M. Asanishvili, Master in History and Archeology

Independent Resercher

Vinnytsia, Ukraine

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/1728-2640.2020.144.1


During the existence of the USSR, the Bolsheviks wanted to built a new class system in which workers would be the main social group. School in this context should have been included children to the adulthood from a young age. A tool of reeducation and breakdown of a child's life was a work. The reform of secondary education in the 1920s in the USSR meant the beginning of the cultural, social and economic dialogue of the Bolsheviks with their own commonwealth. This dialogue should to determine the further social development of the USSR. Teachers, local jurisdictions and children should become leaders of the dialogue.

The population of the USSR in the early 1920s was predominantly rural. That’s why children were in a traditional family. At such environment, the child didn’t have his own desires, dreams, free time, etc. Parents always involved children to the land work and housekeeping. The Bolsheviks' idea of a school, in which a child would acquire a profession and work, was met with strong resistance among the local population. In the villagers` outlook, the school had to give only reading and elementary grammar. Everything else for existence will be given by the land on which the child must look after. This caused a confrontation between Bolsheviks and local population and fit into the “one-to-one” scheme. Bolsheviks used repression, after the resistance to a unified labor school. Repression meant an attempt to subjugate the traditional population and educate a “new person”.

The “other-to-other” scheme also works with respect to the main actors in school life and power. Teachers, as the main leaders of the idea of unified labor school, had to bring up a "new person" locally. But in order to bring up a "new person", must understand what it is and have clear methods of education. The only thing that was clear to the teachers of the 1920s in the USSR – to use work as a tool of education at school. This is not surprising, because the person who chose the profession of а teacher, in the beginning of the Soviet Union, was not intended to educate the generation of communists, but to save their own lives, get benefits and wages, escape from the repression because of own past. That is why, a new generation of teachers consisted of "former" people, such as: White Guards, imperial officers, rich villagers and clergy. These people learned the Soviet language and successfully held posts at the school. It was convenient, but they couldn’t become the leaders of new ideas.

So, the project of unified labor school in the USSR in the early 1920s was probably a dialogue or a monologue of Soviet power to the population. School, as a tool of education, became a field of confrontation between different social groups.

Key words: "new person", Soviet province, educational reform, Soviet school, USSR, reform of the secondary education, unified labor school.

Received by the editorial board: 19.02.2020

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