«Children are the future builders of Komunism»: ideologic casuisrty of secondary school education in Ukraine (1950s – 1991)


Keywords: education, school, USSR, ideology, dogmatism, russification, the «Soviet person»

Abstract

The key factors contributing to personal socialization traditionally include education, that along with family education has a great influence on formation of basic beliefs, values and patterns of behavior of a young person. The article presents a comprehensive study of a long-term effect of school education in Ukraine in the years 1950s – 1991, that is had on formation of a «Soviet person». The article is based on materials Records of the Branch Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine, Central State Archive, and author’s interviews. In mid-1950s Soviet general secondary education school was a social institute fully regulated and controlled by the party and the state. The school had a monopoly on inoculating the only right worldview to the children, since Soviet parents had no rights to convey their real understanding of the society to the children. The core of the Soviet school model was centralization and unification. Developing skills of promoting creativity was hardly the direct target of secondary school education. The task was quite the opposite – to shape up a personality in compliance with a certain standard and within a common template of human behavior and political views. The dogmatism of the Soviet school model was hampering the development of critical thinking at its very beginning. Instead of it, the ideological content of school curriculum and the overall educational process, that was aimed at constructing of a “new person”, was mostly taken with indifference. The growing number of events correlated with the increased formalism of their implementation and introduction.As a result, the positions of double standards and divergence of words and actions was planted in schoolchildren’s minds. Consequently, it created the single-source model of social behavior in the minds of schoolchildren. Under the strict regulation the school was orientated towards creating average looks, the person with average talents.Pupils were taught the idea that the only way of being and developing of the Ukrainian nation is solely being in a family of the USSR nations headed by the Russian nation. The means of developing the “friendship of peoples” was the usage of the Russian language as the language of international communication, that de facto in the years 1950s − 1980s with different intensity and scale became the content of russification.The article proves the continuity of value beliefs promoted by the Soviet secondary school, because no matter how much the sure person is of the falsehood of school precepts, they would live their future lives in terms of these principles.

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Published
2018-03-11
How to Cite
Kahanov, Y. (2018). «Children are the future builders of Komunism»: ideologic casuisrty of secondary school education in Ukraine (1950s – 1991). Grani, 21(1), 63-77. https://doi.org/10.15421/17187
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