Character Education in Soviet Russia

Character Education in Soviet Russia

Character Education in Soviet Russia

Character Education in Soviet Russia

Excerpt

According to an ancient Russian proverb, "A child can be formed, a youth can be bent, but only the grave can straighten the hunched back of an old man." While Soviet educators contend that, through their programs of adult education which reach both old and young, they have disproved the third term in this series, they have unquestionably demonstrated the truth of the first two.

A characteristic which distinguishes the Russian revolution most strikingly from the revolutions of the past and which may be expected to mark all revolutions of the future is the attention given to children and youth. Long before their rise to power in 1917 the Bolshevik leaders saw very clearly that a genuine revolution is achieved, not in a few days or months by fire and sword, but in the course of a generation through the radical reconstruction of education. They realized fully that if the revolution was to be successful in the long-run, if their ideas were really to triumph, if a new society was to displace the old, then the very character of the people inhabiting the Soviet Union would have to be profoundly changed. Consequently, as soon as they had made the conquest of political power, they turned their attention to the stupendous task of educating the coming generation in the theory and practice of Communism. Their achievements to date are without precedent in human history.

Being realistic students of human nature and society, the Communists recognized that the school is but one . . .

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