Creat ive Educati on
2014. Vo l.5, No.2, 86-92
Published Online February 2014 in SciRes ( http://dx.d 14
Implementation of Creative Education Policy in
Russian Higher Education Curricula
Tamara Savelyeva
Department of International Education and Lifelong Learning, The Hong Kong Institu te of Education,
Hong Kong, China
Received December 18th, 2013; revised January 18th, 2014; accepted January 25th , 2014
Copyright © 2014 Tamara Savelyeva. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons
Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited. In accordance of the Creative Commons Attribution License all Copyrights ©
2014 are reserved for SCIRP and the owner of the intellectual property Tamara Savelyeva. All Copyright ©
2014 are guarded by law and by SCIRP as a guardian.
An ongoing restructuring of Russian higher education prioritizes development of a “creative educational
syst e m” as on e of it s p ol icy direc t io ns . Fol l owi n g thi s recent p oli cy man da te, R us si a n uni ver si ti es ha ve b e e n
intr oducing new cur ricular models , which the y adop t from the W estern ac ademic sc hool of teac hing and
lear ning. How ever, Wes ter n-design ed curr ic ular novelti es a nd method ologies that suppor t crea tive educa-
tion p oli c ies have b ee n cr i ti c iz ed f or l a ck i ng suc c es s i n Rus si a n H E du e t o ke y di ff er enc es i n t ra di ti ona l c ul-
tures of educa t iona l syst ems. How do fa cult y faci l itat e curr icul ar changes i n s uppor t of the cr eat ive educ a-
tion policy? This study addresses this question by exploring the implementation of a specific curricular
module in the field of creative educationthe Sustainability project in two Russian universities. The re-
sulting descriptive model comprises antecedents, processes, and contents of the project implementation
under three broad categories of the university restructuring: organization, environment, and relation. I discuss
the fi ndings i n terms of t he tw o i mp or ta nt charac t erist ic s of t he res ult ed cur ri c ular impl ementa t ion model :
(1) the cul turally sens itive na ture o f cr eative educa tion cur ricula r adapta tion in pos t-Soviet hi gher educ a-
tion, and (2) non-linear ity of the curricular educat ion polic y enactment in Russian univer sity classrooms.
Key words: Cultural Diversification Framework; Creativity Education; Non-Linearity; Curricular
Implem entation Model; Policy Enactment; Post-Soviet E nvironment; Re-Structuring; Rus sian
Higher Education
Educational restructuring (Gumport, 2000)1 is not a choice
but an imperative for ce of a “glo balized” real ity in man y coun-
tries. Within the educational realms of Russian higher educa-
tion (HE), institutional policy emphasis on university restruc-
turing goes back to the adoptionon Dec. 29, 2012of the
new Federal Educatio nal Law. Si nce the en actment of th is law,
Russian universities have been officially operating in a new
policy environment, driven by the philosophies of economic
rationalism (Pusey, 1991) and managerialism (Pollitt, 1990). As
a result , th e demand for a creat ive edu cati on al syste m” in Rus-
sian HE considers the requirements o f the mar ket-driven educa-
tional policy environment and emphasizes scarcity, competition
(Marginson, 1993), accountability, excellence, and efficiency
(Welch, 1996). New to Russian faculty and educational admin-
istrators, the 3E (efficiency, excellence, and economy) aca-
demic value system (Welch, 1998) requires universities to align
their traditional curricular structures and praxis with the newly
adopted policy guidelines. The demand for a “creative educa-
tional system, which followed these recent shifts in the phi-
losophy and administration of Russian HE, led to drastic
changes in the universities’ curricular structures and methodol-
ogies. How do universities under condition of restructuring
promote creative education methodologies? How do faculty
facilitat e curricu lar changes i n support of th e creative edu cation
My study is based on the assumption that in Russian univer-
sity environments, faculty and students approach a mandatory
implementation of the creative education policy agenda with a
baggage of cultural beliefs and knowledge of their traditional
educational systems. This determines their reasoning behind
adapting a particular curricular project and teaching-learning
methods in their courses and classrooms, and, most importantly,
defines the longevity of the implemented project. By empha-
sizing the role of culture in curricular practices, I only aim to
acknowledge, without further exploration, that curricular prac-
tices and their implementation depend on a societal culture,
within which they are performed.
