Relationship Between Cultural-Historical Features Of Russia And Dagestan And Their Educational Policy


The article answers the following question. What should be fixed in the modern educational policy of Russia as its main markers arising from sociocultural resources, both historical and modern, post-perestroika resources. This is relevant for all subjects of educational policy, which, except the state, should be all citizens of Russia, the family and parent community, professional-pedagogical community, scientific, cultural, commercial and public institutions. Following the sociocultural paradigm of education, in which education appears as a way of person reproduction in culture, the article shows that the goals and strategies of Russian and Dagestan national education depend on historical, national, ethnic and religious traditions and values. The variant of the range of promising cultural and educational ideals and values of the respective peoples has been analyzed. Taking into account the complexity of the cultural and historical identity of Russia, values of both ethnonational and religious character have been identified, contrasting the adequate educational policy carried out in line with the Bologna system with a policy of national education. The conclusions of the study are as follows. First, in the hierarchical system of educational spaces, the Dagestan educational policy appears as a part of Russian educational policy with its own characteristics. It has become a real policy of national education for two decades. Third, in such a contradiction, the value opposition of the cultural and historical values of the peoples of Russia and Dagestan to Western liberal norms on key spiritual, moral and religious ideals is obvious.

Keywords: Educationcultural resourcehistorical resourceDagestan


The educational space, being a cultural space’s subsystem, is structurally hierarchized. We can ruminate about the world, regional, European, Christian, Islamic, Russian, Dagestan, etc. generic and typical forms of educational space. The hierarchy of educational spaces is justified by specialized philosophical conceptualization of various educational systems and practices. They differ from each other in nature, goals and values in a particular region. Regional conceptualization appears as an appropriate management educational policy based on a specific education system.

Problem Statement

Science deals with educational policy as the activity of public organizations authorities, which determines the functioning and development of the education system and reflects the content of the dominant and alternative ideology. It also reflects the nature of the existing education legislation and the overall direction of organizational and management activities. Its subject may be the resource provision of this policy with the cultural and historical features of Russia and Dagestan, as in this article (Professional education, 1999).

Research Questions

Description of the articles’ subject. The objectives of the article are determined by the real situation in Russian education. Since the mid-90s of the 20th century, the main course in Russian educational policy has been defined by the Federal Program "Education development in Russia" and the Law of the Russian Federation "On Education" with subsequent amendments. This course involved a "humanistic project" of educational activities: patriotic education of the younger generation, priority of universal values, protection and development of national cultures, regional cultural traditions and characteristics of multinational Russia in the educational system, etc. (Rudakova, 2012). However, in fact, the declared goals and objectives are difficult to achieve in Russia and its regions. They are related to a number of problems and require qualitative improvement of educational policy in accordance with the declared objectives. They require improvement within the framework of the "general strategy for the society’s modernization, involving the formation of a new culture. Its values are self-reliance and enterprise, combined with an active civic position" (p. 137). This educational policy is hampered by a number of obstacles to its implementation. The main ones are the integration violations of the economic and education system, the so-called "demographic cross". This is the increasing reduction in the number of students, the commitments made by the Russian Federation in the framework of the Bologna agreements, and finally, the policy of sequestering education funding (Polomoshnov, 2011).

Purpose of the Study

For the purposes and objectives of the article, it is important that in the context of the humanistic project and modernization in educational policy, the key objective is the preservation of ethnocultural and national identity. This article analyzes the national and civilizational identity, allowing "the determination the viability of the national community," with the cultural potential’s identification of its further existence. There is no doubt that the factors of such identity are nationality, language, culture, religion, etc. As rightly noted in the scientific literature, they are ambiguous for different peoples, because;

The identity of a Western European citizen and the identity of a Chinese citizen, for example, may have different priority components. The citizen of Germany or France, first of all, perceives himself as a European, a Christian and a citizen of the world, and then a carrier of a great culture or language. The Chinese, first of all, perceives himself as a citizen of a great and powerful country, a carrier of a unique, ancient culture, and does not include the element of cosmopolitanism in his identity (Shramkova, 2009, p. 102).

Research Methods

Description of the methods used in the study. This example confirms the statement of Drach (2018) that "in order to consider cultural integration, the fundamental fact of the cultures’ existence in geographical space and historical time must be taken into account" (p. 37). Cultural integration, which is the basis of the people’s identity, becomes a determinant of its development. Also, it becomes an experience for human assimilation through educational policy, a resource of its functioning. The main logic and methodology of this study is the consideration of the most significant elements of the identity content of Russia and Dagestan, their features that determine the relevant educational policy and its specifics.


