The Principle Of Integrativity In Teaching The History Of The Russian Language


The author considers the possibility of using of the principles of integrative processes in education. It is argued that the broad opportunities for the introduction of new forms of education in higher education provides the principle of cultural conformity, which occupies a leading position in the teaching of historical and linguistic disciplines to students of Philology. The article also discusses the actual problem of combining traditional technologies in training with new didactic practices. The author proves that only in this case it is possible to solve the main problems facing modern philological education as a whole, the main of which is to form an integral humanitarian educational space that combines theoretical humanitarian concepts and personal cultural meanings. The article analyzes the experience of integrative teaching of the course “Old Slavonic Language” with the use technology of "Dialogue of Cultures" and technology of anthropological practices considering the city from the point of view of its educational potentialиthe categories of educational space. The author concludes that the successful development of this new and difficult discipline is possible using the forms, methods and techniques, already developed by pedagogical science, in combination with the latest, relevant to modern requirements for training specialists in higher education.

Keywords: Dialogue of culturesintegrationcultural similarityOld Slavonic languagepolytechnic


In conditions of changing social reality, among other social institutions that are undergoing a period of adaptation to a new reality, there is the educational institution: “Its structure, functions, organizational forms, pedagogical paradigms and methods of classroom work with students have changed; real and visual educational environments continue to expand, and it is possible to build individual educational paths. Education goes to the Internet, creates opportunities for a wide field of non-formal educational practices of free access, grows in educational areas, includes a variety of, including network, educational communities. All this creates a new reality of education ...” ( Krokinskaya, 2019, p. 30).

The ongoing decades of reforms in the national educational system make us think about their consequences for Russian higher education. The avalanche-like reform of the content and forms of education, as well as the ways of introducing innovations themselves, raise well-founded doubts about the need for such transformations. One of the most discussed issues causing a negative reaction in the pedagogical community is the tendency to organize the educational process in higher education based on a mixture of domestic and Western practices. We believe that the idea of ​​mixing one’s own and another’s can be contrasted with the integration of traditional and new approaches to education as more meeting the requirements of modern society. The objective of this article in accordance with the stated theme is to analyse the possibilities of integratively combining traditional forms and methods of work in a student audience with new techniques in an environment of rapidly changing educational reality. According to the author, the integration of “closed” forms of classroom education with open, free forms that appeal to the “city and the world” can be productive.

Problem Statement

The choice of the proposed research aspect is due to the fact that philology at Russian universities has traditionally been studied as an integrative discipline combining the materials of historical, linguistic, and literary sciences. Vinokur ( 2000) wrote about this, he referred to philology as "the field of linguistic problems requiring <...> a certain attention to the connections that exist between a language and other areas of culture", in which language is considered "as one of the sides in the biography of a given people, person, literature, etc.” (p. 75). Such an approach to language learning involves both inter-scientific integration associated with the inclusion in the educational activity of knowledge, principles, methods and techniques of different sciences, as well as inter-subject integration of the studied disciplines. It is fully implemented in the university course in the history of the Russian language, oriented to the text as a result of the activities of its creator (person) and therefore reflecting both the characteristics of the life of society as a whole and the state of culture of the people (a separate social group).

Research Questions

  • What are the differences between integration and hybridization, which characterizes not only

  • changes in the educational environment, but also the state of society as a whole?

  • What determines the importance of integrativity for modern higher education?

  • What is the meaning of the concept of dialogue of cultures for enhancing the intellectual activity of students in the study of philological disciplines?

  • What are the possibilities of enhancing the personal interest of students studying historical linguistic disciplines, provides a technique of "immersion in the cultural environment"?

Purpose of the Study

The aim of this work is to analyze the possibilities of using an integrative approach in the study of disciplines of the historical linguistic cycle by philologists.

Research Methods

The methodological basis of the study are cultural and personal-activity approaches; the solution of the problem posed in it required the use of a set of special research methods and techniques. They are the following:

  • a comparative analysis of the classic and latest pedagogical literature on integration in teaching and its principles;

  • an induction method that allows you to consider specific facts in relation to general provisions, and thereby determine how general patterns appear in a particular;

  • a method of interviewing a student audience, used to test the effectiveness of "immersion in the cultural environment". The survey involved the second-year philology students of Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University.


