Romashina Ekaterina

The city is a not a village: a journey through the pages of russian ABC-books of 1900–1925

Romashina Ekaterina (2021) "The city is a not a village: a journey through the pages of russian ABC-books of 1900–1925 ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia IV : Pedagogika. Psihologiia, 2021, vol. 60, pp. 97-118 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIV202160.97-118


The article presents the results of an analysis of Russian ABC-books, primers, readers, published in 1900–1925. Presentations of the space surrounding the child, which is arranged for him by adults in didactic literature are examined. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the world was changing rapidly. The growth of cities, an increase in the number of their residents, the formation of a special urban discourse — all these processes aff ected the countries of Europe, the USA, and Russia. This process is refl ected in the pages of books for initial literacy. More often than others, the following characteristics of the city were represented in them: the number of houses and fl oors in them, long and wide paved streets, city lighting, new vehicles (car, tram, bicycle). Less commonly: a large number of people, their purely urban occupations and professions; trade, shopping on the market; work in a factory or plant. Mentioning the city as a centre of government, politics and ideology, a place of education and culture is very rare. The latter signs were characteristic only of the description of the capital cities, i.e. Moscow and St. Petersburg. These characteristics of the city were implemented by the authors both in the texts and in the illustrative materials of the manuals. Visual and textual narratives did not coincide, but complemented and explained each other. The images helped to compare the city with the village, identify diff erences, see the general and the special. A child could get a holistic view of the city as a complex social and cultural phenomenon.


textbook, ABC-book, primer, text, illustration, city, educational space, urban discourse


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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.


The study was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Federal Property Fund in the framework of scientific project No. 20-013-00246.