In this study, I address the problem of implementing new
curricu lar modules in support of the creative educati on po licies
in universities under condition of restructuring. I propose a
descriptive model, which consists of three contextual categories
of curricular implementation in the restructuring university:
organizational, environmental, and relational. This model was
created based on the results of a two-year empirical study of a
1Gumport viewed university restructuring as a complex phenomenon that
involves rethinking of the ways universities allocate recourses, generate
revenue, and align their structures with the external demands of the society.
Sustainability project, a creative education initiative piloted by
the faculty and students at two Russian universities in 2010.
Drawing on the project’s data, I suggest that the resulted model
of curricular implementation might be best articulated within
the research frames that reference two features: (1) cultural
sensitivity of curricular adaptation and (2) non-linearity of the
curricular education policy enactment in Russian university
classrooms. Before discussing the study, I would like to intro-
duce two themes that provide a broader context to the inquiry.
One of the themes has to do with a historical account of the
creative education policy and its effects on a curricular struc-
ture in Russia; the other has to do with the challenges of im-
plementin g creative ed ucation agenda due to cultural di ffer enc-
es between Russian and Western academic traditi ons.
Creative Education in Russian HE
Among many new curricular areas recently introduced into
the Russian system of HE (e.g. business management, market
economics, sociology and political studies), creative education
did not stand alone as a separate area of study. Treated as a
methodological package to acco mpany Western-designed busi-
ness education curricula, creative education at first stayed
within the borders of Russian business schools. Consequently,
creative education has first emerged as a new curricular me-
thodology, which aimed to align the educational policies for
building a “creative educational system” with the universities’
classroom practices. Coming from a business-education sector
of the restructuring university system, creative education built
up its conceptual frames by initiating academic discourses
about methodological applications of the Western-designed
management training programs for academic systems under-
going restructuring. Resulting from a brief exchange of aca-
demic opinions in Russian academic meetings, the creative
educati on was connected with a philosophical current of Amer-
ican pr agmatis m and given new terminological tools to operate
in the academic area of educational policy and administration in
Russia. Following the foundations of creative education of John
Guilford (1950), creative education in Russia was broadly de-
fined as a process of “organizing and managing one’s creative
process for the purpose of producing a required [creative]
product(Arich, 2008). A new Russian term “kreativnost,”
meaning “cr eative [ edu cation]” was directl y translated fro m the
American English dictionary to explain the new phenomena in
the edu cational policy arena o f in quiry; for clarit y, it was co m-
pared with the traditional u se of a creat ivit y co ncep t i n t he Rus-
sian school of developmental psychology (Freud, Fromm,
Maslow, etc.). A successful business educator Elena Arich
(2008), points out the difference between creativity and creative
education as follows:
Creativity and creative [education] are not synonyms. A
classic creativity discourse approaches the phenomena as
a free motion of an inspired person, that has to do with
inspirational factors, range of creative abilities the person
possess, his or her beliefs, and the traditions that the per-
son follows. In contrast, the idea of creative education
views the phenomena from a standpoint of pure pragmat-
ism, considering practical grounds for any creative motion.
Under the framework of pragmatism, an initial creative
motion of a person has to do with his or her knowledge of
why, for whom, how, and what exactly needs to be
created (p. 5).
In accordance, the importance of creative education to the
pursuit of the university restructuring objectives had been
clearly acknowledged and accepted-though not thoroughly
theorized or contextualized-within the management-oriented
realms o f education al policy and administr ation fields of study.
The Russian Acade my of Natu ral Sci ences, th e most influ ential
scientific structure of the Russian Federation, defined goals,
means, and set the ends of creative education for meeting the
newly established policy directions. According to Gordashno-
kov and Osin (2009), creative education aims to “awake one’s
creative po wers and d evelop on e’s inherent creativity; cultivate
boldness of thought and strong belief in one’s creative potential;
nurture ability to generate new and exciting ideas of universal
value, which shall not harm nature, and the inherent need for a
creative way of life” (p. 44). In Russian context, creative edu-
cation is approached as a process with four characteristics: (1)
continuity and life-long orientation; (2) active student involve-
ment into learning; (3) independent management of creative
proesses, and (4) alignment between creative knowledge and
relevant assessment criteria (Gordashnokov & Osin, 2009).
