The article aims to determine the level of historical knowledge, and the depth of historical memory of students of schools of Kazakhstan about the Great Patriotic War learned from modern school textbooks. The research objectives include: to find out how much schoolchildren honor the historical memory of the Great Patriotic War; to identify whether students know statistics, geography, and terms related to the War; determine how well schoolchildren know the heroes of soldiers and rear troops who participated in the War; to analyze the impact of the educational literature of secondary education on the formation of students' knowledge about the War. We should note that transforming school knowledge into mass ideas about the past is too complicated. That is why the article pays considerable attention to school textbooks and curricula and the historical memory of students about the history of the Great Patriotic War. The author conducted an online survey among 500 students of grades 9–11 of schools of Kazakhstan through the google forms service. The study showed that students' historical memory about the War's specific events and heroes is extraordinarily ambiguous and should be replenished. It is especially true for participants in the partisan movement of the Great Patriotic War and the life history of the peoples of the Kazakh SSR during the War.
One of the essential layers of historical memory covers the history of the Great Patriotic War. On the eve of the celebration of the Victory's 75th anniversary in the Great Patriotic War, discussions on the history of one of the largest wars in the history of humanity flared up in society. For example, someone asked the question, «Why are military actions between the USSR and Germany of 1941–1945 known in history as the Great Patriotic War?» Another object of controversy was the 28 «Panfilov heroes.» The information appeared in the society that the feat of a group of fighters from the 316th Rifle Division under the command of General Ivan Panfilov, which became a legend, was, in fact, an invention of military correspondents.
However, we must not forget that moral potential is preserved in the legendary feats that have become part of the people's culture. This is what our national identity consists of. These are simple examples that allow us to educate a new generation. Attempts to debunk national exploits can lead to the fact that this will weaken people's moral foundations.
Statement of the problem: It should be emphasized that the history of the Great Patriotic War requires further and in-depth research, and it is also necessary to touch upon the issues of transferring the historical memory of this event to the younger generation. It is crucial for young people to know and remember what the Great Patriotic War is so that such tragic events do not repeat themselves either in our country or in the whole world. This raises how the historical memory of the Great Patriotic War should be broadcast to schoolchildren. From what follows the posing of questions about the course, level, and quality of historical school education.
Hypothesis: to prove the effectiveness of educational literature of secondary education in the Republic of Kazakhstan in forming complete and objective knowledge of schoolchildren about the Second World War.
Purpose: To reveal the features of the historical consciousness of student youth, the content, nature, and volume of knowledge, selectivity, and depth of historical memory, transmitted through school educational literature; thus, to establish the originality or unity of perception and assessments of the events of seventy- five years ago by student youth, to analyze the positions and assessments of the Great Patriotic War by various groups of student youth.
To find out how deeply schoolchildren know the history of the period of the Great Patriotic War and its heroes, an online survey was conducted among students in grades 9–11. About 500 respondents were interviewed; the article contains the results of the survey.
Before proceeding with the analysis of students' responses to the online survey, it is necessary to highlight some trends in the development of history education in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Historians and representatives of the school educational community argue that the following processes and factors are recognized as the most important for forming new approaches in historical teaching.
Firstly, the «cognitive revolution» in the interpretation of learning. The main impetus for the development of cognitive psychology came from outside academic psychology, particularly from advances in logic, mathematics, and computer science, which were the result of applied research in radar, message coding, and missile control conducted during Great Patriotic War. The cognitive revolution bridged the gap between the physical world and the world of ideas, concepts, meanings, and intentions. This combined the two worlds with the theory that mental life can be explained in terms of information, computation, and feedback. Thus, cognitive science has indeed offered some promising tools for history.
Secondly, history must be viewed in light of global scientific changes, including local advances in science. It is necessary to propose a structure that allows the integration of ideas from various sources, not only from many case studies, but also from various disciplines that affect not only history itself, such as anthropology, sociology, linguistics, philology, archeology, cognitive science, psychology, but and much more.
Thirdly, to find the answer to the endless questions of why and how history is taught in schools and universities. Stories from a shared past create and enhance a sense of community and reinforce supportive values and beliefs. Remembered heroes tell young people what character traits should be admired. Difficulties and crises educate citizens about potential problems and dangers that cannot be adequately addressed except through collective action.
Unfortunately, even before the current educational «reforms» pushed the study of history aside, the subject retained its place in the curriculum, more by inertia than by a sense of its importance. Student surveys almost always put history at the top of the list of tedious and difficult subjects, and most teens will have a hard time putting together a convincing case for it. In order to pass the examination, historical texts must be written scientifically, ideologically, and according to a template. Besides, few parents know the history, show interest in it, or tell their children about its importance.
