Vakhterov, Vasilii Porfir’evich
Born Jan. 13 (25), 1853, in Arzamas; died Apr. 3, 1924, in Moscow. Russian educator. Methodological specialist on elementary schools.
Vakhterov was born into the family of a consistory watchman. He studied at the Arzamas Theological School, and later at the Nizhny Novgorod Theological Seminary. For 15 years (1881-96) he was a public school inspector (at first in Smolensk Province and subsequently in Moscow).
Vakhterov took an active part in the work of the Moscow Literacy Committee and the organization of schools for workers, and he promoted the establishment of a number of extra-curricular institutions. In 1896, Vakhterov was forced to resign because the police department classified his activity as a “screen for the unreliable element among the teachers of Moscow.” From 1898 through 1902 he delivered lectures at teacher-training courses in Kursk, Saratov, and other cities. From 1893 through 1903 he also worked in the school that was attached to the Morozov Factory in Tver’. In 1903, Vakhterov was arrested for supposed antigovernment agitation in schools and among the workers, and he was exiled to Novgorod Province. During the Revolution of 1905-07, Vakhterov devoted a great deal of effort to organizing a teachers’ union; later he took an active part in various congresses and courses.
Vakhterov made a great contribution to the theory and practice of elementary teaching (the works The Subject Method of Teaching, 1907; and Principles of Modern Pedagogy, 1913). In his method of classroom reading, as well as in his method of teaching reading and writing, Vakhterov developed the ideas of K. D. Ushinskii. A major achievement of Vakhterov was his series of books entitled The World in Children’s Stories (1902). They were constructed on the basis of the principle of visual aids, and they contained not only essays for expository reading but also rich material on natural science, geography, and history. Vakhterov’s Russian Primer (1898) was republished several times.
Vakhterov was always in the ranks of the democratic forces, but his democratism was limited by the ideas of liberal populism. Vakhterov did not understand the world historical importance of the Great October Socialist Revolution, and at first he refused to take part in the implementation of reforms in public education. During his last years he taught Red Army courses designed to eliminate illiteracy, as well as courses to train teachers of the second degree. In 1923-24, Vakhterov was a lecturer in the Pedagogical Department at the Second Moscow State University.
REFERENCES[Popova, N. I.] “V. P. Vakhterov (1853-1924).” In Metodisty sovetskoi nachal’noi shkoly. Moscow, 1958.
Vakhterova, E. O. V. P. Vakhterov, ego zhizn’ i rabota. Moscow, 1961.
F. F. KOROLEV