Applied to the HE system, creative education in Russian HE
can be est ablished by means of:
Information Technology (IT). IT can be employed for a
didactic support of intellectual processes and critical think-
Holistic educational strategies. Holistic nature of know-
ledge, which o ne acq u ires through university education, can
be achieved by integrating disciplinary resources specified
in federal educational standards;
Emphasis on intellectuality. Intellectual approach to crea-
tive problem solving might include such strategies as iden-
tificatio n and formulati on of a creative task, tar geted search
for various solutions, evaluation and choice of optimal so-
lutions, to match the educational s t a nda r ds ;
Docendo docimus principle. Applying the “learning while
teaching” principle to teaching and learning helps monitor
and assess progress o f a creative activity;
Integration of theoretical and methodological aspects of
creativit y for developing professional curiosity and occupa-
tional excellence.
The pol icy move toward a “creative edu cational system” n ot
only proposed clear means of implementing creative education
at universities, but also proposed assessment criteria to monitor
the process. Lonchakov (2004) appeals to principles of holism,
uncert ain ty, and systemi c anal ysis an d propo ses two asses sment
criteria t o monitor students’ creative learnin g: students are able
to perform a systemic analysis of a problem by deriving a core
fro m a complex issue, formulating the problem, and managing
the issue in a non-standard way to reach the best possible solu-
Creative education is also considered a priority for nurturing
highly qualified faculty teachers and researchers. The practical
model of creative educat ion relies on a gradu al implemen tation
of new Western-designed teaching and assessment methodolo-
gies into existing university curricula.
While Russia has been displaying strong values and orienta-
tions toward the adaptation of Western-designed curricular
modules in its educational system, it faces strong cultural bar-
riers to a successful p oli cy implemen tation . One of th e barri ers,
which has implications for the HE system in Russia, is the his-
tory of collectivism, as it defines structures of a former Soviet
Russian society. Unlike Western individualistic systems of
teaching and learning, the traditional educational system in past
Russia carried the goal of upbringing a whole-round person
who is capable of effacing an individual freedom for the sake of
the collective good. In classrooms, the collectivism principle
manifested in an application of “whole-class” teaching and
assessment strategies, serving an entire class proceeded toward
a common collective goal. The Russian curricula had less em-
phasis on an ideal of an individual learner, whereas learner-
centered curricular strategies were tied to a greater collective
outcome. A drastic surge of globalization has brought about an
instant change of the collectivism-oriented curricular metho-
dologies and strategies toward more individualistic teaching
and personalized learning. However, years after, individualistic
teachin g and lear nin g remains slow paced and sh arp ly criti cized
in Russian society. As a result, Russian universities have failed
to fully introduce and accommodate creative education-related
courses and initiatives. An additional problem is that Russian
faculty simply had no time to adapt new curricular methodolo-
gies and adjust their programs to the new creative education
agenda o f their universities.
The proposed study timely follows up a policy aspect of
university restructuring that requires an installment of a “crea-
tive edu cational syste min Russia. Under condition of restruc-
turing, faculty are required to perform a quick adaptation to the
new curricular models, methods, and initiatives. However, their
access to information about what creative education really is
and what new creative education methodology demands of
them is very limited. Creative education, as a method and as a
concep t, is not taught in faculty training programs or widely
used in universities. Making faculty and students work with a
customized version of creative education curricula allowed me
to gain insightful knowledge about how to sustain the new me-
thodology in Russian university classrooms. The study also
fulfilled the demand for soft, non-revolutionary re-enact ment of
new policies in university curricula in the HE institutions under
condition of restructuring.
Research Scope
I used t he case of the Sustainability pro ject as an example o f
creative education curricular implementation in Russian uni-
versities. The project was launched in 2010 in two Russian
universities, and it included one undergraduate-level course,
collaboratively taught by Russian students and faculty with four
other universities from the US, China, Australia, and Latin
America The course included extensive use of Western-de-
signed methodologies, such as case studies, on-line communi-
cation via Web 2.0 platform (Ning social network), student-led
international videoconferences, and alternative assessment me-
thods. The two research objectives of my study were: (1) to
determine t he aspect s of the creat ive educat ion in itiative, which
enabled its steady implementation over a period of time in the
university under condition of restructuring; and (2) provide a
description of contextual restructuring categories, which al-
lowed faculty to adapt the creative education policy and facili-
tate changes in th eir curricular methods.
Research Design
I conducted the descriptive study of the Sustainability curr i-
cular initiative using a qualitative research design to provide a
detailed and rich description of the contextual restructuring
categories that allowed faculty to adapt the creative education
policy and facilitate changes in their curricular methods. I si-
tuated the study within one of the streams of the organizational
change conceptual framework (De Ven & Huber, 1990) and
focused on antecedents and consequences of change in univer-
sity structure in relation to implementation of the creative edu-
cation course into university classrooms.
