Education in the Soviet Union

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Education in the Soviet Union was organized by the leader, Joseph Stalin, in a highly centralized government-run system. It featured the advantages of total access for all citizens and of post-education employment. The Soviet Union recognized that the foundation of their system depended upon complete dedication of the people to the state through education in the broad fields of engineering, the natural sciences, the life sciences and social sciences, along with basic education.[1] The Bolshevik revolution of November 1917 caused radical change from the systems of tsarist Russia, and the Bolsheviks had to struggle to keep the revolution from failing. Because of this[clarification needed] education was crucial to the success of the revolution and later on the perseverance of the Soviet Union. With the Bolshevik takeover in 1917, Soviet ideology began to permeate the educational system, and with each change in leadership and/or ideology, institutions of education underwent changes as well. Beginning with the period of the New Economic Policy (NEP, 1921-1928) and ending with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 with Perestroika, the changes in soviet educational policy can be traced[by whom?] in such a way that reflects each time period and its historical events. While education in the Soviet Union usually varied throughout the course of its history due to ideological changes, also, variations in education depended on a person's geographical location. Often the official stance on education and its institutions differed significantly from what actually occurred, due to what was feasible.



In Imperial Russia, according to the 1897 Population Census, literate people made up 28.4 percent of the population. Literacy levels of women were a mere 13%.

Soviet education in 1930s–1950s was inflexible and suppressive. Research and education, in all subjects[2] but especially in the social sciences, was dominated by Marxist-Leninist ideology and supervised by the CPSU. Such domination led to abolition of whole academic disciplines such as genetics.[3] Scholars were purged as they were proclaimed bourgeois and non-Marxist during that period. Most of the abolished branches were rehabilitated later in Soviet history, in the 1960s–1990s (e.g., genetics was in October 1964), although many purged scholars were rehabilitated only in post-Soviet times. In addition, many textbooks - such as history ones - were full of ideology and propaganda, and contained factually inaccurate information (see Soviet historiography).[4] The educational system’s ideological pressure continued, but in the 1980s, the government’s more open policies influenced changes that made the system more flexible. Shortly before the Soviet Union collapsed, schools no longer had to teach subjects from the Marxist-Leninist perspective at all.[5]

Another aspect of the inflexibility was the high rate at which pupils were held back and required to repeat a year of school. In the early 1950s, typically 8–10% of pupils in elementary grades were held back a year. This was partly attributable to the pedagogical style of teachers, and partly to the fact that many of these children had disabilities that impeded their performance. In the latter 1950s, however, the Ministry of Education began to promote the creation of a wide variety of special schools (or "auxiliary schools") for children with physical or mental handicaps.[6] Once those children were taken out of the mainstream (general) schools, and once teachers began to be held accountable for the repeat rates of their pupils, the rates fell sharply. By the mid-1960s the repeat rates in the general primary schools declined to about 2%, and by the late 1970s to less than 1%.[7]

The number of schoolchildren enrolled in special schools grew fivefold between 1960 and 1980. However, the availability of such special schools varied greatly from one republic to another. On a per capita basis, such special schools were most available in the Baltic republics, and least in the Central Asian ones. This difference probably had more to do with the availability of resources than with the relative need for the services by children in the two regions.[8]

Civil War and the New Economic Policy (1918-1927)

In the first year after the Bolshevik revolution the schools People's Commissariat for Education directed its attention solely towards introducing political propaganda into the schools and forbidding religious teaching. In the autumn of 1918 the Statutniihge of the Uniform Labour School was issued. From October 1, 1918 all types of schools came under Commissariat for Education and were designated by the name Uniform Labour School. They were divided into two standards: the first for children from 8 to 13, and the second for children from 14 to 17. During the 8th Party Congress of 1919, the creation of the new Socialist system of education was said to be the major aim of the Soviet government. After that, Soviet school policy was the subject of numerous radical changes.

