Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2014, 2, 56-58
Published Online May 2014 in SciRes.
How to cite this paper: Listvina, E.V. (2014) Educational Milieu Formation: Social and Cultural Aspects. Open Journal of
Social Sciences, 2, 56-58. 25012
Educational Milieu Formation: Social and
Cultural Aspects
Eugenia V. Listvina
Department of Philosophy, Saratov State University, Saratov, Russia
Email: listvamer@yandex. ru
Received March 2014
This paper presents the interrelationship between the concepts of educational milieu and educa-
tional area, characterized by systematic, internal integrity. The attempt is also undertaken to spe-
cify the relationship of the educational milieu with the determination of the culture role in the
education itself. The author notes the fundamental role of cultural and mental components in-
scribed in the very structure of the educational milieu in the process of getting education. In the
context of educational process elements unification educational milieu contributes to the preser-
vation of the socio-cultural persistent forms developed on the basis of cultural traditions.
Educational Milieu, Educational Area, Culture, Mentali t y
1. Introduction
In the modern context of education advancement the role of the concept of educational milieu is becoming more
important. While education becomes deterritorialized, deinstitutionalized, when the process of education and
information perception becomes vague enough and not linked to specific topos, the subject of the milieu itself
generates the interest. Specifically, the educational process requires clearly stated localization if not territorial then
symbolical any way. And phenomenon of milieu meets these requirements.
2. Social and Cultural Aspects
2.1. Concepts of Educational Milieu and Educational Area
One ought to distinguish between concepts of educational milieu and educational area. Educational area is often
thought of as “a result of potential integration of the present educational system components; in terms of one of the
levels of the social space (together with economic, political and cultural space); as a phenomenon in social rela-
tions of the countries; as specific quality of unity; as a result of constructive activities [1].” The characteristics of
the educational milieu include affection on all the senses and organs of the learner, availability of the main and
peripheral information, symbolical and psychological meaning, adaptive and socializing functions, the influence
as a unit [2].
E. V. Listvina
2.2. Educational Milieu and Culture Role
In recent times aiming for demolition of boundaries and technical capabilities shows the aiming for development
of the total educational area without conventions and fixing to the state and other systems. It appears that the
more open a learner is in the course of knowledge gathering, the more productive the result will be. There is
provided the existence of so called total educational milieu which is not parted by any boundaries and that fully
associated with the educational area, for example in medieval Europe, enabling the students moving regardless
of political boundaries. However, the experiments of the latest decades are the reflection of the fact that these
wide opportunities lead to some surprising conclusions.
Involving into the different education systems, even into the most universal Bologna system as a united Eu-
ropean Higher Education area, an individual one way or another has to be in contact with communicative, dis-
cursive, cultural practices accompanying education process, elements of the everyday culture, acting as a
two-sided filter both on the part of a learner and on the host side.
Thus, the educational milieu is closely linked to the determination of the culture role in the education itself. If
we turn to the definitions of the culture, the definition of V.S. Stepin which specifies the culture as a system of
historically connected, developing suprabiological programs providing reproduction and change of social life in
all its basic aspects will be the most responding to our research [3]. Following in V.S. Stepin’s tracks we can say
that culture creates its own special “container” for what we call socialization, and even enculturation to a greater
extent. According to I.T. Kasavin, almost everything that a person gains as knowledge like a form of social and
individual memory, a convoluted performance and communication scheme, a result of indication, structuring
and interpretation of objects in the learning process for all its universality “is colored” into specific cultural,
mental shades.
By all means knowledge and information gathering is carried out through the prism of the culture concept, i.e.
education perception as “a cultural process exercised in the culture forming educational milieu where all the
components are filled with human sense, work for a person who freely shows his/her individuality and is good at
cultural self-development and self-determination in the world of cultural values” is formed [4]. We would also
add the mental components featuring the deep level of consciousness, including the unconscious, undifferen-
tiated steady set of attitudes and aptitudes of an individual or a social group to perceive the world and them-
selves in this world in a certain way. According to the well-known characteristics mentality is formed depending
on traditions of culture, social structures and the whole sphere of human life and activities, at the same time ac-
tively influencing their formation. But in this case it is more important to emphasize its syncretism, perplexity of
rational and irrational factors which break a new ground for any informative, educational activity perception.