Students must identify and explore patterns of collective behavior, challenge new assumptions about who we are, trace the trends of the era, and so on. Stories can thrill us, but when we try to understand better what is happening, why, and what might happen next, a more analytical, scientific approach to studying the past is needed.
The problem's crux lies in the textbook — a vast, meaningful collection of pre-assimilated, selected information that pupils and students must remember at least long enough to pass the test. The history textbooks are loaded with conclusions, and there is little left for students to do but try to keep them in mind, which goes against the fundamental nature of children. Instead of bringing the past to life, the story is presented through a large layer of «dead information.» Active learning from uninterpreted primary sources, requiring real research and deep analytical thought, is key to revitalizing interest in history.
Fourthly, as a reaction to external challenges, there was a dynamic change in the subject field of modern historiography. Historical anthropology, cultural history, the politics of memory, oral history, women's history, and other social groups' history are just a few of the more prominent examples. Of course, each time a change of subject required a fundamentally different research apparatus, but on the whole, we can say that the scientific substantiation of the method was very often the next step after the ideological substantiation of the subject.
Experimental (Research methods)
Literature review: The problems of studying the history of the Great Patriotic War in schools of the Republic of Kazakhstan were considered by the leading historians of Kazakhstan, among them it is necessary to note Zueva L.I. , , Ayagan B.G. , Ermukhanova Kh.K. .
Musabalina G.T. presented a similar theme in the article «Study of the Great Patriotic War in school history education» written for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War. The article analyzes textbooks on «History of Kazakhstan» and «World History,» which deal with the themes of «World War II» and «Great Patriotic War» .
Simultaneously, one should pay attention to the fact that authors writing about the war's history unreasonably leave the history of talented Kazakhstani commanders in the shadows. For instance, the well-known commander of the 38th Kazakhstani Rifle Division, and then the commander of the Guards Rifle Corps, Hero of the Soviet Union, Lieutenant General G. Safiullin, Admiral L. Vladimirsky, Colonel A. Mukhamedzhanov, Colonel G. Adilbekov, General V. Semenchenko, the first Soviet army generals from Kazakhs Sh. Zheksenbaev and S. Rakhimov, hero-pilot B. Beysekbaev, and others have the right to become deeper research heroes.
For objective coverage of the course of the war, the basis of the manual was textbooks on the history of Kazakhstan, covering this period, and monographs, including «Honor and Duty» (Under the general editorship of B.G. Ayagan, 2015), which are a new page in determining the methodology of problem .
This work's relevance makes it possible to form feelings of pride and patriotism in the younger generation for their ancestors. The propaganda of the soldiers' courage and heroism of the Great Patriotic War is a tribute to the participants in the war and a school for educating the youth of an independent country in the spirit of patriotism.
An essential source on the history of the Great Patriotic War is documents of personal origin, among which a special place is occupied by letters from the front, reflecting the general mood, morale, thoughts, and feelings of people at the front.
To measure students' depth of knowledge in grades 9–11 about the Great Patriotic War's history, the author surveyed the google forms service. This research method is used to collect data from a predetermined group of respondents to obtain information from them and determine the degree of proficiency of the interviewed with specific knowledge. Polls are useful for describing the characteristics of a large group of people. No other research method can provide such a broad scope that provides more accurate sampling to collect targeted results to draw conclusions and make crucial decisions. First of all, the study's purpose was determined, then an idea of the expected result was drawn up. The survey procedure consisted of several steps:
- Create a list of questions;
- Attraction of participants;
- Collecting answers from respondents;
- Analysis of survey results;
- Discussion of research results.
Besides, a review of the scientific literature on this topic was carried out to determine the degree of knowledge of the problem and identify gaps in previous research in this direction.
Results and Discussion
To the cognitive component of student youth's historical consciousness, we attributed the respondents' positions related to the Great Patriotic War's importance, their knowledge of events, and specific participants in the war. About 500 students of lyceums from Nur-Sultan, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Taraz, Uralsk, Shymkent, Karaganda, and other Kazakhstan cities took part in the online survey.
The survey results indicate that young people know about the most critical stages, heroes and the people who gave their lives for Native land. 89 % of respondents correctly named the years of the Great Patriotic War — 1941–1945. However, 59 % of the respondents could not correctly name that the Kazakh military units mainly participated in the Eastern Front of the war, almost 53 % answered that on the Western front, almost 4 % on the Pacific, and almost 1 % on the African front. 71 % correctly named the theater of military operations closest to Kazakhstan — Stalingrad; the rest chose such answers as Moscow — 16 %, Kursk — 9 %, and Belarus — 4 % .
