Table of contents:
- The first illiterate Soviet years and a unified labor school
- Return to pre-revolutionary norms in education
- Khrushchev's innovations and the rules of admission to universities
- Labor lessons and training and production facilities
Video: How exams were passed in the USSR and who had chances to become university students
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
The system of Soviet education was called popular. From the very beginning in 1917, its task was to educate the younger generation in the spirit of communist ideology. And the primary moral goal was the preparation of a worthy representative of the working collective, who, together with the entire vast country, was building a “bright future”. The teaching of both the humanities and the natural, exact sciences was subordinated to ideological guidelines. But this did not prevent the Soviet school from being considered one of the best in the world.
The first illiterate Soviet years and a unified labor school
During the formation of Soviet power, the overwhelming majority of the country's population was illiterate. The number of public schools remained scanty, and a small stratum of the population allowed themselves to study in private institutions. By the middle of autumn 1918, the RSFSR decided to create a unified labor school. The first decree consolidated the principles of the new system of free education in two stages: the first 5 years and the second 4 years. By 1919, special courses for accelerated preparation for higher education appeared - workers' faculties.
In the 1920s, the "Dalton Plan" method was introduced in Soviet schools - training according to the brigade-laboratory method. This approach was to combine the collective work of the class with the individual. The role of the teacher was reduced to organizing the process and helping students. There was no single lesson plan, the training schedule was free, the goal was to independently complete the tasks received. During these years, innovative methods were actively introduced, combining the approaches of different sciences to the development of children.
Return to pre-revolutionary norms in education
In 1930, the 16th Congress established compulsory primary education for Soviet citizens. Despite the fact that by this time literacy had doubled against the background of the pre-revolutionary level, the problem remained relevant. The law obliged the admission of students to primary school between the ages of 8 and 12, parents were now responsible for the attendance of their own child. The curriculum was based on concentrism: students received an initial circle of knowledge by grade 4, followed by in-depth study again by grade 7. As for the composition of the students, it was decided to return the pre-revolutionary separate education of girls and boys.
In 1937, a five-grade education became compulsory for all, and from 1939 a seventh grade appeared. The rights of every citizen to higher education were proclaimed by the 1936 Constitution. A necessary condition for admission to any Soviet university was the presence of secondary education and successful results of entrance exams. In the pre-war period, the school lesson was subject to a strict timetable, and the teacher was assigned the leading role. All experiments and innovative practices of the 1920s were now branded as bourgeois and did not correspond to the spirit of the times. A differentiated assessment of knowledge was introduced, which was reflected by the marks "excellent", "good", "mediocre", "bad" and "very bad". New textbooks were published, the position of a group leader (class teacher) appeared. The level of general education of the Soviet person has risen sharply, but more and more emphasis was placed on the ideological component with a deviation from labor education.
Khrushchev's innovations and the rules of admission to universities
In the post-Stalin era, society followed the path of drastic changes. The changes concerned all spheres of life and education as well. Stalin was criticized on all fronts. The new leader of the country took up the education of the younger generation. The seven-year school was replaced by a compulsory eight-year school. Separate training was eliminated. The reform gave graduates the right to choose between continuing education and after-school work. After grade 8, a student could continue his studies until grade 11 with subsequent admission to a university, or he could choose a vocational school.
From the 9th grade, students received production skills. Applicants with seniority and those who served in the army received advantages when entering higher educational institutions. University graduates were required to work for 3 years on distribution. Students often combined work in production with training. The trend has become the reduction of creative educational institutions in favor of technical ones. Artists, actors and performers did not see the government as useful in developing the economy. Boarding schools appeared, where representatives of dysfunctional families, orphans and children, whose parents devoted all their time to work, lived and studied. Emphasis was placed on the study of history, political economy. The school curriculum introduced the basics of knowledge in civil, family, criminal law.
Labor lessons and training and production facilities
In the 70s, a significant educational milestone was the creation of the so-called training and production facilities. The bottom line was that once a week, Soviet high school students did not study in the classroom, but on the territory of the enterprises. Thus, the traditional curriculum was supplemented by professional labor training. Pupils learned the working process from their own experience and more consciously approached the choice of a profession. In parallel, future workers were unobtrusively advised on one or another direction, implementing the state order. The classes included two parts: theory and practice. And at the end of the training and production course, the students were given an official crust, which gives self-confidence and gives an advantage in the future when applying for a job.
In addition, the work was paid, and any graduate received certain professional skills. Very often yesterday's high school students without hesitation changed the school desk for a machine, behind which they passed the training and production course. And enterprises in such a simple way ensured a constant influx of young personnel. But even if the student's further activity was not associated with the specialty he received, the skills came in one way or another to him in life.
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