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Education

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Aspect of the Cultural Revolution.
2. Education was a means through which Bolsheviks could create loyal followers- the new
elite.
3. It was also an integral means to creating a new society.
4. Society of morally superior citizens.
5. Superior in every way possible- physically, mentally.
6. In the SU- function of education was quite different- it was used not maintain the status
quo but to facilate a social change.
7. Not preserve it.

1. October 1917- Bolsheviks claimed power for the proletariat from the opposition of
educated elite.
2. Education was perceived by the Bolsheviks as a traditional prerogative of the privileged
classes.
3. Class enemies; majority of educated.
4. Dilemma- they would have to hire this class to work for them as clerks and professionals5. Had to educate the workers and peasants- provide a basic education.
6. Other notion was they had to create their own proletarian intelligentsia.
7. An administrative and specialist group drawn from the lower classes of society with
whole hearted allegiance to the soviet power.
8. Tsarist Russia education was reserved for the higher-ups, while the masses remained
impoverished and untaught. Russian peasants, who made up the bulk of the population,
were inert, indifferent, uninformed.
9. Tsarist schools, pallid, anaemic, rigidly limited, largely under the influence of the state
church, enrolled about 7 million pupils.
10. Soviet schools, public or state controlled, and without religious interference or
intervention, enrol some 35 million pupils, under 1.8 million teachers. In addition to the
regular schools, classes, courses, special schools and apprenticeships enroll another 15
million persons.
11. The Revolution of 1917 tore the old social system up by the roots.
12. The Civil War cleared away much of the debris. Since 1921 and 1922, therefore the
educational authorities of the Soviet Union have had a relatively free field in which to
solve their. educational problems in a way that would meet the peculiar needs of the new
social order ...

Timosheff

1. From the very beginning education was not seen as separate from the rest of society
but integral to it. Education was not to be restricted to the early years of your life
but a continuous process truly lifelong learning.
2. Access to art and culture was also part of education for all.
3. It was a school system deeply ingrained in the "bourgeois" type of civilization, and
the Communists could not be satisfied with submitting it merely to partial reform.
4. It was necessary to destroy the old school system altogether and to create a new one
which would serve the main ends of the Revolution.
5. When they gained power- more pressing issues to deal with and war communism
had take a lot of funds so It was only in 1923 that the real school experiment could
begin, and it lasted up to 1931,.
6. Complete retreat however began in 1934- course of 10 years of experimentation
what they ended up with was arguably the same as the imperial era.
Destruction of the old system
1. Educational act October 1918- replaced the school system of old Russia with a unified
polytechnical school- nine grades.
2. No homework, no exams, no punishment.
3. Co-education was introduced at all levels.
4. Labor principle was stressed- schools became preparation places for the productive work
that lay ahead.
5. The schools became revolutionary clubs for young people- primary function was to
educate- but that was almost completely neglected.
6. Material conditions of the time were awful- school attendance decreased a lot.
7. Teachers were shitely paid.
8. Labour principle ended up being them imposing purely mechanical tasks on the kidscarrying fuel from the yard to the stoves.
9. University reform also came.
10. August 1918. Every boy and girl over 16 permitted to enrol. Despite their academic
background.
11. October 1918- another decree- aimed at blowing up the structures.
12. Abolished grades, introduced faculty instructors to councils. carry out communist
reforms.
13. 1920- Academic curriculum was revised.
14. Liberal phase of education was neglected. Emphasis was on strict specialization- mainly
on technical sciences.
15. Result- was the same as the unified schools- teaching in the true sense almost stopped1923
1. NEP
- allowed the great experiment to begin in education.
2. Quantitative achievements were made.
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3. 6.8 million children in elementary schools increased to 18.2 in 10 years.


4. High school- 0.6 increased to 3.6.
5. Aim of the experiment was clear; the school was to be a weapon in the hands of the
workers and prepare fighters for the working class.
6. Communists werent sure how to bring this about though.
7. Decided to imitate radical patterns they saw in Europe and America.
8. Soviet polices changed so frequently- and were so contradictory- teachers had no opt to
adjust themselves.
9. Led to deterioration of quality in teaching.
10. Regular periods of study, division into classes and guidance by teachers was removed.
11. The teaching of subject matter was replaced by projects.
12. Projects were used to inculcate the Marxist doctrine into the minds of the pupils.
13. Children aged 9- 10 for example would have to discuss the planned economy.
14. Children were memorising sociological schemes- they learnt nothing to give them
identity- they learnt everything but the facts.
University changes
1. In old Russia- they enjoyed autonomy- this was abolished in 1922.
2. Board of directors was placed at the head of every university. Appointed by the
communist part.
3. Academic teaching was coordinated with the general situation.
4. 1922 for eg- a national council of science was created.
5. Furnished detailed programs of lectures.
6. Study of Marxist doctrine was imposed on all students.
7. Other subjects were dropped.
8. Liberal education was gonzo.
9. Class principle was applied to the section of students- preference was given to the poor
peasants.
10. In 1928- Uninterrupted practice was introduced- every student had to spend 2 weeks at a
uni and one week at a factory.
11. Disaster really- because they were unskilled and the factory workers didnt bother to
show them how to work the tools.
Results
1. Disaster. Students emerged from the period with a lack of command for the Russian
langue, poor reading knowledge.
2. Semi-literate children.
3. Young teachers- graduated around this time- they were not the right people to be
teaching. They had no grasp of history themselves- teachers couldnt retell Russian
history when it was reintroduced for they themselves had never been taught it.
4. Students had no discipline or order. Senseless curriculum made them bored and
uninterested.
Stopping the experiment
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1. Communist leaders understood they needed to stop.


