Сoncept «Motherland» And Image Of Motherland Defender In Modern School Textbooks

Abstract

Educational literature in the face of countervailing trends of sociocultural development (globalization and nationalization) must organize students for knowledge creation about their native-land and responsibility for it saving. The article reveals semantic and stylistic representation of the concept of “Motherland” in textbooks, the way textbooks present the image of a man as a defender of the motherland. To identify and analyze the meaning and content of the concept “Motherland” in some modern textbooks, to identify and give interpretation to the image of a man as a defender of the motherland as it presented in these textbooks. In terms of methodology, the research was organized in: linguistic philosophy, cultural linguistics, cognitive linguistics, linguodidactics, pedagogical semiology. The key results that the authors obtained in the research and present in this paper helped to refine modern scientific-pedagogical ideas of educational literature in the modern learning space. There are analytical materials containing description and characteristics of the concept “Motherland” and the image of a man as a defender of the motherland, contained in school textbooks. Textbook is a tutorial for student and teacher, enabling them to build regular educational interaction that will help student to make a good life and incorporate into cultural and economic contexts. Tools are used in the study, provide an opportunity to examine and evaluate the concept “Motherland” and the image of a man as a defender of the motherland.

Keywords: Concept “Motherland”image of a man

Introduction

A textbook is an integral part of educational process. It regulates the interaction between a teacher and a student, defines that educational itinerary using which a student under a teacher`s management becomes a bearer of knowledge of a particular subject. In the regards of the content, a textbook is a combination of verified facts about that part of reality of which a student has to obtain a relevant, argumentative, based on factual materials notion. This is what a school textbook should be, giving a teacher an opportunity to realize the main educational function – providing help for a student in learning the world and rooting in it. However, are all school textbooks meet this demand? It is obvious that the answer to this question implies the conduct of proper expert procedures.

In the present article some materials are presented which contain a short description of those cognitive-linguistic and linguo-cultural research procedures, which were aimed at identifying the semantic meaning of the concept “Motherland” and ideological content of the language image of the defender of Motherland presented in modern school textbooks. The article includes just a minor part of those factual data, whichhave been received in the course of the research.

Problem Statement

Educational literature in the face of countervailing trends of sociocultural development (globalization and nationalization) must organize students for knowledge creation about their native-land and responsibility for it saving.

Research Questions

The article reveals semantic and stylistic representation of the concept of “Motherland” in textbooks, the way textbooks present the image of a man as a defender of the motherland.

Purpose of the Study

To identify and analyze the meaning and content of the concept “Motherland” in some modern textbooks, to identify and give interpretation to the image of a man as a defender of the motherland as it presented in these textbooks.

Research Methods

In terms of methodology, the research was organized in: linguistic philosophy, cultural linguistics, cognitive linguistics, linguodidactics, pedagogical semiology.

The research was realized in such a way that it took into account the tendencies of modern education (Gidley, 2016; Ivanova, 2018; Lukatskiy, 2017). In the course of studies different methods of pedagogical semiology, semiotics, cognitive linguistics have been used. (Breitling, 2017; Everett, 2016; Glaz, 2017; Gottschlich, 2017; Hamawand, 2015; Karasik, 2019; Kowalewski, 2016; Kurovskaya, 2017; Language and the Cognitive Construal of the World, 2010; Lukatskiy, 2015; Makarov, 2017; Overman, 2012; Sharifian, 2017).

Findings

Сoncept «Motherland» in modern school textbooks.

So, which language means of a textbook give a student a notion of motherland? To answer this question let us address to the textbook on Literature (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, 2015) and in brief (due to the article`s format) study the section devoted to writers and poets of the 20th century. The basics of this section is the concept “Motherland”. The concept “Motherland” is extremely important for forming a point of view and true values of a younger generation, that is why to how well-checked and balanced it is going to be presented in a textbook we should have a particular attitude.

In the studied section the concept “Motherland” is comprised of five poems: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 163-171): “Recall – a long winter evening…” by I. A. Bunin, “Alyonushka” by D. B. Kedrin, “Alyonushka” by A. A. Prokofiev, “Home village” by N. M. Rubtzov and “Cities and years” by Don-Aminado.

The semantic dominant of the concept (lexeme “Motherland”) is mentioned in this section (apart from the section`s title itself) five times: once in the poem by D. B. Kedrin and four times in the after-text activities. For a poetic text such a small number of usage of the key word is expected due to the imagery of the poetic language and the image of Motherland in different disguises. As far as activities are concerned, we observe the lack of direct nominations of the concept which prevents a student from forming a multidimensional notion of Motherland.

Therefore, the frequency of the concept “Motherland” usage is low.