Instrument and Data Collection
The survey instrument consisted of an open-ended question-
naire b ased upon the data abou t curricular imple mentations and
restructuring available in the literature. For observations, I
adapted and modified the Cresswell (2003) template by includ-
ing specific items to capture instances of curricular implemen-
tation and adaptation in a university classroom. My choice of
the observation items reflected the dat a der ived from the survey
responses. For the document analysis, I used a summary form
adapted from Miles and Huberman (1994). The paper and
on-line survey questionnaire were distributed as part of the
course evaluation package at the end of the academic year. I
conducted the observation and document analyses of the Sus-
tainability curricular initiative during the fall 2009-spr ing 20 10
semesters at the two universities in Russia.
Data Analy sis Proc edu re
Data analysis began as soon as I had access to documents. I
analyzed the first survey transcript using an open-coding fea-
ture of the NVivo® qualitative data analysis software, which
allowed me to code interview and observation passages in the
margins. First, I broke down the data for the appearance of
patterns and themes. Second, I analyzed and open-coded the
resulted categories into “thought units” (Butterfield, Reed, &
Lemak, 2004). I applied a coding-recodin g strategy to my anal-
ysis to make sure my findings are dependable. Next, I grouped
toget her the emergin g codin g categories o f codes u sing an axial
coding strategy to ensure the similarity of “thought units”
within categories and, at the same time, the greatest difference
among them. Finally, I further collapsed some of these codes
and derived categories for creative education curricular imple-
mentation at the university under condition of restructuring.
Findings: The Descriptive Model of Creative
Education Curricular Implementation
The findings from this study revealed three broad contextual
categories of creative education curricular implementation in
Russian universities: organization, environment, and relation
(Figure 1 ). I interpreted the sub -themes, which emerged within
each contextual category, through the relevant theoretical
frameworks of organizational theory. The first organization
category included sub-themes of structural adaptation and in-
stitutional survival; the environment category included sub-
themes of project transparency and flexible project dynamics;
and the relation category included sub-themes of internal and
external, formal and informal relationships.
Under this category, I put issues related to the university’s
internal management processes that either promoted or limited
coordination, operation, and implementation of the Sustainabil-
ity creative education initiative. Although classic organizational
Figure 1.
Contextual categories of creative education curricular implementation.
theory stresses an importance of administrative control and
managerial coordination within formal educational structures
(Lǽggard & Bindslev, 2006), this finding points out a different
motivator for welcoming creative education methodologies into
Russian university classrooms. The faculty’s autonomy and
lack of administrative pressure to implement the new policy
stimulated their openness to the new, previously unknown ways
of teaching. Without formal enforcement, faculty tested, mod-
ified, and adapted the creative education initiative due to their
natural curiosity and high professional standards. Collaborating
with other universities helped faculty to establish themselves as
“global” players in the HE arena. They used the new metho-
dologies following an example of their colleagues from differ-
ent countries, and managed the project collaboratively within
their institutions. The transparency of the project structure and
its flexible dynamics were essential to ensure participants’
commitment to the task of implementation. In reverse, lack of
transparency to the managerial staff and faculty themselves, in
some instances, have slowed down the implementation of the
course. Explaining the unusual curricular structure of the new
course and its methods to the participating faculty aided their
involvement. However, formal “marketing” of the course’s
innovative features (a new case study methodology, different
assessment techniques, and the use of social networking) to
university administration would speed the process of imple-
mentation even further. Answering such questions asWhy
did we choose this design for the course? Why are we using
case studies and student assessments? Who are our sponsors?
prior the beginning of the course would address a more gen-
eral issu e of makin g the entire process of designing and operat-
ing th e initiative more comprehensive.
