The Colosseum! What else left over from history education?

Das Kolosseum! Was bleibt noch übrig von der historischen Bildung? | Колизей! Что осталось от исторического образования?

Реформа исторического образования в России должна была содействовать росту интереса к истории, формированию критического мышления и появлению устойчивых знаний об истории прошлого Родной страны и всемирной истории. Имеются достижения на этом пути. Тем не менее, нельзя говорить об стабильных представлениях по истории у школьников, которые помогают формировать коллективную идентичность. В последние годы происходит обратный процесс архаизации сознания, на основе деформированной исторической памяти.



Какая школьная исто…

Categories: 3 (2015) 29

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4 replies »

  1. I do absolutely agree with the author on the problems of teaching history which, basically in Russia is transforming in learning history. It’s much more easy for all: for teachers, for pupils\students and for authorities as well. You don’t need to read books, think over, have own opinion… Just learn and be lucky in choosing the right answer in the test. Even master students in history don’t know (and often don’t want to know) different methodologies, different approaches in historiography. What to do…? How to improve the situation? I am afraid it will be impossible to in the nearest future…

  2. Alex, thanks for the good attempt to understand our realities with which I agree. But a few remarks to your text.

    I would try to look at the problem more broadly and not confine it only to the problem of illumination “Stalinism” and even to “de-Stalinization”. Today we are dealing with a total mythologization of the past in the framework of the formation of a new Russian identity. Why is this happening?

    Firstly, it is hardly possible to talk about the disappearance of the ‘Soviet concept of history teaching “at least because such a concept of the first mass in the Russian education became Soviet concept. And it is because of its birthright it has become a kind of matrix, which is destined to have a long life.

    Secondly, you need to be aware that we are living in conditions of political reaction. In this judgment, I would like if possible to abstract from axiology. It is a statement of fact. We are not the first in the end… This situation affects the shape, intensity and semantic nuances of today’s mythologization.

    Thirdly, I am concerned about the state of historical consciousness in the country as a professional, which is inevitably sooner or later, make even more blow to our discipline. But it worries me for other reasons. The selective and arbitrary use of historical images have “overfed” audience and heightened skepticism of the history as a science. In addition, it must be admitted that the humanities finally lost the battle for young people in today’s world, at least in terms of material. And this negative selection gives fruit. If, in respect of the first how to act it is clear, but how to cope to a second one is the problem. And, as I think, it is a problem not only in Russia.

    Well, as far as the ratio of domestic and world history, yes, the situation is catastrophic. But it’s not just the Universal State Exam (for “cramming” /training to exam in the country’s history the hours allotted to the world history are massively used). This instrumentalist incident superimposed upon the isolationist trend. But we’re still with you, historians, who are used to thinking in terms of “long duration”. Therefore, we need to hope that globalization and time will put everything in their right places.

    Prokopenko Sergey A. Doctor of History, The Director of the Institute of Historical and Cultural Research of the Ulyanovsk Region.

  3. [For an English version please scroll down.]

    > Возможно, А.Кузнецов изучал «остаточные» знания школьников, используя не совсем совершенную с точки зрения составления вопросов и подсчетов методику

    – Безусловно, любопытное исследование, но, как представляется, было бы ещё интереснее довести его до конца (автор остановился на 2000/2001 гг.) и увязать с первыми результатами “информационной революции” в России последних лет. Повлияли ли на интерес подростков к истории и их эрудицию развитие новых информационных технологий (в первую очередь сети Internet) и радикальное упрощение доступа к исторической информации любого рода и на любой вкус – от оцифрованных источников и академических трудов до популярной литературы (и даже паралитературы типа “фолк-хистори”, “новой хронологии” и пр.) и массовой культуры (кино – как новинки, так и классика; компьютерные игры – как абсолютно новое явление массовой культуры)? Если да, то в какой степени?

    > According to Arkady Kuznetsov’s study

    – It seems it would be quite interesting to compare his conclusions (ending on 2000/2001 educational year) with the first results of, say, “Informational Revolution” here in Russia in 2000s – that is, quick development of new technologies (Internet mainly) leading to radical simplification of access to any information concerning history. All kinds and tastes, from digitized archives and academic monographies to popular literature, cinema and video games. To what extent (if any) did it affect schoolchildren, their interest in history, their erudition etc.?

  4. Replik
    Sergey A. Prokopenko’s idea about the “total mythologization of the past in the framework of the formation of a new Russian identity” seems fruitful in many aspects but it is an overestimation of the field. There are a lot of attempts to construct real history for real identity at least on the history representation, and history memory. There are many obstacles on the way. The state politics of dividing the society is the first. The present Russian state seems to force the construction of scattered societies in reality. They speak about the importance of local identity in Ulyanovsk and Yaroslavl. The scattered societies in Russia do not take you back to Leonid Brezhnev time but remind the situation in DDR/GDR in 1940-1960s. We know the viability and result of these constructions.

    I do not agree with Sergey A. Prokopenko that the Soviet concept of history teaching “has become a kind of matrix, which is destined to have a long life”. It is on the contrary to reality. It did disappear. Even when the state determined to create only one history text, they agreed to tolerate three lines of history texts published by three editing houses in the market. And these first texts on ancient Russian history are in discussion now. And there could be changes.
    Sergey A. Prokopenko illuminated correctly one of the main dangers for history and history teaching. It is a danger emanating from the state. It is connected with the selective usage of the past and creating even a kind of flexible and usable pasts for the history education.

    I admit that there are inaccuracies in the method and details of assessment on the history results of A. Kuznetsov, as rightly says Arkady Abakoumov. In my opinion, the case has another meaning of his observations: the collapse of modern knowledge in the general level on the history and other humanities, primarily in literature at school. It is necessary to deal seriously and comprehensively to these results. Is this related to the changes and reforms of history teaching, which have been held for 20 years? Perhaps the introduction of the Unified State Examination (USE) in the history was another big blow in a negative way on how to construct historical knowledge among pupils? Michael N. Suprun wrote that the exam is actually contrary to the formation of historical thinking. Today’s students are choosing better exam on social studies, not the history exam. The reason is simple: the social studies exam scores by most prestigious university faculties as entrance examinations.

    “Digitization of history”, and followed by the gradual erosion of the monopoly of professional historians in the “production” of historical facts and knowledge, of course expands the opportunities for students to get acquainted with the history from other sources. I do not think that the modern pupil looks at the sites of digitized real history sources very often. In ‘paraliterature’, in other words in the fictional histories, they do not read the “new historical chronology” by A.Phomenko either. However, it is a precisely established fact that modern students play computer games in history, literature and love in the fantasy genre, created using historical scenes. Computer games as a new direction of mass culture – is really an interesting and important phenomenon in the environment of parallel education. Ironically the IT-history can support the “image of Colosseum” as the only result of school history even better than teaching, learning, competence based history education and other.

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