17 SES 07, Comparative Approaches
My researches are based upon the main characteristics of the socialist pedagogy, in the decades of 1950’s and 1960’s. Working education and polytechnic had been important principles of the Marxist anthropology and the socialist pedagogy – leaders of different communist parties in Eastern Europe emphasize economic interests and ideology too, to implement the students’ work in the industrial and agricultural production. The educational policies of the socialist countries feared an overproduction of university graduates in the late 1950’s; therefore physical labour was preferred more, than brain work. For example, from 1961 to 1965 in Hungarian grammar schools every student had to participate in the compulsory production day or 5+1 method. It meant that one day aweek they had to work in an agricultural co-operativeor industrial factory, as well as in DDR where it was called: Unterrichtstag in der sozialistischen Produktion (UTP). These educational decisions werejustified by economical, ideological and educational reasons to construct an ideal typical communist idea of mankind.
In 1958, Khrushchev brought out the slogan: “Lead schools closer to life.” This idea rooted in the reform pedagogy (for example Kerschensteiner), and the marxist-leninist discourse (Krupskaya, Makarenko, Blonsky etc.) too. Soon the educational law was introduced (published) in the Soviet Union: „Regarding the Strengthening of Ties between School and Life and the Further Development of the Public Education System”, and the educational reform spread in the socialist bloc. First in the DDR (1958), then Bulgaria (1959), Czechoslovakia (1960), finally Poland and Hungary (1961). I analyse this process in a Hungarian viewpoint, compare the similarities and differences of the original intentions by the Communist Party in the Soviet Union. The reform connected with destalinization – Khrushchev wanted to show (with the implementation of working education) the success of the Socialist World to the subalterns and to the Western World with the implementation of working education. The experiment failed until 1965, due to the lack of conditions, but during the early period (between 1958 and 1961) an increasing interest (and sometimes appreciation) from the USA and Western Europe could be observed.
Coumel, Laurent (2009): The Scientist, the Pedagogue and the Party Official: Interest Groups, Public Opinion and Decision-making in the 1958 Education Reform. In: Ilic, Melanie – Smith, Jeremy (eds.): Soviet State and Society under Nikita Khruschev. Routledge, Abingdon – New York. 66-86. DeWitt, Nicholas (1961): Education and Professional Employment in the U.S.S.R. National Science Foundation, Washington. Holmes, Robert – Read, Gerald H. – Voskresenskaya, Natalya (1995): Russian Education: Tradition and Transition. Garland Publishing, London – New York. Kairov, I. A. (1963): The Reorganization of General Secondary Education. In: Shapovalenko, S. G. (eds.): Polytechnical Education in the U.S.S.R. UNESCO, Paris-Amsterdam. 55-70. Khruschev, N. S. (1958): Regarding the Strengthening of Ties between School and Life and the Further Development of the Public Education System. Soviet Education, 1, 2. 3-8. Lilge, Frederic (1959): Impressions of Soviet Education. International Review of Education, 5, 1. 11-27. Medlin, William K. (1958): Soviet Pedagogical Academy and the New School Plans. Comparative Education Review, 2, 2. 12-14. Mitter, Wolfgang (1981): Das amerikanische und das sowjetische Schulwesen. In: Twellmann, Walter (szerk.): Handbuch Schule und Unterricht. Band 3. Pädagogischer Verlag Schwann, Düsseldorf. 521-540. Ross, Leslie W. (1960): Some Aspects of Soviet Education. The Journal of Teacher Education, 11, 4. 539-552. Rudman, Herbert C. (1959): De-emphasis of Academics in the USSR. The Elementary School Journal, 5. 253-257. Sapovalenko Sz. G. (1961): A politikai képzés tartalma, szervezete és módszerei a szovjet iskolában. (Contents, Organisation and Methods of Politechnic in the Soviet School.) Pedagógiai Szemle (Review of Pedagogics), 3. 192-206
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