Environ me nt
Under th e enviro nmental category, I classifi ed “externaliti es,”
or issues related to the participants’ awareness about the exter-
nal challenges, pressures, and causes of the university restruc-
turing. Generally, the participants responded with skepticism to
the idea of global competitiveness as a driving motivator of
curricular change in their university. The administrative 3E
(economy, effectiveness, and efficiency) focus of creative edu-
cation policy was not total ly rejected, bu t rather taken as ir rele-
vant to classroom activities of the teaching faculty. Faculty
justified the reasons for them implementing the course with
such motivators, as their personal professional standards and
academic pr in cip les. This fin di ng go es agai nst existi ng res ear ch
arguments about university restructuring, which list competi-
tion (Smart & Hitt, 1994), policy changes, and lack of resources
(Meyer, Brooks, & Goes, 1990) as triggers for faculty to bring
change in to t he classro om. At the level of cu rricu lar imple men-
tation and in the minds of the teaching facult y, creative educa-
tion was not connected with the changes in educational policies
and university’s responses to externalities. Students, on the
other hand, viewed the course novelties as part of their tuition
pay-off, and they were, in some instances, concerned with the
faculty not arranging even more curricular “fit” with their
schedule, living location, translation, travel plans etc. In this
regard, some students behaved as outsiders, projecting the new
course methodologies as new “products” that the university was
“selling” to them at the costs of their tuition. Externalities,
therefore, did not trigger a massive implementation of creative
education methodologies in the classrooms, but were present in
students’ attitudes about the course organization and its purpose.
The faculty’s notion of “external” included federal and state
governing bodies and global agencies, such as World Bank. In
contrast, the students’ notions of “externalities” were much
more localized, and included industries and potential regional
employers. This difference between faculty and students’ un-
derstanding of “externalities” might be viewed as a result of
recent “commercialization of Russian HE, and an attempt to
treat students as “customers” and “consumers.” In this sense,
students’ limited view of what “externalities” shaped their
course experiences reflects their stance as customers to a new
educati onal productcreative education. Students’ stance as
“passive recipients of whatever the institute decides to dish out”
(Schwartz man, 1 995: p. 7), points out a problem of “marketiza-
tion” of education and its influence on students’ involvement
into shaping the curricular changes at th e university. The facu l-
ty’s larger notion of “externalities” features another effect of
“marketizat i on”: faculty invest more into exploration of the
new methodologies. Although the research literature (Dill &
Sporn, 1995) reports globalization and academic competitive-
ness as triggers for restructuring, the findings of this study
suggest that the faculty has changed its curricular practices out
of professional curiosity and intrinsic academic beliefs. This
finding contradicts much of the literature that criticizes the
marketizat ion forces and the resultin g HE competiti veness (Dil l,
1997) by providing empirical evidence that the “marketization”
and an emphasis on globalization and competition might be
positive and encourage implementation of new curricula in
Under this category, I classified the importance of inter-
nal-external, formal-informal relationships in the process of
course implementation. The research not only shows the essen-
tial role of the relationships, both professional and personal, in
implementing creative education policy in the classrooms, but
also describes the dynamic of this process. So, the change from
formal to informal mode of relation among the participants
brought about changes in the classroom practices an d made th e
process more interactive. For example, a shift from an official
control over the course implementation by university officials
to informal participants’ self-reporting boosted up the speed of
faculty experimen ting with the new features of the course. They
invited faculty members from other institutions to be part of
their methodological experiments and used social networking to
solidify the fluent communication and visibility of all the par-
ticipants. Online social networking reengaged the participants
into the conversation about the educational matters, and took
their discussions beyond the topic of creative education. At the
theoretical level, this finding supports the concepts of relational
cohesion, where repeated exchanges among participants serve
as a unifying force, enhance commitment, and reduce uncer-
tainty (Lawler & Yoon, 1993).
The two important characteristics of the resulted curricular
implementation model included (1) the culturally sensitive
nature of creative education curricular adaptation and (2) non-
linearity of the curricular education policy enactment in Rus-
sian university classrooms. These characteristics suggest that a
phenomenon of creative education policy implementation might
be best articulated within social frameworks of cultural diver-
sity, which complement the organizational research approach
used in studies of educational restructuring. These two features
of the resulted model also open new interpretation venues for a
descriptive modeling method in studies of university restruc-
The first featu re of the resu lted model suggests t hat the i ssue
of a curricular innovation implementation in post-Soviet uni-
versities lies in the area of diverse educational cultures that is
concep tually different fro m the area of organ izational resear ch.
Contemporary researchers of the policy implementation arena
devote much attention to organizational aspects of fostering
curricular changes in the university classrooms (Savelyeva,
2013), organizational frameworks alone might be insufficient
for explaining changes in educational systems, which were
established based on the dramatically different principles of a
non-market economy and a politically different social order.