Destruction of the economy during the Russian Civil War and War communism years led to a sharp drop in the number of schools and enrolled students. Whereas in 1914, 91% of the children were receiving instruction in the schools, in 1918 figure dropped to 62%, in 1919 to 49% and in 1920 to 24.9%.[9] As a result, illiteracy grew rapidly.

In accordance with the Sovnarkom decree of December 26, 1919, signed by its head Vladimir Lenin, the new policy of likbez ("liquidation of illiteracy"), was introduced. The new system of universal compulsory education was established for children. Millions of illiterate adult people all over the country, including residents of small towns and villages, were enrolled in special literacy schools. Komsomol members and Young Pioneer detachments played an important role in the education of illiterate people in villages. The most active phase of likbez lasted until 1939. In 1926, the literacy rate was 56.6 percent of the population. By 1937, according to census data, the literacy rate was 86% for men and 65% for women, making a total literacy rate of 75%.[10]

An important aspect of the early campaign for literacy and education was the policy of "indigenization" (korenizatsiya). This policy, which lasted essentially from the mid-1920s to the late 1930s, promoted the development and use of non-Russian languages in the government, the media, and education. Intended to counter the historical practices of Russification, it had as another practical goal assuring native-language education as the quickest way to increase educational levels of future generations. A huge network of so-called "national schools" was established by the 1930s, and this network continued to grow in enrollments throughout the Soviet era. Language policy changed over time, perhaps marked first of all in the government's mandating in 1938 the teaching of Russian as a required subject of study in every non-Russian school, and then especially beginning in the latter 1950s a growing conversion of non-Russian schools to Russian as the main medium of instruction.[11] However, an important legacy of the native-language and bilingual education policies over the years was the nurturing of widespread literacy in dozens of languages of indigenous nationalities of the USSR, accompanied by widespread and growing bilingualism in which Russian was said to be the "language of internationality communication."[12]

In 1923 the school curriculum was changed radically. Independent subjects, such as reading, writing, arithmetic, the mother tongue, foreign languages, history, geography, literature or science were abolished. Instead school programmes were subdivided into "complex themes", such as "the life and labour of the family in village and town" for the first year or "scientific organization of labour" for the 7th year of education. All students were required to take the same standardized classes. This continued until the 1970s when older students began being given time to take elective courses of their own choice in addition to the standard courses.[13]

The goals of education during these years were to create “small comrades,” encourage collectivism, incorporate labor, and reduce the family influence in a child’s upbringing.[14] Educational theorists played a big role in the methods that were implemented during this era. Anatoli Lunacharskii believed that schools should only teach things that were practical and was a big proponent of vocational schools. He also talked about the difference between individualism and individuality, where individualism is bad because it leads to self-interest and individuality is good because it leads to personal identity. He also believed that schools should not have grades because grades create a hierarchy between students, which impedes their ability to work collectively.[15] Nadezhda Krupskaia believed in the power of freedom of choice. She theorized that given the correct education, children would motivate themselves to be productive and act in the ways that soviet ideology thought they should.[16] Along these lines was the idea of free upbringing, which was theorized by Konstantin Venttsel. Free upbringing was the idea that teachers were there to guide children in the right direction, acting as “rational mothers,” however children’s creative impulses and natural instincts for labor and creating a community of equals were what dictated learning. Moreover, in free upbringing, each child should create his or her own upbringing, making each child’s upbringing unique and specialized.[17]

These theories influenced the structures and methods of schools that existed. The school day was broken down with the purpose of incorporating work, play, and learning through the emphasis of labor, nature, and society. Some activities that they did included reading realistic fairytales, making toys, building snow hills, collecting berries, playing with blocks, going on group nature walks, and visiting factories.[18] There was also no separation of children by age, which posed an interesting challenge considering the concern that many, especially Krupskaia, had regarding the different developmental stages of children. This was part of the reason that free upbringing was an important method, as it allowed each child to develop at their own rate and to create their own initiatives.

