Romashina Ekaterina; Ageeva Antonina

«All pupils are being drawn to the picture»: Nikolai Korf's guide to visually-aided teaching of literacy

Romashina Ekaterina, Ageeva Antonina (2018) "«All pupils are being drawn to the picture»: Nikolai Korf's guide to visually-aided teaching of literacy ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia IV : Pedagogika. Psihologiia, 2018, vol. 51, pp. 73-81 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIV201851.73-81


Socio-economic, political, cultural changes of the mid-19th century in Russia launched processes of accelerated development of primary education as a relativela mass phenomenon. The attention of educationalsist, both theorising and practising, was drawn to the problem of teaching the basic literacy. The main place in pedagogical discussions was occupied by the question about visual aids in this process. Nikolai Aleksandrovich Korh, the prominent public fi gure and author of several textbooks and study guides, made a considerable contribution to the cause of visually aided teaching at the people’s primary school. This article analyses the reader “Our Friend” (Russ. «Наш друг») and manuals compiled by Korf for teachers. According to Korf, his reader represented a direct continuation of “Our Russian Word” (Russ. «Родное слово») by Ushinsky, but unlike Ushinsky’s book, it was designed specifi cally for rural schools. Korf considered it absolutely necessary to have special visually aided classes in the curriculum of primary school. The article identifi es links between Korf’s theoretical views on the use of visual aids in teching literacy and the visual range of his reader. It is shown that the visual components had their own didactic value. The article describes the algorithm of visually-aided teaching of literacy that was proposed by Korf. The illustrative range of his reader explained and supplemented the texts, providing children with pieces of practical information, made them familiar with the environment, both natural and created by people. The article emphasises that although “Our Friend” contained many pictures, its visual range was not equipped methodologically. The handbook contained many questions to the texts but almost no tasks to the pictorial materials.


N. A. Korf, visually-aided teaching, literacy, school reader, ABC-book, visual range, teaching technique, illustration, imaginative thinking

Information about the author

Romashina Ekaterina

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in Education;
Place of work: Tula State Lev Tolstoy Pedagogical University; 125 Pr. Lenina, Tula, 300026, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0003-0655-2183;
Email: katerinro@yandex.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.

Ageeva Antonina

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Education;
Place of work: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities; 407, 9/2, Jlovaiskaya str., 109651, Moscow, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0001-7259-1821;
Email: armusya@yandex.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.


The work was supported by a grant from the Department of Social and Human Sciences of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research 16-06-00113a.