Let us consider the semantic compliance of the given concept and its dictionary interpretation. The word “motherland” (quite an important for a child) has several meanings: it is motherland, home country and a birthplace, origin (Ozhegov, 2010, p. 549).

The poems are picked well, in such a way that both meanings of the key word of the concept are revealed in the section.

Don-Aminado depicts the image of Motherland (here it means “home country) through contrast with the charm of cities of the world, which underlines and intensifies the pricelessness and incomparability of Motherland for each one of us. And with I. A. Bunin Motherland is represented through the memories and dreams of the main character in the image of mother and home place; with N. M. Rubtzov Motherland personifies the image of Nikola`s home village, “where graduated from primary school!” (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 167, 168).

Among the poems, comprising the concept “Motherland”, the two of them stand apart – they are works of Dmitry BorisovitchKedrin and AleksandrAndreevitch Prokofiev, both named “Alyonushka”. They are texts inside texts, when as a result of interaction an image of Motherland in the meaning of home place, home country designed before is born. In these poetic works Motherland – it is a fairytale character – Alyonushka (and with D. B. Kedrin a princess Nesmeyana as well), reminiscence to the image of which in same name picture of V. M. Vasnetzov gives an effect of intensifying of tremulous attitude to Motherland, sincere love and careful attitude to it.

So, we see, in the poem “Cities and years” by Don-Aminado the lexeme “motherland” is given in its first meaning and names the home country, in other poems of the section – in the second meaning. The essence of the concept “Motherland” matches the dictionary interpretation in the first/main and second/additional meaning.

The cognitive features of the concept “Motherland” are presented in the textbook section from different aspects. Reconstructing the idea of the poets-creators, following the authors of the textbook as well, cognitive features of the concept under study can be divided into two conventional groups:

Group 1. Motherland-place:

1.Motherland – home country (Don-Aminado: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 168-169));

2.Motherland – home village (N. M. Rubtzov: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 167-168));

3.Motherland – home nature (I. A. Bunin: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 163-164), D. B. Kedrin: (Korovina, Zhuravlev& Korovin,p.164), A. A. Prokofiev: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p.165), N. M. Rubtzov: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 167-168), Don-Aminado: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 168-169)).

Group 2. Motherland – a person/a living creature:

1.Motherland - mother (I. A. Bunin: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 163-164), D. B. Kedrin: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 164));

2.Motherland – a fairytale character (D.B. Kedrin: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 164), A. A. Prokofiev: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 165)).

As we see, conciseness of the given poetic texts (the volume of them is not big) funding the concept “Motherland” is apparent because beyond it in full capacity the content polyphony of cognitive features characterizing the notion of homely, motherland as extremely important, fundamental, complex component of the world picture of a child, who is on the verge of adulthood, is revealed and artistically presented.

Thus, one can presume that the level of the informative revelation of the concept “Motherland” is high which contributes to the creation of the student`s quite particular, full and non-contradictory/clear notion about the informative content of the concept “Motherland”.

In the course of studies the language means of expressiveness of the concept “Motherland” were analyzed, the detailed discourse of which in the present article seems to be unnecessary. The stylistic analysis of the poetic language of these works, comprising the literature heritage of Russia, has been conducted numerous times, that is why here, we will enumerate the basic means of expressiveness and illustrate them with single examples. They are:

  • epithets, e.g.: “golden waves of rye” (I. A. Bunin: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 163)), “My Motherland not bright” (D. B. Kedrin: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 164)), “golden hoops of the sun” (А. А. Prokofiev: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 165)), “ardent boy” (N. M. Rubtzov: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 167)), “Russian smell of snow” (Don-Aminado: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 169));

  • personification, e.g.: “the storm is crying next to the window” (I. A. Bunin: (Korovina, Zhuravlev & Korovin, p. 163)), “the path leads” (А. А. Prokofiev: (Korovina, Zhuravlev& Korovin, p. 165)), ‘The heart greedily breathed” (Don-Aminado: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 169));

  • hyperbole, e.g.: “brave, though is just out of nappies” (N. M. Rubtzov: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 167));

  • metaphor, e.g. : “packstead of the autumn fog” (D. B. Kedrin: (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 164)) and other means.

It is necessary to mention that in the presence of a big diversity of language means of expressiveness (which is typical of poetry), stylistic comments as such are absent, and the tasks to identify those and analyze them are single. Thus, after the poems given to study we only come across just general questions connected with the plot of the poetic works (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 164, 165, 168, 169), questions related to the mood of this or that poem, how the latter is conveyed by the author (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 164, 165, 167, 169, 170); intertextuality, (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 165, 167); tasks to prepare expressive reading (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 164, 165, 167, 169).