Of the heroes of the war, schoolchildren were able to correctly indicate Talgat Begeldinov (91.6 %), Nurken Abdirov (73.3 %), Rakhymzhan Koshkarbaev (90.8 %). They also remember the partisan and at the same time the writer Kasym Kaysenov (86.1 %), Kazakh girls Heroes of the Soviet Union Manshuk Mametova and Aliya Moldagulova (92.8 %), the famous Kazakh commander Bauyrzhan Momyshuly (87.6 %), Sultan Baimagambet (60 %), Sergei Lugansky (77.5 %) .
However, almost half of the respondents do not know the Kazakhstani partisans who fought on the fronts and enemy lines. The schoolchildren showed insufficient knowledge about Kazakhstanis' courage and heroism-participants in the Resistance movement in European countries. Only 38.6 % of the respondents could name Zhubandyk Surankulov, a native of the South Kazakhstan region, who was directly involved in the liberation of Czechoslovakia from the Nazi invaders. Only 46 % of respondents could name the Kazakh partisan Davlet Karazhumin, who fought in the French Resistance ranks. Kazakhstani Utegen Abdullin, who
was part of the first partisan detachments operating in the summer of 1943 in Belgium, could be named 42.8 % of the respondents. Of the soldiers of Kazakhstan who fought in the Italian Resistance ranks, Takish Alpeisov from Karaganda was able to identify only 38.2 % of the respondents .
Analyzing the survey results, we can conclude that most schoolchildren know quite well the famous Kazakhstanis — Heroes of the Soviet Union, who participated in the Great Patriotic War's fierce battles. However, schoolchildren were not very good at recalling Kazakhstani partisans who, together with other country peoples, participated in the partisan movement in the territories temporarily occupied by the enemy.
Historical facts are the basis for forming individual ideas, views, assessments of events, and participants in the Great Patriotic War. At the same time, the reliability of the facts, the necessity, and sufficiency of their totality, as well as the historical context within which they are interpreted, are essential. According to the survey results, it was revealed that the respondents have very contradictory knowledge about the restructuring of industry on a military basis. Only 42.4 % of the respondents were able to recall that the number of industrial enterprises relocated to the territory of Kazakhstan during the Great Patriotic War was more than 300, 36.1 % noted such a figure as more than 500, 14.9 % — more than 1000, and 6.6 % more than 2000. 67.9 % of the respondents know that 9 out of 10 bullets used by the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War were cast from lead produced in Kazakhstan. Most of the respondents (75.7 %)  also know that more than 1 million 200 thousand of Kazakhstanis were mobilized to the front over the years of the Great Patriotic War. However, it should be noted that over five years of studying the history of the Second World War, including the number of Kazakhstanis in the fields of the Great Patriotic War, then this figure, according to historians, may exceed 1.5 million people, but this statistic has not yet been included in school textbooks.
In the context of the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, Kazakhstan's role and importance in providing the front with agricultural products also increased. During the war years, Kazakhstan's agriculture gave the country more products than in the last five pre-war years. The famous rice growers Ibrai Zhakaev and Kim Man San received high yields from their fields. As a result of the survey, it was found that only 18.9 % of respondents know a labor veteran who received a record harvest of millet in 1943 Shyganak Bersiev, 68.1 % decided that this famous millet grower is Ibrai Zhakaev (68.1 %) . We must not forget that the workers of the Soviet home front were equal participants in the great battle for the independence of the Native land, therefore teachers and other workers in the spheres of education and culture, the information industry needs to pay attention to the propaganda of the feat of the home front workers during the Great Patriotic War, instilling in students a sense of patriotism and civic responsibility.
Besides, it is essential to touch upon the deportation of repressed peoples during the Great Patriotic War, as it affects the history of forming a global population. Deportation processes intensified with Great Patriotic War due to accusations of participation in mass espionage, anti-Soviet activities, and banditry entire peoples living in the border zone — Poles, Germans, Jews, and others. During the years of deportation, the ethnic picture of Kazakhstan, in which representatives of more than 130 ethnic groups live today, radically changed. As a result of the survey, it was found that only 30.7 % of the respondents know about the fate of peoples, among whom were Koreans, Poles, Finns, Kurds, Crimean Tatars, Turks, Greeks, Lithuanians, and others unfairly deported to the territory of Kazakhstan in the period from 1937 to 1945 years. We must not forget that despite the ideology, thanks to such historical and universal values as good nature, hospitality, and tolerance, the Kazakhs helped people find their second home in Kazakhstan.
