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Problems of teaching history of Russia in higher education institutions of Ukraine



Karazin Kharkiv National University


In article the current state of textbooks and educational literature on the history of Russia in the CIS countries is considered. Problems of teaching history of Russia in the modern independent states which arose in the territory of the former USSR are shown. Possible ways of an exit from the situation as in contents of textbooks, and teaching history of Russia are offered.

Disintegration of the Soviet Union and formation of the independent states put before historians, and historical science in general, serious problems. And, first of all, as how to teach. A significant amount of historians, having refused Marxist-Leninist methodology, traditional for the Soviet state, and a formational periodization, try "to squeeze" the history of Russia (or the independent state) in a framework of the Western European periodization and a civilization. At the same time the taken scheme is filled with events which, to put it mildly, do not fit into the European periodization at all. So, for example, all training programs on the history of Ukraine and world history and also the majority of the textbooks published under these programs claim that a successor of Kievan Rus' is the Galitsko-Volynsky principality. However explanations why it, but not Kiev, Chernihiv, Pereyaslavsky or Vladimiro-Suzdalsky are not made. Why not Grand Duchy of Lithuania, on 9/10 consisting of Russians including present Ukrainian lands. All know well that the Novgorod-Seversk prince Igor went to Cumans in 1185, and the strong prince Svyatoslav reigned in Kiev. And only in 1199 the Volynsk prince Roman occupied Galich and laid the foundation Galitsko-Volynsky knyazhestvu1. Or, the modern history of Ukraine and Russia begins with the end of XV - the beginning of XVI stoletiya2. Really for this chronological framework concerning Poland and Russia (as such state as Ukraine did not exist during this period) to speak prematurely.

Yes, our predecessors N.M, Karamzin, N.I. Kostomarov, S.M. Solovyov found much in common in historical development of the European states and Russia. But they considered it in terms of clarification of regularities of historical processes of Europe and Russia So. N.M. Karamzin from Paris (May, 1790) wrote in the letter: "We had Charles the Great - Vladimir: the Louis XI is a Tsar Ioann; the Cromwell - Godunov and still such sovereign to whom there were no similar anywhere: Peter the Great" 3. In "A note about Ancient and New Russia (1811) Karamzin does not draw a parallel any more, and writes already about negative impact of the European countries on Russia. As a result of Peter I's reforms the Russian people "became citizens of the world, but stopped being in certain cases, citizens of Russia" 4. Meanwhile, in "Stories..." the author often speaks about many people and their influence on Russian lands. This reception rather widely and fully was applied by S.M. Solovyov.

The second problem is that many modern historians mechanically transfer often territorial borders of the present states to earlier time. It, naturally, demands from authors of an event of the past, often not coordinated among themselves, to arrange under own, and is frequent also the political concept. What is also well traced on the example of textbooks on the history of Ukraine and other states. But against such modernization of history, transferring of modern representations to the past and by that distortion of history to please to the present, in the 19th century is sharp

1 See: PSRL. T. II, V.N. Tatishchev. History Russian. T. 3; N.M. Karamzin of Istoriya of the state Russian. T.3. Chapter 3; S.M. Solovyov Istoriya Russia since the most ancient times. Prince 1. T.2.
2 See: Programs "_stor_ya Ukra§ni. Vsesv_tnya _stor_ya, 5-12 C." To., 2006.
3 N.M. Karamzin. Letters of the Russian traveler. L., 1984. Page 253.
4 N.M. Karamzin. A note about Ancient and New Russia. SPb., 1911. Page 47.

S.M. acted as Solovyev5. "Solovyov, - the historian Dmitry Aleksandrovich Korsakov wrote, spoke against fortune-telling, historical hypotheses". The historian, according to Solovyov, "always has to have the firm actual soil underfoot" 6.

Not the small problem is represented also by the historical terminology of the Soviet period remaining in literature. Terminology which does not answer modern scientific research, and at times, and modern territorial obrazovaniyam7.