Herewith in the final tasks on analysis of the read texts questions and tasks aimed at checking knowledge of the means, which serve the purpose of depicting the atmosphere of the poems, emotions, feelings of their characters (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 170), are present. There are questions and tasks, however, explanations of linguistic, stylistic and culturological character cannot be found.

It is possible to suggest that a student will not be able to fully appreciate the imaginary language of poetry, therefore to understand to full extent vivid images of Motherland, home country, home territory, home places, so masterfully presented by the masters of the spoken word.

That is why our conclusion on this aspect is as following: the level of linguistic sufficiency of the concept “Motherland” is low.

As far as the central meanings of the conceptual units under study and meanings going beyond the frame of the core of the concept “Motherland” are concerned, then it is necessary to notice that in the given poems there are both of them. When distributing the meanings in the structure of the concept we base on the dictionary interpretation of the key word, according to which the main (core) one is its first meaning, primary/basic image of Motherland as a home country, and the meanings which are beyond the frame of the core of the concept “Motherland” become the rest of them (non-basic/specific) meanings of the key lexeme. Among the suggested poems for a student to study the central meaning of the concept can be observed in the work of Don-Aminado (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 168-169), and the secondary one can be noted in the works of I. A. Bunin (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 163-164), D. B. Kedrin (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 164), A. A. Prokofiev (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 165), N. M. Rubtzov (Korovina, Zhuravlev, & Korovin, p. 167-168). Along with this, in these poems there are latently to be found/ implied the central meanings comprising their conceptual units, as, speaking of motherland as of home land, home places, the poets directly, obviously or implicitly, praise their home country. School tasks to understand this notion in one or both of its meanings do exist in the section.

So, with the selection of works in regards of central/non-central meanings containing conceptual units in them everything appear to look good. As for the tasks included into the section to understand the notion “Motherland”, at first sight they seem balanced enough. Herewith it is essential to mention the lack of the emphasis on the differentiation of the meaning nuances of the notion “motherland”.

In the given section there can be found central meanings of the concept “Motherland” and meanings beyond its semantic core, which allows a student to percept the conceptual space under study, though without true understanding the difference between semantic nuances, which have not been reflected in the school tasks.

Therefore, the given analysis of implicitly presented concept “Motherland” in the Literature textbook allows to conclude the following.

The frequency of usage of the concept`s name “Motherland” is low (just six times mentioned in the section: once in the title of the section, once in the poetic work by D. B. Kedrin and four times in the after texts tasks). It is good to mention that if for a poetic text such a small number of usage of the key word can be explained by the imagery of poetic language and symbolic image of Motherland, then in tasks on interpreting works we observe a sufficient lack of direct nominations of the concept, which, undoubtedly prevents a student from forming a multidimensional perception of such an important concept as “Motherland”.

The meaning of the concept “Motherland” matches the dictionary interpretation in the first/main and the second/additional meanings, as in its first meaning the key word “motherland”, naming a home country, is obviously seen in the poem “Cities and years” by Don-Aminado, and in its second meaning – in other poems of the section.

The level of the content disclosure of the concept “Motherland” is high. Within the conciseness of the volume of the given poetic texts to study, which form the concept “Motherland”, in full terms it is revealed and masterfully presented to a reader the meaningful polyphony of cognitive features, characterizing the notion of homely, motherland, as an extremely important, fundamental, complex component of a child`s world picture, who is on the verge of adulthood. All this helps a student to form a particular, wholesome, and clear perception about the content of the concept “Motherland”.

The level of the linguistic sufficiency of the concept “Motherland” is low though, despite the fact that with the rich diversity of the means of expressiveness of the poetic language, stylistic comments; the explanations of culturological character are absent, and tasks to find and analyze those means are singular. A student not having those, will probably fail to fully understand the imaginary language of poetry, which means in all slight nuances to get the vivid image of motherland, artistically “described’ by the masters of poetic word.

In the section there are central meanings of the concept “Motherland” and meanings beyond its semantic core, which allows a student to explore the conceptual space. Although in tasks the semantic differences did not find their reflection.

Thus, it was shown how it is possible to study semantics of language means of a textbook, which gives a student a perception of a world in which one of the most important, essential, diverse concepts is the one offered to study at Literature lessons, concept “Motherland”.

Image of motherland defender in modern school textbooks.

One of the most actual problems of Russian general education is the problem of patriotic upbringing of children and youngsters, such upbringing, which is directly connected with students` forming a special attitude to Motherland, expressed in a wish to protect it from evil or unfriendly actions.