Establ ished at the break of the Socialist revo lution in 19 18, the
Russian educational system aimed for a collective good to build
a new class-free society. The current restructuring of this well-
structured system, which functioned in Russia for almost 90
years, has challenged the former culture of “all embracing …
consistently democratic system of public education (Skatkin &
Tsov’janov, 1994: p. 52). The rapid shift toward a totally dif-
ferent set of pedagogical values and methods, which would
benefit an individual learn er and teacher, re-orientation to mar-
ket-based approaches of system’s management, required Rus-
sian faculty to change their educational philosophy and quickly
adapt the new policy directions. In this sense, I argue that an
adaptation of creati ve education policy in modern Russia can b e
viewed in line with sociocultural frameworks that praise con-
textual nature of policy research and focus on the culturally
sensitive nature of curricular implementation.
Early sociologists have identified some of the policy imple-
mentati on asp ects that resonated with the cultural view of orga-
nizational changes, for example, in their discussions of policy
as a way to enhance social reproduction (Bourdieu, 1990 ) and
exercise social powers (Foucault, 1983). Most recently, Neder-
veen Pieterse (2009) drew attention to the “incr eas ing silence of
cultural differences” (p. 43) in sociological discourses of globa-
lization by distinguishing three positions on cultural differences:
cultural differentialism, cultural convergence, and cultural hy-
bridization. He pointed out that “the clash between cultural
diversity and globalization may well be considered a creative
clash” (p . 60), as the awareness o f cultu ral differen ces has b een
growing and it can be approached as a major function of globa-
lization. My proposed model of the university restructuring
follows on Nederveen Pieterse’s taxonomy of cultural diversity.
Placed within a globalization framework, the university under
re-structuring can be viewed as a “hybrid formation”, where th e
“hybrid” aspects concern the participants’ experiences and
interpretations of the re-structuring processes. Illustrating the
“hybridity” of the university restructuring, the culturally sensi-
tive mod el of a curricular ad aptatio n takes into accoun t diverse
logics and mixed interpretations of all the stakeholder of re-
structuring. Approached this way, university re-structuring
appears as a con struct ive, r ath er than a destru cti ve (Beck, 2001)
process, capable of increasing the range of organizational
choices. The plurality of organizational choices might lead to
different forms of cooperation, both local and international
(Chan, 2004), among faculty and also at the level of university
The insights of the cultural diversification framework can be
applied to the second feature of the resulted model, the non-
linearity of the curricular education policy enactment in Rus-
sian university classrooms. Approaching a mandatory imple-
mentation of the creative education policy agenda with a bag-
gage of cultural beliefs and knowledge of their traditional edu-
cational systems, faculty and students simply may not be fully
equipped to meet challenges of the curricular adaptation. Con-
sidering the significance of cultural diversification in policy
implementation processes, my findings suggest a methodologi-
cal importance of keeping the research emphasis on the “im-
plementators”, people who shape and unfold the policy, rather
than policy itself.
The second feature of the model, a non-linearity of the cur-
ricular education policy enactment, follows the recent devel-
opments of the education policy implementation research that
draw on methodological and conceptual complexity of “imple-
mentability”. Honig (2006) points out the complexity of policy
dynamics and describes new directions of policy studies on
“implementability” as follows:
Implementability… [is] the product of interactions be-
tween policies, people, and places—the demands specific
policies place on implementers; the participants in im-
plementation and their starting beliefs, knowledge, and
other orientations toward policy demands; and the places
or contexts that help shape what people can and will do.
Implemen tati on res earch s hou ld aim to reveal th e pol icies ,
people, and places that shape how implementation unfolds
and provide robust, grounded explanations for how inte-
ractions among them help explain implementation out-
comes. The essential implementation question then be-
comes not simply “what’s implementable and works” but
what is implementable and what works for whom, where,
when, and why? (p. 2).
