Education in Soviet Russia

Education in Soviet Russia

Education in Soviet Russia

Education in Soviet Russia

Excerpt

People outside of the Soviet Union have heard a great deal about Soviet politics and something about Soviet economics. They have had almost no information about Soviet education. This is a pity.

Nothing that is going on in the Soviet Union at the present moment is more important for the remainder of the world than the work in education. The most extensive educational experiments that can be found anywhere are now being made in the Soviet schools. Elsewhere there are a few centres of experimental education. Quite frequently these are located in expensive private schools to which only the children of the rich can go. In no case is there more than a small fraction of the educational work of any country on an experimental basis.

Soviet education is practically all experimental. The Revolution of 1917 tore the old social system up by the roots. 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 their new social order.

Already they have made such progress that the British Trade Union Delegation of 1924 was able to report that "there has probably been no greater revolution of ideas than in the new educational system as practiced in Soviet Russia." (Report p. 138.) Brailsford caught the spirit of the movement back in 1921. The Communist Dictatorship, he wrote, "is ripening the whole Russian people for responsibility and power by its great work for education. . . . It has, moreover, based its entire system of education, not on any principle of passivity, receptivity and discipline, but rather on 'self initiative' and activity. . . ."

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