The best tool to form this attitude is a textbook, containing descriptions of behavioral qualities and manifestations of a Motherland protector. The advantage of this tool in the process of a Motherland protector`s upbringing is connected with the fact that a textbook provides a conscious understanding of a student the true value of this attitude and defines his manifestation of this attitude in his behavior. This is also connected with the fact that a textbook contains an image of a Motherland defender, this image allows a student to feel connected with Motherland and “live through” this attitude to it, expressed in a wish to protect it from evil invasions.

To understand a bearer of which image of a Motherland protector is presented in modern school textbooks and whether they are able to influence the students` formation of a proper attitude to Motherland connected with its protection from hostile actions, a special research has been carried out.

The research had two stages. At first, from a vast corpus of textbooks used in practice of general education one book was selected – a History textbook “The History of Russia. Grade 10. Part 2”, comprised under the edition of A. V. Torkunov (Gorinov et al., 2016). In this textbook there is material covering the Great Patriotic War, bringing a special contribution in the formation of a nationwide feeling of Motherland and providing a strong influence on forming an idea how to protect it.

During the second stage a cognitive-linguistic studies of text materials of the selected textbook took place. Such a research gives an opportunity to understand, a bearer of which meanings and senses a textbook is and which ideas with the help of perception and understanding of the content of textbook materials are formed in the mind of a student. The task was set to select from the text of the textbook word combinations a Motherland protector/defender in all forms of their usage. The research accounted for the synonyms of the word protector/defender – a fighter, an apolog, a guardian, defender, and of the word Motherland – home country, fatherland, homeland, native land, the land of fathers, native Palestine, a cradle. The given words comprise the synonymic sequence, starting with capital words (dominant) a defender and Motherland, presented in the dictionary of synonyms, widely used in practice of school education (Aleksandrova, 2007). From the synonymic series, starting with the dominant defender the word lawyer/attorney was excluded as the one not correlating with the idea of the research. In the research text material two correlating procedures were conducted: continuous sampling of selected word combinations a Motherland defender and their registering. As a result of this procedure only one case of the usage was found. The usage of word combinations of synonymic words of lexemes a defender and Motherland were not detected.

To describe the content of a Motherland defender`s image contextual links of the word defender (used in combination with the word Motherland) with other lexical units were analyzed (used in combination with the word Motherland) with other lexical units. To do so a procedure of marking the word defender with contextually connected words was conducted. Marking of the mentioned links was done in propositions. As a result of this work the following connections were detected (detected connections of the word defender with words surrounding it as well as their frequency are given):

DEFENDER (courage 1, bravery 1).

The analysis of detected contextual connections of word combinations of the word defender with other lexical units shows that in revealing the meaning of the word defender willful qualities of a man are specified. Singular frequency of occurrence in the environment of the word defender is detected with the word courage, describing a deliberately done willful doing, the realization of which demands a person to overcome his fear. A singular frequency in the environment of the word defender of the lexeme bravery is detected as well, which convey the moral quality of a man capable of courageous acts in extremely dangerous situations. The minimal frequency of the words courage and bravery contextually connected with the word defender proves that information related to the moral qualities of a Motherland defender conveyed with the help of these words, in fact, does not appeal to students` consciousness.

Analyzing the results, one can come to a conclusion: the researched textbook does contain an image of a Motherland defender (reconstructed with the help of methods of cognitive linguistics), very poorly reflecting the essence of attitudes and qualities inherent in a man, wishing to protect his Motherland from hostile or unfriendly actions. Not only does the given research allow to reconstruct an image of a Motherland defender implicitly contained in textbooks, but also to some extent, to enrich it with lacking lexicographic descriptions.

Conclusion

The realization of the researching initiative, undertaken by the authors of the article allowed to draw a series of conclusions:

1)cognitive-linguistic and linguo-culturologistic toolkit used in the process of research gives an opportunity to detect and characterize the semantic content of the concept “Motherland” and the ideological sense of the language meaning of a Motherland defender`s image, presented in school textbooks;

2)textbooks analyzed in the course of the research focus students` attention on such an sensitive topic as in all times has been the theme of Motherland and its defense, though along with that leave some very important aspects of the topic out;

3)the given research results give an opportunity to formulate specific recommendations for school textbooks` authors on the question of correcting their content concerning those fragments of the textbook which show a student a meaning of the concept “Motherland and form a relevant to the culture idea of a Motherland defender`s image.

Acknowledgments

The work has been done within the framework of the state assignment to FSBSI «Institute for Strategy of Education Development of the Russian Academy of Education» No. 073-00086-19-00 for 2019 and the planned period of 2020 and 2021. The project «Scientifically-methodical grounds for the creation of the sectoral education development strategy in the Russian Federation and the mechanisms for its implementation (under the domain of the Ministry of Education of Russia)».

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2019.12.02.6

Online ISSN

2357-1330