Khrushchev and the Central Committee Speak on Education

Khrushchev and the Central Committee Speak on Education

Khrushchev and the Central Committee Speak on Education

Khrushchev and the Central Committee Speak on Education

Excerpt

This volume is the second to be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in its series, Studies in Comparative Education. The series attempts to bring to the attention of the American public studies of education in other lands which are timely, informative, and authoritative. There can be no doubt that the present work qualifies in all three of these categories. The forty- eight "Theses" presented here were expounded only last November as guideposts for Soviet education for several years to come. Although summaries of the statements and comments on them have often been seen in the American press, this is their first appearance in toto accompanied by a thorough analysis. Perhaps one reason for the lack of understanding of the implications of the "Theses" in this country is that such an analysis is vitally necessary and yet there are so few scholars capable of making it.

In this instance the University of Pittsburgh Press and the Board of Advisers of the series have been extremely fortunate. During the spring semester of the academic year just passed, the University of Pittsburgh had on its staff as Visiting Professor of Education the man most capable of interpreting the Soviet statements in the light of past history, present conditions, and future prospects. Dr. George S. Counts, Emeritus Professor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, is the author or coauthor of seven major studies of Soviet education and culture. His Challenge of Soviet Education (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1957) received the award of the American Library Association for the most distinguished book of that year in contemporary problems and affairs. For the past three decades he has spent a large part of his time examining the Soviet system both first-hand and through documentary sources. During this period he has also published numerous articles and delivered many lectures attempting to awaken the American public to the challenge provided by Soviet educational and scientific progress. It required the appearance of Sputnik to prove Dr. Counts correct in his estimates of past and present Soviet achievements in these realms. Let us hope that his forecasts of the future will now be taken in the utmost seriousness by the American people. We owe this not to Dr. Counts but to ourselves.

WILLIAM H. E. JOHNSON

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