Reviews

Often perceived as the guardian of Orthodoxy on the western fringe of Central Eurasia, the Federation of Russia may also be considered a true incarnation of multiculturalism.  Such is the message conveyed by the present article on the interaction between the educational system and ethnicity in modern–day Russia.  Through detailed examination of concrete issues raised by the maintenance and transmission of ethno-cultural values, the author states that the goal of pedagogical technologies lies in the harmonisation of interethnic relations.  In post-Soviet Russia, national schools have been flourishing, in which some forty national idioms are now used as languages of instruction.  However, the question remains of the balance to be found between the right for children to learn their mother tongue, on the first hand, and on the other hand their need to know Russian in order to establish good communication with others and to secure professional prospects.  According to the author, non-Russian schools have to be “modernised,” and the educational system’s main purpose is to forge a civic identity for citizens aware of prevailing cultural pluralism.  In some way, taking into account the multi-denominational and multicultural characteristic of the country, education has to be multicultural by form and internationalist by content.  In order to fight xenophobia, intolerance, ethnic chauvinism and radical nationalism, all particularly developed among the youth, ethnological knowledge has to be introduced in schools and university programmes, even those depending on regional level.

Xavier Le Torrivellec, National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisations, Paris
CER: I-7.2-617