The achievements of Russian pedagogy include integrativity, which has become one of the basic didactic principles in the Soviet school, but formed on the basis of both domestic and Western pedagogical concepts. The need to use in teaching the relationship between the content of individual subjects was noted by teachers in the 19th century; the practical implementation of this idea began at the beginning of the 20th century by supporters of the labor school, and taking into account the provisions of the theory of instrumentalism prevailing in Western pedagogy. In the late 90'sintegrativity becomes the basic principle of training, not limited to individual training courses. A study of the current state of integrative processes in education indicates an increase in the level of integration, expansion of integration to the education system as a whole.

We consider integration as a system-activity approach, focused on the formation of general and professional competencies (communicative, scientific, research, language, social, multicultural), in the process of implementation of which not only traditional forms of intra-subject and inter-subject integration are used, but also access to the “environment”, for example, into the cultural space of a city. In addition, the integration of education involves the transfer of information from one educational language to another ( Danil'uk, 2000), which generates new integrated knowledge. In this difficult but interesting process, a habit of reflective cognitive activity, of independent thinking, is formed in the students' minds. The latter is especially important in connection with the “informatization” of training, when information appears in the form of disparate fragments extracted from the Internet, not developing into holistic knowledge. As a result, getting an education does not become an “appropriation of knowledge”, not an upbringing of the ability to engage in intellectual activity, but reduces to the formation of the ability to create compilation texts.

We note that integrativity has some similarities with the processes of hybridization in domestic higher education, in any case both are related to the idea of integration, although it is carried out differently in pedagogy, sociology, philosophy, political science, etc. ( Pieterse, 1994). However, if hybridization as a principle of reforming higher education in Russia is reduced to borrowing, often unjustifiably, foreign forms of organization of the higher education system and ill-considered introducing them into the domestic educational environment ( Senashenko & Makarova, 2018), then integrativity as a learning principle that has developed as a result of the synthesis of productive ideas of domestic and Western science, entered the educational traditions of Russian higher education. Moreover, the principles of an integrative approach to the educational process provide ample opportunities for the introduction of new forms of educational organization in higher education. First of all, this refers to the so-called “student-centered” learning, which involves a shift in the pedagogical paradigm from the subject of teaching to the student and his participation in the learning process ( Grebnev, 2018).

In modern pedagogical theory, three leading principles of integrative education are distinguished: “the principle of the unity of integration and differentiation expresses the way of self-organization of education; the principle of anthropocentrism determines the position of the student and teacher in the integrated educational system; finally, the principle of cultural conformity characterizes the attitude of education to its cultural environment. Thus, the three principles capture three main aspects of the organization of education: internal, human, external” ( Bagova, 2014, p. 3).

It seems that the above principles of integration should be supplemented by one more - the principle of polytechnology. In our understanding, polytechnology is the integrativity of the use of pedagogical technologies in modern education. It is polytechnology that is able to direct the educational process to the student himself, who is the central figure in educational activity. Polytechnology as a manifestation of integration at the methodological and technological level involves a combination of new techniques, primarily search and creative, such as a game, case study method, situation analysis, group discussion, brainstorming, projects, modeling, Internet search, etc. ( Rud’, 2017), with traditional technologies of assimilation and reproduction of knowledge that have not lost their positive significance and are able to be combined with the new one. Polytechnology should cover not only the activities of students, but also apply to the work of a teacher who plans and organizes the entire training system in his subject.