One more problem. In modern higher education institutions of Ukraine only at the classical universities the curricula provided reading a separate general course on the history of Russia, the USSR and the CIS. At the modern pedagogical universities these courses are given in the general courses of world history. From here, naturally, and training of specialists - teachers happens at the different levels that in the subsequent affects training of pupils. Problems in historical education are noticeable already now. "History", it is possible to tell the history of Russia, stops being "uchitelnitseyu lives". Opening this thesis, to appropriate cite also V.N. Tatishchev's words: "... nikak of people, the camp, promysl is uniform, the science, below which - or the government, is less than people only without knowledge of this (story) cannot be made, wise and useful" 8.

And the last. In Ukraine there are no textbooks on the history of Russia. (In Russia, on the contrary, their huge variety).

At department of history of Russia of Karazin Kharkiv National University, understanding all these problems, all general and special lecture courses are processed. The basis for lecture courses it is, generally documentary, actual material. We consider what good methodical and methodological approach for structure of lecture courses and textbooks on the history of Russia and also stories of the independent states, can become, will seem to you strange, the "Preface" to "Reign of the tsar Fedor Alekseyevich" written at the end of XVII stoletiya9, and retold by V.E. Chistyakova and And. Item Bogdanovym10.

The author of "Preface" well was the sign with the purposes and tasks which were set by ancient authors Aristotle, Cicero, Thucydides, Herodotus, Platon, Poliby, Tacitus to historical issledovaniyam11. So, Dionysius at the beginning of the work "Archeology" writes that the historian should be "truth" because the truth is the beginning of any wisdom. History without the truth - as the blind person, is mistaken everywhere and the body has indecent. Clarity of history not only in the truthful and right story reasonable words, but also in the correct sequence of events, in a decent explanation of their reasons. Without explanation of the course and the causes of events, according to Polibiya, written will be basnosloviy, but not history. At the same time the historian has to both praise and condemn on merits as the nice historian Tacitus teaches us: virtues should not be held back - and crime yes will be shown that descendants could get hope from good deeds and fear from zlodeystv12. In "Preface" it is perfectly told that "Nothing else so decorates ancestors and the people as the reasonable and true stories opening for all affairs their nice a byvshiya which were covered a temnostiya of oblivion" 13. These words, in my opinion, also contain the answer to a question: What has to be teaching history in the 21st century?

It is represented to us that now scientists of Russia, publishing a significant amount of archival documents, do huge, positive serious work. Such documents allow to look in a new way at many processes which were taking place in the past, to revise data before assessment. Meanwhile, acquaintance to the modern historical literature leaving in Russia allows us to claim that most of authors

5 S.M. Solovyov SOBR. soch. Publishing house "Advantage, SPb. B. of Page 887.
6 D.A. Korsakov. From memories of N.I. Kostomarov and S.M. Solovyov.//Bulletin of Europe, 1906, No. 9. Page 266.
7 A.V. Venkov. Teaching history of east Slavs in modern conditions.//vivchennya the _stor і ї Grew at Problemi і ї in klasichny un_versiteta. Hark_v, 2007. Page 18.
8 V.N. Tatishchev. Russian history. T. 1. M.-L., 1962 Pages 80-81.
9 E.E. Zamyslovsky. Fedor Alekseyevich's reign. Part 1. SPb., 1871, application. S. H_-H ІІ.
10 E.V. Chistyakova, A.P. Bogdanov. Yes to descendants it will be shown. - M, 1988
11 In the same place. Page 3-4.
12 Tsit. E.V. Chistyakova, Bogdanov A.P. Ukz. soch. Page 4.
13 Tsit. Zamyslovsky E.E. Ukz. soch. Applications. S.HY.

V.M. Dukhopelnikov. Teaching problems.


still remains at former methodological positions. Here I, mean that all history of the Russian state is represented as natural, natural activity of state authorities and management. At the same time it is not enough, practically absolutely, the contribution to formation and development of the state of representatives of various people is not considered. It is represented to me that this shortcoming and causes, first of all, at the separate people the aspiration to write the independent, most often, subjective history. It is well traced on the example of history Ukrainy14.