Moving on to the analysis of war themes in the educational literature on the history of Kazakhstan. In the textbook for 9th grades on the History of Kazakhstan, under the general editorship of Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor B.G. Ayagan , the problem is illuminated more succinctly and profoundly. Besides, the material is supported by additional information about personalities, definitions of concepts, and documents at the end of paragraphs.
In the textbook for 8th grades on the History of Kazakhstan, under the general editorship of Doctor of History, Professor Z.E. Kabuldinov , the theme about the War is covered briefly and clearly, taking into account the age characteristics of students. The textbook's paragraphs tell how, during the Great Patriotic War, Kazakhs and representatives of other nationalities showed massive heroism and courage. The story is that the Kazakhs vividly demonstrated that brave warriors' spirit still lives in them. Besides, it is noted that the republic was also a reliable rear. One of the sensitive topics in the history of Kazakhstan is highlighted that in the pre-war and war years, more than one and a half million representatives of the peoples were resettled in Kazakhstan: Poles, Ukrainians, Koreans, Germans, Ingush, etc., describes the plight of the deported and the hospitality and tolerance of Kazakhs towards them.
In the textbook of grade 8 (9) for secondary schools, part 1, edited by Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor Ukembaev K.S. , The theme of war is considered in detail and broadly. The block of topics on the Great Patriotic War is considered in the content of 9 paragraphs. At the beginning of the paragraphs, there are headings «Today in the lesson,» which sets out problematic issues for studying the material and «Keywords» in which the main terms of the topic are marked. The paragraphs' content includes additional material to expand and deepen knowledge about the years of the Great Patriotic War. At the end of the paragraphs, there are multilevel questions and creative tasks.
In 2020, the leading teachers of Kazakhstan Ermukhanova Kh.K. and Rysmambetova B.T., the textbook «Historical sources on the Great Patriotic War,» was prepared under the general editorship of Doctor of History, Professor B.G. Ayagan . This tutorial is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The purpose of the work is a truthful presentation of the war's course using new historical sources and information. The book is offered to students in educational institutions and history teachers to aid in an in-depth study of the Great Patriotic War.
The textbook «Historical Sources on the Great Patriotic War» has been developed within the framework of the updated content of education following the basic educational structure of the discipline «History of Kazakhstan.» The order in which the sources are located corresponds to the chronological sequence of historical events and the updated content of education.
The formation of historical thinking skills and the effective implementation of learning objectives are based on the textbook on historical concepts. Simultaneously, working with various historical sources of search and systematization of historical information, comparison and critical analysis of opinions and assessments concerning events and personalities are instilled, an independent approach to discussions related to the problems of the previous period and the present is formed.
The purpose of the textbook is to form in students a sense of Kazakhstani patriotism, pride in their ancestors' exploits, respect for the country's history, a particular emotional impact on students, and the development of research skills.
As a result of the analysis of educational literature, it was concluded that there is all the necessary data for the full assimilation of the topic of the Great Patriotic War in schools. However, it is worth paying more attention to the explanations of specific facts and concepts, and it becomes clear that it is difficult for schoolchildren to deal with the flow of information, since the lack of an accessible explanation leads to a break with already known knowledge, and as a result, a lack of continuity and knowledge gaps.
When comparing, it turned out that the most used concepts in textbooks on the history of Kazakhstan are the following: World War II, Plan «Barbarossa,» arsenal, surrender, conversion, resources, evacuation, patriotism, special settlers, espionage, deportation, militarization, blockade. However, the explanation of several concepts is presented too abstractly, and there are no definitions for some terms at all, among them the following concepts can be distinguished: fascists, front, division, brigade, partisans, artillerymen, regiment, echelon, occupiers, squadron, etc. As a result of the survey, it was revealed that schoolchildren have difficulties understanding and using some terms related to the history of the Great Patriotic War. While 79.5 %  of the respondents were able to determine the meaning of the term «partisan» correctly, then only 56.6 %  of the respondents were able to define the concept of the term «evacuation» correctly. In this situation, one can only hope that the teachers in the classroom will fill this gap, but the limited time also makes it challenging to explain.
