This is the opinion of Irina Abankina, Director of the Institute for the Development of Education of the National Research University Higher School of Economics

This is the opinion of Irina Abankina, Director of the Institute for the Development of Education of the National Research University Higher School of Economics

And the very name Dothraki refers us not at all to the Huns, but to the Thracians (another version of the pronunciation is Thracians) – a people who lived on the territory of modern Bulgaria and bravely fought against Rome (Spartak, as you know, was a Thracian who was captured in a battle with Romans), so Martin knew exactly who he was writing about. And the Indo-European peoples came to Europe precisely from the Asian steppes of present-day Southern Russia – Voronezh, Saratov and other regions from Belgorod to the Urals, as the first settlers come from the legendary Valyria to Westeros, and now the Dothrakians themselves want to come.

Is Westeros himself one? And what is common between its distant parts, besides the power of a single king, which was recently established, by the way? After all, these are completely different countries in fact, as their coats of arms speak about. The Lannisters, with their lion and golden hair, are unambiguously British, and the peoples to the south of them resemble the French and Spaniards, to the east (Tully’s domain) – the Germans. Is this not a prototype of a united Europe and a prophecy about its fate? And what about the north, what about Winterfell itself? Is it only the north of England with the center in York, which for centuries, since Roman times, protected the southern lands from the predatory raids of the merry Picts and Scots? And the Wall – is the Wall built by Hadrian only by the Romans meant there? For Martin himself, maybe yes, although he hardly did not understand that all this – the Picts and Scots with their bandit raids – is very small for the epic Wall that protects the Kingdom not only from savages from the north, but also from completely infernal evil. Is it really so difficult to see in the Stark domain, the largest in the Kingdom (much larger in size than all its other parts combined, which is emphasized more than once), the largest and most abundant country of Eurasia with snow, forests and wolves, not just for centuries with huge blood defending Europe from the raids of ordinary steppe robbers, later quite peacefully getting along with us and merging into a single people, but also becoming more than once a huge indestructible Wall on the path of a truly infernal evil?

If all this is explained to children, our children, they will look at both the film and Martin’s book completely differently.


Learn not to give marks, but to see different sides


This book will be all the more interesting for teenagers because there is no (unlike the film, by the way) a clear division into "good bad" and all events are viewed from different points of view of completely different people. And the choice on which side to us to be we make ourselves. This is how the guys will treat real history later – they will learn not to give marks, but to look closely at the people and events of their day, learning, trying to see in everything and in everyone both good and bad sides and features. That is, they will learn to think – and think for themselves, regardless of someone "highly authoritative" opinion.

And how many truly interesting, real projects can be done on the basis of the novel, for example, to compare the evolution of religious views in Westeros with a real similar evolution among Indo-European peoples, when, for example, the rejection of human sacrifice did not happen immediately and very difficult. Yes, a lot can and should be discussed with your children on the basis of this epic. Including the most forbidden topics – in the novel, by the way, all these intimate things are described incomparably more delicately and puritanically than they are shown in the film (as elegantly, as subtly and wisely described in the book, for example, the first wedding night of Daenerys and Drogo and how vulgar and primitive it is shown in the film), but the psychology of the characters’ actions, as well as the problems of their growing up and maturing, are described surprisingly subtly and in detail.

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are not only talented science fiction writers, but also philosophers, thinkers, dreamers. The worlds they create have captivated or frightened millions of readers for many years. The thoughts expressed by them make you return to their books in order to understand all the important things that are said by the writers.

The Strugatskys’ theories become objects of research for writers, filmmakers, physicists, sociologists, psychologists and educators. The latter are primarily interested in the High Theory of Education (VTV), set forth by the Strugatskys in the books of the World of Noon.

The authors considered teaching a secondary, auxiliary process that accompanies the education process.

From the point of view of the authors, the goal of upbringing should be the formation of a generation for which creative work is both the main pleasure and the main need.

The Strugatskys saw the main principle of VTV in this way – only professionals who can, are able and want to find and develop their main talent in every child should be engaged in raising children.

“We know how to educate a man as a stormtrooper, a militant. But this is not education! This is training, training. (…) Not to train a person, not to tune in to a certain type of activity, but to find what he is most talented for, to isolate this and help develop. This is the main task of education! ” Boris Strugatsky, 2008

Writers believed that parents for the most part could not cope with this task. Therefore, it was assumed that the process of upbringing can be effective only when children live not in their families, but in boarding schools, together with their Teachers.

No, they did not offer to lock up children behind high walls: communication with parents is necessary for every child. The Strugatskys saw boarding schools as open educational institutions, in which pupils spend most of their time, sometimes leaving for a visit home or receiving their parents.

The writers said that the most important talent on earth is the talent of the Teacher. VTB can be realized only after a certain number of talented Teachers, born for this mission, are recruited. The Strugatskys’ requirements for the Teacher are high: the process of preparing the Teacher should take 30 years (training, practice, obtaining some other specialty), the Teacher should not only have talent and skill, but also a great desire to devote himself to this activity, the Teacher should have, at least, two professions: teaching and non-teaching.

“As a rule, professionals should be engaged in raising a human cub (as well as treating it!). Exceptions, however, are possible – for gifted parents (Teachers “by birth”, and not by profession), who know how to distinguish right from wrong (medicine from quackery). ” Boris Strugatsky, 2007.

The writers believed that the implementation of such a theory in life can take time, which grows from 3 to 15 generations of people.

“Nothing will come of VTV (and it will not arise itself) until humanity has an urgent need for it. How did mankind have a need for universal literacy (as a consequence of the First Industrial Revolution). Everything appeared at once: millions of teachers, hundreds of thousands of schools, and thousands of educational methods. ” Boris Strugatsky, 2002.

Once Jules Verne predicted the emergence of a submarine, Edward Bellamy – credit cards, and Arthur Clarke – space tourism. It is likely that the Strugatsky brothers turned out to be perspicacious predictors, and the generations of our great-grandchildren will still see the flourishing of humanity as a result of the introduction of the High Theory of Education.

You can read about VTV in the works: “The Land of Crimson Clouds” (1959)

The Way to Amalthea (1960)

Trainees (1962)

“Noon, XXII century” (1962)

Attempt to Escape (1962)

Distant Rainbow (1963)

It’s Hard to Be God (1964)

Anxiety (1965)

 “Predatory Things of the Century” (1965)

Inhabited Island (1969)

The Kid (1971)

“Guy from the Underworld” (1974)

“A beetle in an anthill” (1979-1980)

“Waves extinguish the wind” (1985-1986)

The meta-subject approach to education is becoming more and more popular abroad, but "slows down" in Russian schools. What hinders the introduction of interdisciplinary education, which is dictated by the modern challenges of the time? There are three reasons for this: the resistance of teachers, the existing system of final certification in grades 9 and 11, as well as the conservatism of parents. This is the opinion of Irina Abankina, director of the Institute for the Development of Education at the Higher School of Economics. 

In her opinion, Russian school education simply needs an interdisciplinary approach, which is becoming more and more popular abroad. In Russian schools, project activities and research practices are poorly developed, which are not "train" children on subjects, and consider phenomena through the prism of various fields of knowledge. This approach changes the role of the teacher in the educational process. Russian teachers who teach in schools have been brought up as subject teachers. "In order for teachers to start working in a new way, they must be equipped with modern methods, the principle of training pedagogical personnel must be rebuilt so that they understand their tasks of working with children in a different way.