The purpose of this article is to clear up the main problems involved in the questiqn of selecting basic subject-matter, taking one subject — the mother-tongue — as an example. These problems, of course, do not concern only language teaching, they appear in various subjects. The clarification of the problems and the ways of solving them is important because the concept of „basic subjectmatter“ is sometimes understood narrowly as a mere necessary minimum of subject-matter or as an elimination of fafcts and concrete data, and also because only certain problems are included in the subject-matter with no regard to broader contexts.
At the same time the author tries to systematize the problems in this field of didactics. Doing so, he proceeds from the main pedagogical.categories of aim, conditions and means, and explains individual problems (contradictions) in these categories.
The first question of language teaching is the aim we want to attain in this subject. The language course is to teach the pupils to express themselves correctly both orally and in writing, is to help increase the culture of the literary language. This is the primary social function of this subject, its connection with life. The practical aim is unreliazable without the knowledge of a certain theoretical system. A scientific analysis here has led to the conclusion that classroom instruction cannot proceed from only one part of scientific konwledge, i. e.'only from the system of scientific categories and concepts, and ignore the object of the science, its method and relationship to socio-hlstorical practice.
A scientific system cannot be transferred to school automatically, in view of the conditions under which training and instruction are carried on. It is necessary to inquire into the problem of the relationship between the logical and the psychological bases of instruction.
The concluding part of the article deals with the problems of means in language teaching, viz. with the problem of cyclical and progressive arrangement of the subject-matter, with the formal education in the mother tongue and with the relationship of the mother tongue as a subject to the other subjects.
The analysis of the problems has been guided by the endeavour to throw some light on certain aspeas of one-sidedness in instruction. At the same time it has led to certain viewpoints being found for didactic research.