Results obtained in this study. Russia's cultural and civilizational identity is multifaceted. It combines the values of West and East, Eurasian geopolitical space. From the point of view of the geographical position, Russia is culturally isolated, separates, and on the other hand, it carries out cultural symbiosis and unites. In ethno national terms it is a multinational. In the religious aspect, Orthodoxy has caused ideological and political opposition to the Western Catholic Christian world. This is associated with mental and spiritual-moral and political markers – patriarchal character, community, traditionalism, humility, passivity, authoritarianism, state centralization, paternalism, the dominance of community over personality, the opposition to Western rationalism by irrationality, etc. (Reshetnikova, 2012). The other largest religion in Russia is Islam. For centuries it has been conflict-free historically defining the cultural climate of a country with Christianity and Buddhism.

However, the last decades of the 20th century, two decades of the beginning of the 21st century have introduced visible changes into the spiritual atmosphere of Russia and Dagestan, which affect their educational policy. This is not just the organizational interaction of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Islamic Ummah of Russia due to the lack of institutional unity in the latter. But, at the same time, since the Islamic Ummah of Russia is heterogeneous in both ethnic and religious aspects, the coexistence of various spiritual centers is justified for it, but subject to peace between them (Kotin, 2009). In the traditional few centuries aspects of coexistence of world religions in Russia for the last three decades have introduced innovations that are positive, but have not become the common practice of social and political life yet. Note a significant of them. Significant for understanding the cultural and historical features of Russia and Dagestan as a resource of their modern educational policy is the situation, when in Russia for the first time a legal framework for relations between the state and religious organizations is created. This is due "to overcoming, on the one hand, the traditions of the atheist state, and on the other, the traditions of the state religion in a multiconfessional state, where" tolerant "and" persecuted "religions have long existed" (Sgibneva, 2015).

National and ethnic identity, its components are fixed in the modern educational policy of Russia as its main markers arising from socio-cultural resources, both historical and modern. Their preservation is based on a methodology that takes into account historical-specific peripeteia. Cultural and historical features of Dagestan, which in this article are considered as a resource of its modern educational policy, are associated with the infiltration of world religions into its territory - Christianity in the 5th century and Islam at the end of the 8th century. At that time, the trend of gradual dominance of Arab-Muslim educational institutions began. Only by the 15th century Dagestan began to represent a single historical and geographical territory. This contributed to the formation and development of a holistic multicultural educational space based on Arab-Muslim educational institutions. With the accession of Dagestan to Russia in the 19th century, the formation of state secular Russian-language educational institutions began, and the Dagestanis began to join Russian cultural and educational values. In the first quarter of the 20th century fundamental changes in the field of education of Dagestan began that led to the elimination of Arab-Muslim educational structures and the formation of a unitary educational space based on a single national school with national-Russian bilingualism. Today there is an objective in the context of the traditional culture revival of interethnic and interfaith communication, the interaction of secular and religious educational structures (Musaev, 2012).

Ways and methods of using ethnocultural resources are complicated by unfavorable factors of the current life. Due to the new legal base of relations between the state and religious organizations that has not developed in Russia yet, "modern North Caucasian society, especially Dagestan, has fallen into archaization since the early 90s. That is why in the 21st century we are dealing with the masses of "caged" over the years religious fanatics with almost medieval consciousness. They totally deny not only everything secular, but also any rudiments of civilization. In Dagestan, not only the clergy, but also a certain number of ordinary people think only about creating a Sharia state" (Dzutsev, 2014, p. 95). Perhaps this assessment of the religious life state in the region is exaggerated due to the situation anxiety, but the causes of social and political tensions cannot be underestimated, especially not to take into account in the context of the articles’ problem.

Other researchers also write about unfavorable processes in social and political life, culture, and educational policy.

Re-Islamization in the North Caucasus and specifically in Dagestan is accompanied by the confrontation between supporters of different Mazhabs. It is supplemented by the rivalry of tariqists and Sufis, ethnic divisions into Kaziats and mosques, prohibitions on reading Quran’s translations in Russian, and confrontation between 19 sheikhs (16 are officially recognized sheikhs). Almost everyone has their own Islamic educational institution (IEI), their own curriculum, their own tariqa, their own dates for the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, etc. it does not contribute to the enlightenment and unity of the Islamic Ummah." (Murtuzaliev, 2011, p. 190)

Researchers note the persistence of religious illiteracy of the population and the absence of a coherent religious policy in Dagestan. Not without the influence of religious propaganda, the stereotype of "meaninglessness of education" and the desire of young people to get only a certificate and a diploma are formed. It is rightly noted:

Educational work should be carried out by workers of culture, state secular ministries and departments, professional orientalists and religious scholars who are able to actively resist all kinds of reactionary trends. And religious leaders should not confront or compete with them, but complement them, working closely together …" (Mamaraev, 2011, p. 263)

The educational policy of Russia and its regions today should be determined by the humanistic attitude of the pedagogical process. It is a "pattern of human behavior in a typical life situation, characterized by a basic idea of a high social vocation of a person, love for him, recognition of his value as a person" (p. 265). The formation of such an attitude "is possible and necessary within the framework of a particular educational system that takes into account the humanization principles of education in modern conditions" (Zhuk, 2007, p. 111). The consideration of ethnic and national factors is significant in educational policy. Considering the important task of education, the implementation of the preservation and development of ethnic identity as primary in the spiritual and moral education of a person, Shermukhamedova (2018) declares this task a significant aspect of the innovation educational policy.