While these methods, structures, and curricula seemed like great things to implement into schools, the historical context under which they occurred posed challenges for implementation. The civil war left Russia with famine, homelessness, and war communism (which consisted of nationalization, a command economy, rationing, conscripted labor, and the requisitioning of food). The main obstacles to implementing the educational system that people wanted to were famine, homelessness, and lack of resources. During the years 1918-1930 there were a lot of homeless children (called besprizornii), however the peak of famine, homelessness, and child crime occurred during the years 1921-1922.[19] Many children became homeless due to their parents dying in the civil war and/or their parents not being able to support them.[20] These children were street urchins who very often relied on crime and trickery to survive. They were a threat to the educational system, because they did not exist within it. Though a system was created to filter these children through the educational system, the infrastructure could not handle the influx of homeless children and many children slipped through the cracks of education. The lack of resources meant that a small population of children ended up in good orphanages and schools that were basically experimental, and the majority ended up in chaotic institutions with few resources or on the street.[21]

1st and 2nd Five-Year Plans and Stalinism (1928-1937)

A female student, 1932.

During the early years of Stalin’s rule, the period of the first Five-Year Plan (1928-1932), Russia became increasingly more labor focused and education was changed accordingly. Books such as Mikhail Ilin’s New Russia Primer: The Story of the Five-Year Plan encouraged children to work together in being productive from a very young age. It outlines a “Little Five-Year Plan” that children could contribute to as part of their pioneer troops.[22] It was during this time period that the brigade method and student groups based on pioneers were introduced into the schooling system. These systems really encouraged collectivism within the classroom. Brigades and pioneer troops had to succeed as a group, and if an individual was bringing down the class, they would be singled out, not in a malicious manner, but with a desire to help. Other members of the group would come up with ways that everyone could contribute to the cause of helping that one student succeed. This was usually done during group meetings or through the use of wall-newspapers (a newspaper with current school happenings that was periodically posted on school walls).[23] During the first Five-Year plan, the role of the family in childcare was emphasized. This was not because the state trusted the family to properly raise children, but because orphanages, kindergartens, and schools were overwhelmed with the task of raising children and relying on the family became a way to relieve pressure on these institutions.[24]

It was also during the first Five-Year plan that the cult of Lenin was extremely prominent, however, during the second Five-Year plan Stalin began to elevate his own cult. In doing this, the educational system also shifted. Schools turned back to more traditional schooling methods, including those of discipline and the teacher as an authority figure.[25] There was also an increased focus on the militarization of schools, which was due to the impending air of war and the purges and terror that occurred from 1936-1939. This militarization was achieved through activities such as socialist competition between classrooms, the addition of military classes, and rallies that children were encouraged to go to.[26][27][28] There was also an emphasis placed upon the child hero during Stalinism. Stories of exemplary children doing the “right, soviet” thing were propagated throughout the Soviet Union in the hopes that ordinary children would learn from the actions of these heroes, even though the stories were often exaggerated, altered, or made up.[29] Some of the heroes that existed were Pavlik Morozov, Malchish Kilbalchish, and Timur of Timur and His Squad (Pavlik Morozov was the only real one, both Malchish and Timur are fictional).

The Thaw (1953-1964)

Upon taking power, Krushchev began the process of destalinization. With his secret speech in 1956 he promised a decline of the gulag, the economic achievement of communism with material abundance and a return to Leninism, the end of vague crimes, and a political and cultural thaw.[30] While Krushchev was in power the educational system in the Soviet Union changed dramatically. Some of the ideals that guided the transformation that occurred were focuses on world science (not just scientific advancements from the Soviet Union), atheism, and giving children a moral education.[31][32] Two of the biggest changes were the re-introduction of co-education (schools became single sex in the postwar period) and the instating of required vocational education.