As a result, it was found that the knowledge of student youth about specific events and participants in the Great Patriotic War is very contradictory and needs to be supplemented. In this regard, attention should be paid to the complexity of the possibility of forming an individual historical memory of representatives of the younger generation. There are still many missing war veterans, and the possibilities of acquaintance with documents reflecting the military fate of many soldiers and officers are minimal. Besides, every year, the Great Patriotic War history is supplemented with new facts and historical figures.
Today, schoolchildren's active-activity position concerning their country and its development, strengthening, and security are significant. Proceeding from this, the active component of historical memory can be attributed to the readiness not only to defend their country but also to comprehensively contribute to its development and the attitude of students towards serving in the armed forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan. One-time events to celebrate Victory Day should result from systematic, purposeful work on youth's patriotic education. To solve this problem, it is necessary to consolidate all social institutions and organizations, such as family, school, and other educational institutions. Besides, youth public organizations, civil society structures, museums, cultural and scientific centers, and others should be involved in this case.
- Zueva, L.I. (2015). Istoki pobedy v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine 1941–1945 hh.: o pamiati, heroizme i patrioticheskikh traditsiiakh naroda [The origins of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945: about the memory, heroism and patriotic traditions of the people]. Velikaia Otechestvennaia voina. Uroki istorii: respublikanskaia nauchno-teoreticheskaia konferentsiia — The Great Patriotic War. History Lessons: Republican Scientific and Theoretical Conference. (p.109–113). Karaganda: Hosudarstvennyi arkhiv Karahandinskoi oblasti [in Russian].
- Zueva, L.I. (2015). Izuchenie istorii Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny i vospitanie kazakhstanskoho patriotizma [Studying the history of the Great Patriotic War and the education of Kazakhstani patriotism]. Velikaia Otechestvennaia voina. Uroki istorii: respublikanskaia nauchno-teoreticheskaia konferentsiia — The Great Patriotic War. History Lessons: Republican Scientific and Theoretical Conference. (p. 113–119). Karaganda: Hosudarstvennyi arkhiv Karahandinskoi oblasti [in Russian].
- Ayagan, B.G., Abzhanov, H.M., Seliverstov, S.V. & Bekenova, M.S. (2010). Sovremennaia istoriia Kazakhstana [The modern history of Kazakhstan]. Almaty: Raritet [in Russian].
- Ermukhanova, Kh.K. (2018). Babalar tarikhy — asyl qazyna [The history of ancestors is a treasure]. «Ermuhanova oqulary: tarikh zhane qogamdyq panderdi oqytudyn inovatsialyq adistemeleri men tazhiribeleri» atty respublikalyq gylymi-metodologiialyq konferentsiasynyn materialdary (Almaty, 4 mamyr 2018 zhyl) — Ermukhanova readings: innovative methods and experience in teaching history and social disciplines: the materials of the republican scientific and methodological conference (Almaty, May 4, 2018). (pp. 54–58.) Astana: Bilim-Innovation IEF [in Kazakh].
- Musabalina, G.T. (2015). Izuchenie Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny v shkolnom istoricheskom obrazovanii [Studying the Great Patriotic War in school historical education]. Sbornik materialov Mezhdunarodnoi nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii «Istoriia Vtoroi mirovoi voiny: novye istochniki i interpritatsii (k 70-letiiu Pobedy v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine)» — Collection of materials of the international scientific-practical conference «History of the Second World War: new sources and interpretations (on the 70th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War)». (p. 72–76). Astana: L.N. Gumilyov ENU publishing [in Russian].
- Ayagan, B.G. (Eds.). (2015). Chest i dolh: kollektivnaia monohrafiia [Honor and duty. Collective monograph]. Almaty: TOO «Liter-M» [in Russian].
- A survey of students of lyceum schools through the google form service (2020).
- Ayagan, B.G., & Shaimerdenova, M.D. (2013). Istoriia Kazakhstana [History of Kazakhstan] B.G. Ayahan (Ed.). Almaty: Atamura [in Russian].
- Kabuldinov, Z.E., Shaimerdenova, M.D., & Kurkeev, E.M. (2019). Istoriia Kazakhstana [History of Kazakhstan]. Almaty: Atamura [in Russian].
- Uskembaev, K.S., Saktaganova, Z.G., & Zueva, L.I. (2019). Istoriia Kazakhstana (1900–1945 hh.) [History of Kazakhstan (1900–1945)]. (P. 1). Almaty: Mektep [in Russian].
- Ayagan, B.G., Ermukhanova, Kh.K., & Rysmambetova, B.T. (2020). Istoricheskie istochniki po Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine [Historical Sources on the Great Patriotic War]. B.G. Ayagan (Ed.). Almaty: Atamura [in Russian].