Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Lecture Format of Instruction and Teaching for the Test Reducing Russian Pupils to Conformist Automatons, Konnikov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 9 – A great deal of attention is being directed to the way in which Russian education is being cut off from the international system – see for example the discussion at – but a far more important problem is one that fewer are paying attention to, Grigory Konnikov says.

            And that is this, the young graduate student says. Russian education even more than its counterparts abroad depends almost exclusively on lectures rather than discussions and on teaching for the test, both of which have the effect of preparing children to be conformist automatons (

            Russian schools and universities operate on the principle that “the teacher says and the students repeat,” an arrangement that may suit the powers that be by encouraging not only conformity but also obedience but one that over time will lead to the degradation of the population and of the country as a whole, he argues.

            “The only way out of such an intellectually and consequently socially and politically negative situation,” Konnikov continues, is to shift “the emphasis in education from questions like ‘who’ and ‘what’ to ones like ‘how’ and ‘why’ and to do so through discussion rather than lectures and through essays rather than multiple choice tests.

            If Russia makes this change, then the younger generation will gain “a new set of tools for interacting with reality,” not only the reality of the past but of the present, he says. And then young people will be able “to ‘rebel constructively,’” create their own agendas and not be locked into the world of their parents or grandparents. 

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