The aim of this work is to elucidate the way the teacher forms and the pupil masters one of the basic grammatical concepts — the concept of the noun. In order to find out the state of knowledge an analysis of textbooks was carried out and the method of written examinations and individual discussions was applied. These methods enabled us to disclose some of the causes of the present state of knowledge and the overall development of the concept.
The first part of the article states what characteristics of the concept of the substantive exist in pupils’ minds and what relations there are between these characteristics. The concept of the noun included also some non-essential characteristics (such as the form of the nominative, the function of the noun in the sentence) formed both as a result of exercises and under the influence of other teaching material.
The second part deals with the way pupils master the grammatical distinctions of the noun (gender, number and case).
The third part shows how pupils master the types of declension of nouns, the present arrangement of the teaching material and exercises renders this process of mastering more difficult.
This work is the first stage of a more detailed study of the individual problems concerned. It aims at determining the basic teaching material and its arrangement.