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Why modern students write essays? “Creative work” that you have to write in real life – application to the housing office or the summary are compiled quite differently. In a mandatory exam on the Russian language only in part “C” left mini-essay on one hundred and fifty words. In the new standards for the high school “literature” and “Russian language” in General decided to merge into one subject. A full six-hour essay is dying as a way to test the knowledge of scholars. Alas…
ONLY FOR THE ELITE
Where all did in school essays? I asked the candidate of pedagogical Sciences, associate Professor of teaching literature at Moscow state pedagogical University Anna Brancoveanu-Romanov.
Torture the children works began only in the mid-nineteenth century. Our all – Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin – Lyceum didn’t suffer. At that time it was thought that a simple man should be able to write a model paper, and highly educated – and even make small talk on the cultural theme. For example, literary. The students studied the ancient authors pre-Petrine work. The selection of books the teachers were not so great, so topics were formulated simply: “How do you understand the work?” or “the Poetry of Zhukovsky”.
In those days of written composition belonged to the lessons of rhetoric. The main task was exciting to speculate about the subject. No rigid templates and structures on the principle of “performance – the main part – conclusion” was not. Work more like modern compositions on a free theme.
Only it is necessary to understand: I taught only high school students, the elite of the elite ordered perfume in Moscow . More or less mass education was only in half a century. The list of topics
1850-ies have not survived. Only the requirements at that time to the scholars: “how to write someone else and then compose their own”. That is, first learn the spelling and then learn to write down their thoughts.
Exactly half a century ago, writing became a form of graduation exam. The students had to show reached “the degree of mental development”. From high-school students did not require novelty, original thoughts or completeness of the content. It was enough to write “language is correct, clean and accurate, the statement should satisfy the conditions of the logical connection and sequence, and the content is to be natural and activity of thought.”
After 20 years, educators have come to the conclusion that “the mental life of a student is manifested by the perception and reproduction”. Therefore, the theme of works to move students to original research. For example, in the collection of the works of 1873, after studying the short story by Nikolai Gogol’s “Taras Bulba” are invited to write essays:
Sich and its mores
The situation of Jews in Ukraine and Poland
Write out and arrange in order a) epithets, b) comparison used by Gogol.
COME TALK TO YOU
By the end of the XIX century, the teachers decided that the written works can be replaced the oral literary conversations. Yes, it is time the teachers already knew: to get the students to create a likeness of literary texts – not very useful. To teach children to comprehend what they read, invented another form. In 1914, teachers recommended the following topics for conversation:
Compare Pushkin’s poem “prisoner of the Caucasus” and Tolstoy’s story “prisoner of the Caucasus”
To characterize the characters: Onegin, Chichikov, Taras Bulba
To compare two versions of Gogol’s story “Taras Bulba”
Compare hamlet Shakespeare and Turgenev, Boris Godunov Pushkin and A. K. Tolstoy
To answer the question by clarifying their own understanding of a work, is guilty of Raskolnikov in the crime and whether he deserves punishment?
Leo Tolstoy in Yasnaya Polyana went the other way. His students wrote essays not on literary topics, and from “life”. Guys could choose any object, because their teacher had been convinced that it is necessary “to offer the largest and most varied choice of subjects, not inventing them for children, but to offer topics the most serious and most interesting teacher.” The best works of Leo was read aloud to all students could take them for a sample. Imitation of adult literature was considered harmful.
They say that the students of the school in Yasnaya Polyana loved to write essays. Indeed, they were not reprimanded for poor handwriting, sloppy notebooks, spelling mistakes and wrong sentence structure. Their task was to find the main image or the most important idea for her to pick up the right words and to write it all down, without repeating the idea twice. So the children were easier, Tolstoy suggested that the teacher record the text as the children’s dictation. At the same time to think and write, in his opinion, too difficult for a child.
Experience the classics were picked by the teachers and developed a system. They invited the younger students to analyze poems, fables and stories, giving characteristics of the key actors, their relationships, revealing the main idea, to draw attention to paintings of nature and the identity of the author penetrated into the literary text. So pictures of nature and life, relied on Thick, began to replace literature.
THE OPPRESSED PEASANTS
Later, in 1915, whenit was the First world war, the teachers decided to build “our new world” in the teaching of literature, placing it closer to history. This is logical: for most readers the source of knowledge about the past is fiction, and not the archival record. The tasks of the disciples began to formulate so:
What is the contradiction between the tendencies of Griboyedov and his destiny?
What is the lyricism of the Comedy “Woe from wit”?
Why in the pre-Petrine time, the Russian writer was most often a spiritual person?
What it is possible to show that the value of literature in the life of Russian society gradually increased?
Write literary analysis, you want – biographical or historical sketch. These subjects were all students of the revolution and the first years of Soviet power, while the literature textbooks not to go through experts on class theory.
The young pioneers in the 20-ies suggested the following:
Alexander Pushkin the spokesman of ideas of landed nobility.
The oppressed peasants in the works of Turgenev.
After the war, after parting with the cult of personality, the literature very carefully started to get rid of ideological filling. Then for all schools in the country were now familiar “neutral” topics essay on literary works of the school program. And about the “bright image of Tatiana”, and “struggling against something -?”, and “why the drama Ostrovsky called “the Storm”?”
AND AS IT IS NOW?
A six-hour essay graduates can write both tests, signifying the completion of the school course literature. The grade for this essay affects the grades, which is put in the certificate. But it does not affect your admission to the University. If the student is going to study Philology specialty, it besides a mandatory exam in Russian, you need to pass the exam in literature. In its structure there is a small composition that you write according to the variant of literary text.
THE OPINIONS OF TEACHERS
“The teacher of year of Moscow-2012”, Deputy Director of educational center # 1479 Vita KIRICHENKO:
— I, surprisingly, a supporter of the EGE on the Russian language: I don’t see him with a decent alternative. The writing, alas, has become obsolete. If children read less as they write an essay?! My colleagues argue: “If we return the composition in the category of mandatory final exams – children will begin to read”. Will not start! There is no dependence.
In order to pass the exam on the Russian language well – that is, on 85 points and above, you should be able to think and to Express those thoughts. Part “C” just helps to test these skills. Need to read small text, highlight the problems and the author’s position.
But a great essay… Modern life encourages children to use something ready. For fifteen years, fashion industry is “writing essays”. Go to any book store — on the shelves of “50 Golden works”, “100 Golden works”…
WHEN NUMBER WAS IMPOSED
In the last year and a half were deep, objective of audit of financial activities of educational institutions. According to their results during that time lost their jobs, about eighty of Directors of the Metropolitan schools, – said the head of the Moscow Department of education Isaak KALINA.
In the near future, “Komsomolskaya Pravda” will tell you more about these checks and how new staff are selected to guide the capital’s schools, lyceums, gymnasiums and centers of education.
How, in your opinion, do I need to remove the essay from the curriculum?