Education and Social Mobility in the Soviet Union 1921-1934 by Sheila Fitzpatrick

By Sheila Fitzpatrick

It is a historical past of Soviet schooling coverage 1921-34 that areas particular emphasis upon the subject matter of social mobility via schooling. one of many hitherto untold tales of Soviet historical past is the making of the 'Brezhnev generation', a cohort of younger employees and Communists despatched to better schooling in the course of the First Five-Year Plan (1928-1932) and for that reason catapulted into management positions within the wake of the nice Purge of 1937/38. a focus of this publication is the academic guidelines which not just produced the 'Brezhnev generation', but in addition associated Stalin's regime with the large upward mobility of the industrializing Nineteen Thirties. The ebook is the 1st accomplished background of Soviet schooling within the Nineteen Twenties and early Thirties, and offers a sequel to the author's hugely praised Commissariat of Enlightenment. during this, as within the past learn, the writer has used Soviet archival resources now not formerly to be had to Western students.

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Education and Social Mobility in the Soviet Union 1921-1934

This can be a heritage of Soviet schooling coverage 1921-34 that locations certain emphasis upon the topic of social mobility via schooling. one of many hitherto untold tales of Soviet background is the making of the 'Brezhnev generation', a cohort of younger employees and Communists despatched to better schooling through the First Five-Year Plan (1928-1932) and as a result catapulted into management positions within the wake of the good Purge of 1937/38.

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At the same time, it pressed for a broad channel of access to higher education from the normal secondary schools, for without this the ladder principle on which its educational system was based became meaningless. On paper, Narkompros' single school system was quite quickly created. It was divided into four grades of primary school (grades I-IV), three grades of junior secondary school (grades v-vn) and two grades of senior secondary school (grades vm—ix), on completion of which the student was ready to enter higher education.

They moved social studies back to the centre of the curriculum, dropped the formal programmes, and recommended that it be taught solely by 'activity' methods. Epshtein, whose mournful remarks on the 1927 social studies programme have just been quoted, found himself 40 Education and social mobility in the Soviet Union ig2i-ig34 labelled as a tradition-bound conservative by the younger generation. We do not know what was 'typical 5 in the Soviet school of the 1920s and early 1930s: the system was in flux, and there must always have been schools and teachers following the 'catechism' method in social studies, just as there were other schools and teachers engaging in the most radical experimentation.

For the old Bolsheviks in the leadership, the rural teachers might belong to a noble tradition of enlightenment, like 'those members of the revolutionary intelligentsia who "went to the people" in the '60s and '70s of the last century'. 78 But this vision had little appeal for Communists who had joined the party during or after the Civil War, and saw the countryside almost as occupied territory which inadequate Communist forces had to keep under control. Zinoviev, Kalinin and Krupskaya were surely less representative of party opinion on this question than S.

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