Building on Honig’s perspective, I suggest that the resulted
creative edu cation poli cy imple mentation model can be viewed
as a complex process and a product of interactions among the
policy’s structures, implementers, and the environment. The
three aspects of the resulted model—organization, environment,
and relation-reflect on this three-folded definition of the crea-
tive education policy implementation by keeping the research
focus on the interdependent complexity of the involved “people,
policies, and places,” (Honig, 2006). From this perspective, my
model also complements the existing policy implementation
research models (e.g. “communication model” by Goggin,
Bowman, Les ter, & O’Toole, 1990)
By shifting the focus of the study toward a complexity of the
policy implementation process and elements, I address the
challenge of the perpetual discrepancy between educational
policy goals and classroom practices, which is well defined in
the po licy research . Bu ilt on a p remise that ed ucati onal policies
are rarel y consis ten t with teach ers’ cl assro om pract ices, most of
the policy studies (Blignaut, 2006) draw on the “implementa-
tion problem” (McLaughlin, 2000) of discrepancy between
policy and its practical implementation. The results of my stud y
suggest a different approach to a discrepancy problem of im-
plementation, by focusing on the non-linearity of the imple-
mentation process, particularly, its organization, environment,
and relation aspects. This approach allows deeper insights into
“how policy is interpreted and transformed at each point in the
process, and … the response of the individual at the end of the
line” (p. 72). The non-linear approach to the curricular policy
implementation challenges a common research premise of a
wel l-established university infrastructure with a st eady cu rricu-
lar supply base for implementing the creative education policy
in Russian universities. The feature of non-linearity accounts
for different levels of chaos in which the creative education
policy emerged in the post-Soviet university environments and
considers the unequal educational contexts that Russia has in-
herited from its Imperial and Soviet stages of educational re-
The rapid shift of the Russian educational system to its new
ideolo gical, systemi c, and economic stages, r evealed the essen-
tials of the creativity idea that forms its conceptual core across
cultu res. The first is that creat ivity appears to have been a criti-
cal component of educational inquiries in developmental psy-
chology, educational philosophy, and sociology for many years
and acro ss all major scien tific scho ols and cultures. Regardless
of their origins, theories of creativity include objective, sym-
bolic, individual, and social components that are integrated
und er a lar ger umbrel la of a speci fic cu ltu re. These components
appear to be a prerequisite for any empirical exploration of
creativity in culturally different educational environments. A
second universal f eature o f creati vit y is that, in its most gen eral
und erstanding, it is viewed as a holi stic and continuous state of
human and social developments that are guided by the universal
rules of natural and social evolvements. These larger notions of
creativity project themselves into different phenomenological
worlds, where they manifest as specific constructs, forms, poli-
cies, and structur es of a particular educational system.
The aspects of creativity theory, which are specific to the
West, concern empirical approaches that Western scientists
employ to study the phenomena. Guided by ideas of pragmat-
is m, We stern empirical models of creativity include domains of
creative processes, products, and environments at the individual
or a group levels. In contrast, Russian empirical traditions ap-
proach creativity in all its universality, treating it as original,
self-sustaining, and dynamic phenomenon that can be observed
and experienced, rather that induced and organized. Scientific
investigations of creativity in Russian academic culture, there-
fore, deal with a much broader range of creativity manifesta-
tions at individual and social levels. Following this approach,
the empirical studies are concern ed with the practical issues of
effective problem-solving, freedom of self-realization, and
creative di alogues, as well as theoretical accounts o f creativity.
The recent re-structuring of the Russian HE system aims to
quickly overcome centuries of educational traditions and place
Russian universities on a competitive path of the market econ-
omy. Responding to the demands for building a “creative edu-
cation al syste m, the Education Law 2012 required the Russian
universities to adapt new curricular programs, modules, and
methodologies. My study of the “creative education” Sustaina-
bility module in two Russian universities provided insights of
the cultu ral barri ers to the policy implementation and suggested
three catego ries of the curricular implementation (organizati on,
environment, and relation). Two important and theoretically
grounded features of the resulted model included the culturally
sensiti ve nat ure o f th e curr icu lar adap tati on an d non -linearity of
the policy implementations in the university classrooms. These
findings outlined the need to shift the organizational focus of
policy studies toward frameworks concerned with complexity,
contextuality, and cultural sensitivity of policy implementations
for future studies on policy “implementation dilemma” in uni-
versity classrooms.
Arich, E. (2008). What is creative education? In E. Arich (Ed.), The art
of creat ive thinking (pp. 1-13). Moscow: Mir.
Beck, U. (2001 ). What is globa lization? Cambridge: Polity.
Blignaut, S. (2006). Teachersinterpretation and enactment of curri-
culum pol icy . Frankfurt: VDM Verlag.
Bourdieu, P., & Passeron, J. (1990). Reproduc ti on in education, society ,
and cu lture ( 2nd ed.). Thousand O aks, CA: Sage.
Butterfield, K., Reed, R., & Lemak, D. (2004). An inductive model of
collaboration from the stakeholders perspective. Business and So-
ciety, 43, 162-195. .1177/0007650304265956
Chan, W. (2004). Interna tiona l cooperati on in higher educ ation: Theor y
and practi ce. Jour nal of Studie s in International Education, 8, 32-55. 315303254429
Cresswell, J. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and
mixe d metho d a pproac hes (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage.