When integrating philological education at a substantive, methodological, technological, organizational level, the priority among other principles organizing the activities of participants in the educational process can and should take the principle of cultural conformity associated with the concept of the School of dialogue of cultures (V. S. Bibler). Understanding of culture and dialogue of cultures in the philosophical works of Bibler ( 1991), not only fully complies with the tasks of studying historical linguistic disciplines, but also allows you to offer new forms of organization of educational activities that will help overcome the difficulties encountered by students in the assimilation of scientific and theoretical information and in practical work with unfamiliar, completely new linguistic facts, since dialogue is used both as a form of educational organization and as a principle for organizing the content of science. It does not imply a student’s “appropriation” of knowledge, for example, about the linguistic situation of Ancient Russia, as set out by a teacher or extracted from textbooks, not “outside observation”, from the point of view of a native speaker of modern language and culture, but their transformation into an integral component of the personality’s internal content, the consequence of which is the formation of the mental lexicon of the future philologist-researcher. The dialogue in this case exists as the “voices” of other cultures, other ways of understanding that are present in modern cultural facts, including linguistic ones. The ability to distinguish the necessary “motives” in this polyphony, to form new meanings on their basis, to reconcile the formed knowledge of the Russian language, history and culture with the concepts of previous eras — these, in our opinion, are the main tasks facing modern philological education as a whole. The main thing is to form an integral humanitarian educational space combining theoretical humanitarian concepts and personal cultural meanings. Note the advantages of dialogue as a technology for studying the history of the Russian language: it makes it possible to determine the very essence and meaning of assimilated and creatively formed concepts ( Bibler, 1991).

A personality-oriented education, which is built on the basis of the integration principle of cultural identity, needs new forms of involving students in the dialogue of cultures, for example, those associated with the application of anthropological practices of human development and formation ( Smirnov, 2019). One of them is the use of the cultural and historical potential of the urban environment, which in this case becomes an educational space, a “treasury” of humanitarian (historical and philological) information. It would seem that the traditional and well-known requirement of taking into account regional specificities in the study of humanitarian (and not only) disciplines in a university and school, for example, study tours, speaks about the same thing. A new approach to cultural monuments inscribed in the urban environment, considers them not as signs of what was, information about which is an addition to the educational material, but as materialized knowledge, valuable in itself, which remains to be extracted and included in the system of personal meanings.

As part of the study of the organization of educational activities in the study of the discipline "Old Slavonic Language", the possibilities of using the cultural and historical potential of the urban environment were analysed. The purpose of this discipline is to form students' understanding of language as a cultural-historical phenomenon and introduce them to the first Slavic literary language, the ancient language system, fixed in the monuments of writing. Students are faced with the most difficult tasks - not only in the shortest possible time to master the “alien” language, but also to master the basic concepts of Slavic studies and learn to “see” linguistic phenomena in a historical perspective. In fact, “Old Slavonic Language” is a propaedeutic course not only for linguistic, but also for all philological disciplines, and therefore its importance for the training of qualified philologists cannot be overestimated.

The general philological approach, in which the principles and forms of integrative education are implemented, opens up new didactic opportunities in the teaching of the Old Slavonic language. The need for this approach is due to both the general tendency of modern linguistic science to create a holistic view of its object, and the need for new ways of presenting information in the educational process. We note that none of the disciplines of the historical-linguistic cycle provides such opportunities for the implementation of traditional and new forms of integration, since the study of the Old Slavonic language involves not only the assimilation of its linguistic properties and characteristics, but also familiarity with the cultural and historical significance in the past and present, and teaching to read and analyse texts of ancient monuments of writing is of great importance for the formation of general and professional competencies of students.

The special position of the Old Slavonic language as a subject is determined by the fact that, unlike other linguistic courses of the initial stage of philological education (literature, history, a foreign language), it does not have support in previously acquired knowledge and skills. He immediately immerses students in the theory of Slavic studies, introduces the works of domestic and foreign slavists on the problems of ancient writing and source studies. Therefore, the teacher should initially build the educational process on the basis of integration, using the interdisciplinary connections of the Old Slavonic language with the history of Russia and with literature formed by learning at school. This applies primarily to theoretical sections and seminars, which discusses the formation of writing among the Slavs and related issues of history, culture, religion of the Slavic peoples.

However, in this case, students, in fact, take the position of consumers of knowledge that is not conducive to achieving integrative results at the level of the individual and his general cultural and professional characteristics. As already noted, to overcome this situation allows personality-based learning, based on the principle of cultural diversity and using polytechnology as a manifestation of integration at the methodological and technological level. However, as the experience of teaching the Old Slavonic language convinces students of Yaroslav-the-WiseNovgorod State University the use of a set of approaches and principles of personality-oriented learning, such as individuality, subjectivity, creativity and success, variability, activity and independence, dialogism, etc., which is fully consistent with the infinity of the content of the course, requires the allocation of a general idea and its corresponding technological approaches that would create a cultural context for the implementation of the educational process, included students in the dialogue of cultures and contributed to the formation of a personal culture.

