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CCU, Russian University publish textbook

October 26, 2007

The English language version of a textbook first published last year in Russia as a collaboration between Coastal Carolina University and Russian State Social University of Moscow has been issued by Charles C. Thomas Publishers of Springfield, Ill.

"Teaching at the University Level: Cross-Cultural Perspectives from the United States and Russia" examines topics in higher education from the viewpoints of practicing education scholars in both countries.

Dennis Wiseman, director of the Biddle Center for Teaching and Learning in the Spadoni College of Education, 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 Russian State Social University, one of three institutions in Russia with which Coastal has partnership agreements.

The book, 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 experiences, the value of an interdisciplinary perspective, a respect for diversity, and an emphasis on "active" rather than "passive" learning.

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 undergraduate and graduate programs in such areas as social work, social pedagogy and psychology.