De Ven, A., & Huber, G. (1990). Longitudinal field research methods
for studying process es of org an izat ion al ch ange. Organi zati on Sc i en-
ce, 1, 213-219.
Dill, D. (1997). Higher education markets and public policy. Higher
Education Policy, 10, 167-185. )00011-1
Dill, D., & Sporn. B. (l995). The implications of a postindustrial envi-
ronment for the university: An introduction. In D. Dill, & B. Sporn
(Eds.), Emerging patterns of social demand and university reform:
Through a glass da rkly (pp. l-1 9). Oxford: Pergam on.
Foucault, M. (1983). The subject and power. In H. Dreyfus, & P. Ra-
binow (Eds.), Mi ch el F ou cau l t: Beyond struc tural ism and hermen eu-
tics (2nd ed., pp. 208-226). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.
Goggin, M., Bowman, A., Lester, J., & OToole, L. (1990 ). Implemen-
tation theory and practice: Toward a third generation. Glenview, IL:
Scott Foresman.
Gordas hnok ov, V., & Osin, A. (2009 ). Education and health of medical
college students. Moscow: Academy of Natural Sciences.
Gumport, P. (2000). Academic restructuring: Organizational change
and institutional imperatives. Higher Education: The International
Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning, 39, 67-91.
T. SAVE LYEVA 03859026301
Guilford, J. (1950). Creativity. American Psyc h ol og ist , 5, 444-454. 3487
Honig, M. (2006). Complexity and policy implementation: Challenges
and opportunities for the fi eld. In M. Hon ig (Ed.), Ne w dir ecti ons in
education policy imple mentation: Confronting complexity (pp. 1-22 ).
Albany, NY: The State University of New York.
Lawler, E., & Yoon, J. (1993). Power and the emergence of commit-
ment behavior in negotiated exchange. American Sociological Re-
view, 58, 465-481. http ://dx.doi .org/10.2307/2096071
Lonchakov, A. (2004). Reforms of law and polytechnic higher educa-
tion systems: Continues typologies and creative education. In T.
Gomza (Ed.), Issues of higher education (pp. 53-55). Khabarovsk:
Lǽggard, J., & Bindslev, M. (2006). Organizational theo ry. Frankfurt:
Marginson, S. (1993). Education and public policy in Australia. Mel-
bourne, Vic: Cambridg e Univ ersity.
McLaughlin, M. W. (2000). Listening and learning from the field: Tales
of policy imp lementa tion and si tuated pr actice. In A. Hargreaves, A.
Lieberman, M. Fullan, & D. Hopkins (Eds.), International hand book
of educational change (pp. 70-84). B oston, MA: Kluwer Academic.
Meyer, A., Brooks, G., & Goes, J. (1990). Environmental jolts and
industry revolutions: Organizational responses to discontinuous
change. Strategic Management Journal, 11, 93-110.
Miles, M., & Huberman, M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An
expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sa ge.
Nederveen Pieterse, J. (2009). Globalization and culture: Global
mélange. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
Pollitt, C. (1990). Managerialism and the public services: The An-
glo-American experience. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Pusey, M. (1991). Economic rationalism in Canberra: A nation build-
ing state change s its mind. Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University.
Savelyeva, T. (2013). Toward a conceptual synthesis and ecological
approa ch t o case stud i es of cu rric ula r inn ovat ion i mplemen ta ti on an d
university restructuring in Russian HE. International Journal of
Higher Education, 2, 228-237.
Schwartzman, R. (1995). Students as customers: A mangled managerial
metaphor. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 383 022,
Charlot te, NC: Ca r olinas Speech Communication Association.
Skatkin, M., & Tsov’janov, G. (1994). Nadezhda Konstantinovna
Krupskaya. In J. Tedesco, & Z. Mor s y ( Eds.), Thinkers on education,
Vol. 3 (pp. 49-60). Paris: UNESCO.
Smart, D., & Hitt, M. (1994). A mid-range theory regarding the ante-
cedents of restructuring types: An integration of agency, upper eche-
lon and resou rce-based perspectives. In P. Shrivastava, A. Huff, & J.
Dutton (Eds.), Advances in strategic management, Vol. 10A (pp.
159-186). Greenwich, CT: JAI.
Welch, A. (1998). The cult of efficiency in education: Comparative
reflection on the reality and rhetoric. Comparative Education, 24,
157-175. http://dx.doi.or g/10.1080/030500698 28252