specializes in the social sciences, offering 63 programs in such areas as social work, social pedagogy and psychology.