In successful solving of often unpredictable, current and future environmental problems of a megapolis, human key competencies play a decisive role. Development of these skills stays on national curriculum in many European countries. In Russia, a new federal educational standard is being prepared, which would also target an active approach. Its basics were developed by Russian teachers and psychologists: L. Vygotsky, S. Rubinstein, V. Davydov at al. However, there are still a lot of unsolved questions in its theoretical part. That is why educational experiments are of a great importance in proving the methods to raise pupils´ key skills. The problem that we are working on is, why the key skills (general academic performance, according to Russian standards) developed at school, are hardly applicable in real life situations? In 2002 we offered a hypothesis, that child´s experience of applying his key skills in arrangement of a personal educational environment with desired parameters, can help solve the problem. This process is both cognitive and practical for a child, causing real changes in his immediate surroundings. A solution to this problem let a child regulate his space-temporal learning conditions, communicate with other students, and choose the best individual learning methods. Such experience help develop an effective individual study style, and is an educational practice of using key skills in school-life situations. To prove our hypothesis, we developed an educational program «Ecology of study process», which was tested in the six Russian regions. The program is a pilot project aimed at framing ecological content of school programs, and is based on the general academic performance system, mentioned in the draft federal standards for general education.
It was shown, that practical use of key skills for developing an educational microenvironment, increases child´s mental task performance, study motivation and psychological health. It also motivates to actively control the environmental conditions outside school walls. We have applied for a patent.
The work was submitted to international Environmental Forum « Ecology of the big city», St. Petersburg, Russia, April 18-20, 2009, came to the editorial office 08.02.2009.