Really if we read modern textbooks on the history of Russia careful, then about the Ukrainian people and about the people entering the modern Russian Federation, we will find several separate mentions. It "Liberation war under the leadership of Bogdan Khmelnytsky, the Hetman Ivan Mazepa, the Great Patriotic War, Bialowieza Forest". During the Soviet period it did not raise any questions. All considered themselves by the related people striving for a uniform ultimate goal. All actions of the Russian state in relation to other people were considered as progressive. Only the Russian tsarism bore oppression to the people of the outskirts. Now each independent state seeks to identify itself with the title nation. From here, everything that was connected with the nation-wide power, causes rejection. In modern Ukraine almost of all textbooks on the history of Ukraine, concerning Russia, it is characteristic, the use of terms: gain, aggression, anti-Ukrainian or anti-Ukrainian. In general, such impression is made that modern Ukraine - when was not compound, and from the second half of the XIX century which is the most developed in hozyaystvenno - the economic and cultural relation a part of the Russian Empire, and then, the second and first in many indicators republic of the USSR that many processes proceeded without volition of all people and were not always equitable to their interests.

A framework of the report does not allow to focus on many issues in details. However and what there was a speech about, allows to define the main directions in development of historical science and teaching history. And here our predecessors can greatly help us. N.I. Kostomarov in the "Russian history in biographies of her chief figures" 15 repeatedly points to interferences Malorossov and Velikorossov. At the same time does not forget to point also to existing disagreements.

Much more widely such interrelation is shown by S.M. Solovyov in the main work "The History of Russia since the Most Ancient Times".

Considering experience of the past and a condition of modern historical science, it is represented to us that at the heart of the textbook there has to be a source. S.M. Solovyov repeatedly pointed to it, emphasizing that "His majesty the fact" has to replace conjectures and moral maxims. Its analysis is carried out from a position of modern science, but an assessment of an event has to be given in terms of historical psychology, i.e. from a position of the person involved in any given event.

Secondly; representatives of various nationalities, participants of economic, internal political foreign policy processes, scientists, formations, cultures have to find the worthy place in educational literature and materials of studies. In the Russian school and high school textbooks it is necessary to speak not only about Bogdan Khmelnytsky, Ivan Mazepa, Taras Shevchenko, but also other figures. It is possible to carry the Kiev erudite monks who arrived in the 17th century to Moscow to them to rewrite church books and to paint cathedrals of the Moscow Kremlin. That in the 18th century in St.-Petersburg the talent of artists, Ukrainians Dmitry Levitsky and Grigory Borovikovsky revealed. That Kirill Razumovsky in Russia, from the ordinary shepherd became the count, the president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, took active part in a palace revolution of 1762. That the lightest prince, the chancellor Alexander Bezborodko was an author of many manifestos and other documents of Catherine II, for many years headed Foreign Ministry of the state. The chairman of the State Council and Cabinet at Nicholas I was also Ukrainian Victor Pavlovich Kochubey. This list of Ukrainians can be continued indefinitely. In power there were also representatives of other nationalities. What became especially notable during the Soviet period of history.

14 See L.D. Kuchma Ukraine not Russia. - To., 2002.
15 N.I. Kostomarov. The Russian history in biographies of her chief figures. M, 1991.

I understand that in the independent states at the present stage of their formation, it is difficult to make it. I think that the Russian scientists - historians and teachers have to take the first step in this major business. A sample, we will remove estimates of methodological character, in my opinion, there can be a fundamental work of S.M. Solovyov. M. Gorky in 1911 recommended to study this work to one of the addressees, having specified: "... Allow to give a friend advice! You will study - be not engaged only in the theory, but try to arm yourself and the facts, i.e. get acquainted with raw material. I mean, mainly "the History of Russia" and not Klyuchevsky, not Pokrovsky, and purely actual Solovyova. Take all 29 volumes and properly chew; results will be very good: first, under the theory you enclose the base, secondly, the psychology of the Russian people and Russian intellectual" 16 will be clear to you. To these words of M. Gorky it is not enough that can be added.


This article is analyzing of the contemporaneous state of textbooks and class literature about history of Russia in Independent Countries Council. The special attention is paid to the history of Russia teaching problems in modern independent countries, which arose on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics territory. The author is proposing to the possible outlets courses of this situation as in textbooks contents so in history of Russia teaching.


V. N. Karazin

Kharkiv National University

16 Bitter M. Sobr. soch. in 30 t. T. 28. M, 1954. Page 267.
Simon Kristian
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