Mikhail Pavlovets1, Igor Remorenko2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 Moscow City Pedagogical University, 4 Selskokhozyaystvenny proyezd, 129226, Moscow, Russian Federation

On Modifying the Prescriptions for Teaching Literature in Contemporary School

Comment by E. Abelyuk

2014. No. 4. P. 209–226 [issue contents]
Mikhail Pavlovets - Candidate of Sciences in Philology, Associate Professor, School of Philology, Faculty of Humanities, HSE. E-mail: pavlovez@mail.ru. Address: Myastitskaya, 20, Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation.

Igor Remorenko - Candidate of Sciences in Pedagogy, Rector, Moscow City Pedagogical University. E-mail: inik2001@mail.ru
Address: 4 Selskokhozyaystvenny proyezd, 129226, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Abelyuk Evgenya - honoured teacher of the Russian Federation, Assosiate Professor, Institute of Education, HSE. E-mail: abelyuk@gmail.com Address: Myastitskaya, 20, Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation.

A survey of first-year philology students was conducted in autumn 2008 at Moscow Humanitarian Pedagogical Institute (MHPI) with a purpose to explore their reading interests and to get an idea of how they had read the required school reading books — whether in full, in short summaries, or in excerpts. The same survey was conducted in 2013 among first-year philology students of the Institute of Humanities at Moscow City Pedagogical University, of which the MHPI became part in 2012. We discovered that high-school students did not read all dramatic and epic required reading books in full and showed little interest towards books telling about the painful points of the Russian history (collectivization, repressions, famine, etc.) or stories with complicated plots. The list of particularly important books has changed insignificantly, consisting almost entirely of required school reading books and foreign books, with their number reduced by a third for the last five years. The scope of reading interests also proved to involve mainly foreign literature and to have shrunken in the last five years. The required reading list and the number of books actually read by high-school graduates do not coincide: even philology-oriented school students read many books in excerpts or simplified versions. Literature as a school subject does not create enough motivation to read what is referred to as national literary classics. We find it necessary to revise the conventional attitudes to state prescriptions for teaching literature, to refuse from rigid required reading book lists, and to switch to a competency-based model of literary education outlined in the Federal State Literature Standards. A transition like that will require revision of the existing approaches to testing reading and speaking competencies of  school leavers through the Unified State Examination.
Citation: Pavlovets M., Remorenko I. (2014) Ob izmenenii reglamentatsii prepodavaniya literatury v sovremennoy shkole [On Modifying the Prescriptions for Teaching Literature in Contemporary School]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no4, pp. 209-226.