Child Care in Russia: In Transition

Synopsis

Day care was originally conceived by Soviet educators as a vehicle for fostering the roots of collectivism, patriotism, and love of work in children. As idealist dreams faded, objectives were reshaped to serve conformity, instill unquestioning obedience, and minimize individual differences. The author compares child care during the 1970s and early 1990s and finds important changes in overall goals and principles. Where once meticulous attention was paid to state-provided curricula and objectives that encouraged uniform thought and behavior, Ispa found in her recent trip that some teachers were beginning to encourage independent problem-solving, initiative, and recognition of differences among individuals. Ispa makes many fascinating comparisons between Russian and American day care, both in terms of facilities and attitudes toward children and their parents. This is an important contribution to the study of childhood around the world.

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