In our practice, we used the methodology of project activities focused on the use of the historical and cultural potential of Veliky Novgorod - the city of ancient book culture. The aim of the project was to create the atmosphere for immersing students in the historical conditions for the creation and improvement of Slavic alphabets. The theme of the project was formulated by the teacher (after discussion in the introductory lesson) as follows: “St. Sophia Cathedral as a text” (What does it say about the emergence and transformation of Cyrillic writing in Ancient Russia?). Further development of the project took place with the maximum activity of students, who determined the subject and number of individual projects that formed creative groups "by interests". An essential point of this work was the transition from topic to problem, i.e. what is called the problematization of research. Some of the proposed wordings clearly reflected the interests of the “current moment”: for example, the theme “Graffiti of St. Sophia Cathedral” received such a problematic wording: “If our ancestors had no bad habit of writing on the walls, then ...”.As a result of joint activities, presentations and booklets were prepared, a short video about Novgorod Sophia, the walls of which turned out to be pages that recorded information about the ancient Cyrillic alphabet, which contained the oldest text in the Old Slavonic language - the Ostromir Gospel, etc.

The success of this work, in our opinion, was confirmed by the awards that second-year students received at the All-Russian competition “Tree of Slavs”, dedicated to the 1155-th anniversary of the creation of Slavic alphabets. But the most important result was participation in the scientific search, which allowed everyone together and each individually to go beyond the framework of the mandatory program and join the dialogue of cultures, understanding the features of the historical context. Positive personal results include cooperation in work, public communication skills, improvement of discursive activities related to the perception and processing of texts of different contents and the production of their own texts. A survey conducted after the completion of the projects showed that students are ready to continue research, use their observations and materials in the preparation of term papers and final qualification works; interest in the work done is confirmed by the proposal to prepare a collective dictionary-directory (brief encyclopedia) on the linguistic history of St. Sophia Cathedral.


The integrative nature of education corresponds to the integrative processes and the life of society as a whole and in modern science in particular, which requires studying the basic laws of this generally not a new approach to organizing education in relation to the new needs of participants in the educational process - teachers and students. Integrity is of particular importance for organizing the study of culture-oriented disciplines of the humanitarian cycle associated with such social values ​​as spirituality, eventfulness, dialogism, historicity, etc. The strengthening of the importance of humanitarian disciplines in modern education is associated with changes in the educational paradigm itself - from “knowledge” to “personality”. Higher education is not only a means of transferring accumulated knowledge to the young generation and the formation of its spiritual and moral values, but also an important factor in preparing for activities in new social conditions, for solving non-standard tasks. This determines the need for the integration of educational and research activities in modern higher education.

A new understanding of the principles of integrativity, their modernization and filling with new content provides a transition to a “human-centered” education that takes into account the individual needs and capabilities of students. The most important thing in this process is to change the role of educational material, which ceases to be an object of assimilation, and turns into a learning tool.

The integration approach also covers the field of educational technologies, which include new methods and techniques for organizing the educational process, corresponding to the multidimensionality and “layering” content of humanitarian disciplines. In this study, polytechnology was used in the development of the new and difficult for bachelor-philologists course "Old Slavonic Language". As the practice of teaching has shown, a positive result is achieved as a result of using the latest practices in the educational process that meet the modern requirements of philological training in higher education. These techniques provide the formation of an open humanitarian educational environment aimed at consciously including students in the dialogue of cultures, not only through the assimilation of educational and scientific information, but also through the development of cultural wealth, which gives freedom to acquire new knowledge.


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26 August 2020

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Cite this article as:

Didkovskaya, V. G. (2020). The Principle Of Integrativity In Teaching The History Of The Russian Language. In S. Alexander Glebovich (Ed.), Pedagogical Education - History, Present Time, Perspectives, vol 87. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 468-475). European Publisher.