Indeed, "ethnoculture in the space of globalization has shown its moral and anthropological value, its role in the self-preservation of mankind" (Drach, 2018, p. 58). Ethnocultural interaction is significant for multicultural multi-ethnic Dagestan in all spheres of society and its development. It is characterized by "participation of subjects in directed at each other systematic actions of ethno-cultural content. The objects differ in ethnicity, in order to elicit a response expected behavior that suggests a resumption of action" (Bobryshеva, 2009, p. 39). In the context of encouraging ethnocultural interaction, it is necessary to emphasize the beneficial role of the region's traditional Islam - Sufism for Dagestan. It is known as the most tolerant religion to any system of religious ideas since the Middle Ages. "When theological disputes often resulted in repression in Europe, in the Muslim East, Sufi thinkers showed tolerance for almost any religion that might seem atypical for those times" (p. 93). The author thoroughly justifies this circumstance from the differences between Muslim and Christian metaphysics (Stepanov, 2015). The above-mentioned problems and obstacles in the religious sphere of Dagestan are supplemented by positive general Islamic values and Sufi characteristics. They respond to the mentality, historical, psychological and mental origins of the indigenous peoples of the region. They should be rationally used in the region educational policy.

Modern educational policy, contrary to its declared vectors, remains technocratic-oriented. Modern world trends of personality-oriented and culture-centric concepts of education are proclaimed, but not implemented. Cultural continuity is poorly expressed, the spiritual and moral potential of Russian culture is not included in the educational process. Following the Bologna system, now in national education, there is an overly enthusiasm for the implementation of information technologies and test methods in the educational process. Education officials do not pay attention to the requests of the pedagogical community to observes limits in this matter. This is due to a thoughtless and formal approach in the educational process. "There is a kind of technicalization and technologicalization of thinking. Information and human awareness began to replace his intellect, abilities of deep reflection of entire drama of being. Existing practice of test unification does not fit the standards of social and humanitarian education, does not fully take into account its specifics" (Bilalov & Magomedov, 2013, p. 1866).


Declaring as a goal the humanistic values of personality-oriented and cultural-centric concepts of education, in the Republic and throughout Russia, educational policies conflict with the trends of the technocratic-oriented Bologna system. It has become a real policy of national education for two decades. The unification and standardization of education that globalization brings with the Bologna process reduces the pedagogical process to preparation and "education of narrow specialists. This reduces the process to the development not of the person, but of his individual abilities corresponding to a particular labour division. Such a narrow understanding of education should be overcome through its humanization, i.e. the realization of human-forming functions: orientation to culture, spirituality, individual intelligence".

In such a contradiction, the value opposition of the cultural and historical values of the peoples of Russia and Dagestan to Western liberal norms on key spiritual, moral and religious ideals is obvious.

This concerns the consideration in the educational policy of the deep mental and cultural foundations of the peoples of Russia and Dagestan. The fact of their opposition to Western historical and modern traditions is poorly taken into account or completely ignored. According to Bilalov (2015):

The national pedagogy and philosophy of education should guide the school to the rejection of Western values such as absolutization of the role of rational in spiritual life, the priority of practical success in human activity, the reassessment of personal freedom, and the appropriately interpreted humanism. In the West they recede into the background, and in the Eastern and Muslim cultures they have never been primary values. (p. 166)

But this does not happen in the Dagestan educational space. Following the Bologna system for the Federal center, "the Russian regions stimulated the influence of these values to the detriment of justified historical traditions" (Bilalov, 2015, p. 165). First of all, fundamental values became hostages of such educational policy. "If collective responsibility, respect for elders, patriotism for the Eastern and Muslim cultures are primary as values, then for the West they are secondary or even insignificant" (Bilalov, 2014, p. 24).

Another conclusion of the study is as follows. In the hierarchical system of educational spaces, the Dagestan educational policy appears as a part of Russian educational policy with its own characteristics. Therefore, it is important to take into account the religious specifics of the cultural and historical resource of Dagestan. Because in the conditions of the:

Caucasus region it is important that the religious tendency becomes more and more significant in modern education. Western Catholic tradition considers the upbringing of an active personality as the goal of education. In Eastern European Orthodox culture, the emphasis is on spiritual development, and in Islam, on the ideas of self-improvement. (Bilalov, 2014, p. 28)

The critical appraisal of modern national education, which is in a series of permanent reforms, characterizes its state as a crisis. The conclusions proposed in this article make it possible to transform and qualitatively improve the educational policy of Russia and Dagestan in the interests of preserving the culture and religion of our peoples. They encourage its subjects to improve the quality of education and its role in society.


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