And then a specific cultural, mental component which is found to be very naturally inscribed into the very
structure of the educational area and of the educational milieu altogether starts to play an important, foundation-
al role in the process of getting education.
It is the syncretism, internal integrity of the educational milieu that should be made a point of. Educational
milieu appears to be integral syncretical phenomenon wherein a learner is fully intented, without any conditio-
nalities. It is a complete state of effective output, solution in the process when the process is not divided into
separate operations, lessons, lectures, classes in the learner’s mind but is perceived as some natural continuum.
The educational milieu absorbs the learner since he/she enters the educational system even if it is not a specific
institution, premises, complex with its particular territorial and spatial characteristics. This happens to be one of
the foundational elements of knowledge acquisition extent because no matter how we try to rely only on the ra-
tional principle in knowledge gathering, its assimilation goes through mental schemes. And here the educational
milieu takes center stage as it emphasizes specificity of presentation and structuring of materials, learner psy-
chological state formation.
2.3. Educational Milieu and Collective Memory
The elements of collective memory which promote a special collective ground unifying students groups and in-
cluding intergenerational traditions play the considerable role in formation of educational milieu based on unity
of education and life. According to Moris Halbwachs, “in addition to the recorded history there is a real history
[5]”, which is exactly fixed with the collective memory holding the community together highly firm and origi-
nally. Besides the collective memory of the nation which is generally in the foundation of the educational milieu
each educational institution, each students group daily create specific space of the collective memory fixing
E. V. Listvina
considerably stronger than just prescribed regulations and statutes. In this context educational milieu in some
degree appears to be a generator increasing collective memory, animating and inculturing its key facts and
events. Educational milieu is shot through with collective memory, its specific, most dramatic events which in
course of time become central and enable to unite the learners in the course of educational process besides assi-
milation of education program itself.
Collective memory facilitates more comfortable immersion into the absolute space of the educational milieu,
helping to pass the intergenerational traditions. In fact, collective memory helps modeling of educational milieu,
highlighting the necessary key points and developing edgy pathways, which the learners will be getting along,
gaining the specific knowledge and simultaneously with this perceiving the mental foundations of culture within
which the educational process is carried out [6].
Consequently, one might say that by formation of the educational milieu through the collective memory it is
possible to solve the problem of the identity crisis of the younger generation in some ways which now involves
different levels and layers of the social structure and creates conditions of sociocultural tension. According to
V.S. Stepin, “social and cultural after-effect of the identity crisis is the tendency for diffusion of the intersubjec-
tive semantic structure, postmodern playing with meanings of the cultural universals. Cultural community with
indistinct social structure gravitates toward strategies of deconstruction and bricolage, socially irresponsive
playing with cultural meanings [7].” If this occurs the educational milieu turns out to be opposing source to this
indistinct tendencies, the element which fixes and “cements” a personality that becomes able to survive under
the complex, ever-changing conditions of the modern age.
3. Conclusions
Principle of organization of the modern educational process is defined as unity of education, life and profession-
al activities. It is educational milieu that creates this steady and, if the expression may be tolerated, comfortable
unity. It consists of all the culture elements which prepare educational process from inter-generational commu-
nication of the process participants to selecting samples for testing. Even if a learner does not work towards this
and wishes to be outside mental schemes, after all he/she has to absorb them in order to get the desired result of
the educational process.
Consequently, we can conclude that no matter how we come in contact with formalization and unification of
individual stages and elements of educational process, educational milieu naturally continues and strengthens
social and cultural stable forms fully developed on the basis of cultural traditions and mental ideas. In this it will
be seen one of the resources of modern education which enriches the process of knowledge gathering and makes
its fullest and complete acquirement and practice possible.
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[2] Bekker, I.L. and Zhuravchik, V.N. (2009) The Educational Area as a Social and Pedagogical Category. Proceedings of
the Penza State Pedagogical University Social Sciences, 12, 136-138.
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[5] Halbwachs, M. (2005) Collective and Historical Memory. Emergency Reserves, 2-3, 40-41.
[6] Podzorova, S.V. (2011) The Educational Milieu Is the Important Notion of Reality. Newsletter of the Classical Scien-
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