2. They saw the program of industrialization could no longer be pushed forward. Because
young people werent trained.
3. 1931/32 partial reforms were tried. New curriculums- history reappeared, social
sciences- were curtailed. Schools were separated from production and steered towards
their natural function.
4. 1932- more reforms- abolishing the progressive methods.
5. Class period was restored to the basic unit of teaching. Principals were ordered to
elaborate definite schedules and to insist on their application.
6. Teachers were told to teach systematically.
7. Higher education
- changes took place. Sept 1932- authority of professors was restored.
Communist cells no longer gave marks to the students.
8. Only those who had passed entrance exams could go.
9. Lectures were scheduled.
10. However- what they were to be taught was still determined by the communist doctrine.
No departure from fundamentals was envisaged.
1934- and beyond.
1. Almost all phases of social and cultural life were submitted to rapid change away from the
communist blueprint. Brought back to traditional values.
2. Bring back order and give a sensible shape to school curriculum.
3. Chose a model from imperial Russia. they knew it would bring order.
4. 1934- stabilized teaching plans were imposed elementary and secondary schools.
5. 1935- new rules- pupils self government were issued. abolished in lower 4 grades.
6. Where it remained- purpose was to help the teachers to raise the level of school work and
discipline.
7. May 1935- higher education- exams were reintroduced. Passing from one grade to the
next was determined through results.
8. Restoration of uniforms- elementary and secondary schools.
9. Even more than a return to the good old days because uniforms were unknown in the
elementary level.
10. Restoring discipline- difficult- stalin sent communist leaders to schools- instil into the
minds of the young that they had to be polite and respect their teachers.
11. During the war- co education was abolished. 1943. Claimed due to the different mental
and physical developments of boys and girls.
12. Girl had to know how to care for a family.
13. Boy had to be prepared to fight.
Change in Curriculum
1. Culminating point- 1934.
2. Political education was abandoned.
3. Greatest sacrifice to the CP.
4. Social work was curbed too5. Abandonment of both gave room for the study of subjects which had been neglectedlanguages, literature, history, geography.
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6. Textbooks were brought in that were systematic and clear.


7. Universities- departments of history, literature, philosophy and law were all re
introduced.
8. Then they introduced that you would have to pay to go to school.
9. 1940. high fees in some cases.
Stalin Period
1. Things certainly changed- falling in line with the great retreat theory.
2.
Experimentalism abandoned shift towards utilitarianism

3.
Cultural Revolution: Class war in education, emphasis on technical education

4.
Vocational schools

5.
Social mobilization: vydvizhentsy

6.
Breakneck speed: lowering of educational standards

7. Mid 1930s was when it changed back to the imperial ways- did so to preserve Stalins
society.
8. Used it to fight the backwardness of society- main aim to rid that.
9. Cultural revolution could mobilization from the education system.
Stalin used youth organizations to facilitate his creation of the new elite.
1.
2.
3.

Children in the Soviet Union held a special place in the hearts of citizens and the Party.
They represented not only the innocence of youth, but also the promise of the socialist future;
in order for the international Marxist Revolution to succeed, the youth had to be treated well and
educated politically.
4. Communist authorities took many routes to achieve this goal.
5. Primarily, the Communist Party fostered a cult of childhood, much like Stalins cult of personality,
which idealized Soviet childhood.
6. The Communist Party formalized this cult through youth organizations such as the Komsomol, Young
Pioneers, and Little Octobrists.
7. The effect these groups had is undeniable; the Communists created secondary communities for children
to align themselves with.
8. Rather than attach themselves most strongly to their families, Soviet children were taught to prioritize
Communism above all, and these youth organizations provided the very first encounters with socialism.
9. This had the significant effect of diminishing the role of the family structure, and these groups became
the primary outlet for self-expression among Soviet children.
10. To carry the identity card of the Komsomol was to declare oneself a loyal
Communist

Oktobrists for eg.


a. 5-9 year olds like boy scouts.
b.
Political element was there but no emphasized.
c. 10-14- Pioneer association.
d. Life stage ritual. always ready- exemplary behaviour. Military purpose.
e. 14-28- Komosomol.
2.
Elite organizations- not compulsory- only accepted the ideologically correct.
Education was clearly a tool for the regime.
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Was it a great retreat though or was it a continuation of the kulturnost?


Creation of a soviet society- focus on cultural policy. Civilizing process just turned up a
gear.

East
1.
Similar trends

2.
Educational institutions ruined during WWII

3.
Democratisation: principles of education changed, 8-year primary schools, new

textbooks
4.
Sovietization of education is part of the struggle with organized religion: nationalisation

of schools
5.
New curricula, vocational training, compulsory Russian

6.
Universities: new textbooks, Marxism-Leninism departments, sociology, psychology

closed down, specialisation of universities more students


7.
Adult education: evening courses, special courses, Party schools

8.
little drummers, pioneers, youth organisations