Upon re-introducing co-education, many people, children and parents included, were unhappy, stemming mostly from the concern that the boys would be bad influences on the girls. However, most of the student complaints came from older groups who had gotten used to single-sex education. Various complaints included that the boys would bother the girls, that the boys played too rough, that the boys were disruptive of the classroom setting, and that neither sex wanted to discuss issues with the other.[33] The other major change that was seen during the Thaw was the addition of vocational training. Krushchev was from a rural area and therefore highly valued vocational training. In 1958 polytechnic training became mandatory for primary and secondary schools, with a later reform requiring one-third of all school hours to be spent either doing labor or labor training and the creation of the “third semester,” which was where students spent one month of their summer doing labor.[34]

In addition to co-education and vocational training, other educational reforms included the termination of tuition for upper grades and the increase of student stipends (1956), the introduction in number of boarding schools (1956), the introduction of extended day schools (1959; these were meant to help working parents), and the termination of special schools that were meant for extremely talented youth and prodigies (1964).[35] In addition to all of this, children of the Thaw also saw the end of school uniforms. Another emphasis during the years of the Thaw was the importance of leisure time. Upon being considered important again, pioneer palaces were built and circles were formed. Pioneer palaces differed in structure, especially in different countries that were part of the Soviet Union, however the ones in Moscow tended to be simpler and less extravagant than others. These palaces were places that pioneers could always go to spend their free time. Many contained pools and places for exercise, games, and more than anything, space for circles to exist (See below: Circles).

Perestroika (1985-1991)

The four main elements of Perestroika were glasnost (openness), economic reforms, domestic political reforms, and international political reforms. Out of these four elements, with regards to education, glasnost had the greatest impact. In addition to the increased focus on vocational education, which extended the school year by 20 days in order to increase labor hours and lowered the age for certain professions to 15, policies of glasnost decentralized control over schools, allowing more people to provide input, emphasized and celebrated independence, creativity, and social responsibility, eliminated conduct and discipline grades, and added sex education classes for 9th and 10th graders.[36]

In the new system, upon completing 9th grade, students would take an exam and based on their results would either attend a Professional Technical School (PTU), a Secondary Specialized Instructional School (SSUZ), or a general secondary school for 2 more years followed by a higher educational institute (VUZ).[37] This new system led to problems for some students, many of whom did not like being forced to choose how they would spend the rest of their lives at the age of fifteen.[38]

PTUs, tekhnikums, and some military facilities formed a system of so-called “secondary specialized education” (Russian: среднее специальное, sredneye spetsialnoye). PTU's were vocational schools and trained students in a wide variety of skills ranging from mechanic to hairdresser. Completion of a PTU after primary school did not provide a full secondary diploma or a route to such a diploma. However, entry to a tekhnikum or other specialized secondary school could be started after either 8 or 10 classes of combined education in elementary and secondary school. Graduation from this level was required for the positions of qualified workers, technicians and lower bureaucrats (see also vocational education, professions, training).

“Higher” (Russian: высшее, vyssheye) educational institutions included degree-level facilities: universities, “institutes” and military academies. "Institute" in the sense of a school refers to a specialized "microuniversity" (mostly technical), usually subordinate to the ministry associated with their field of study. The largest network "institutes" were medical, pedagogic (for the training of schoolteachers), construction and various transport (automotive and road, railroad, civil aviation) institutes. Some of those institutes were present in every oblast' capital while others were unique and situated in big cities (like the Literature Institute and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology ). Colloquially these universities and institutes were all referred to by the acronym "VUZ" (ВУЗ – высшее учебное заведение, "higher educational institution").

Students who wanted admission to a VUZ had to have graduated from either a general secondary school (10 or 11 years) or a specialized secondary school or a tekhnikum. Those who completed only vocational school (PTU) or "incomplete secondary school" were not certified as having completed secondary education (they lacked an аттестат зрелости – maturity certificate – or equivalent diploma from a specialized secondary school) and were thus not eligible to attend a VUZ.

Numerous military and militsiya (police) schools (Russian: высшее училище/школа, vyshee uchilische/shkola) were on the same higher level. Note that Soviet military and militsiya facilities named "Academy" (Russian: Академия, Akademiya) were not a degree-level school (like Western military academies such as West Point), but a post-graduate school for experienced officers. Such schools were compulsory for officers applying for the rank of colonel, see Soviet military academies.

Importance of outside organizations

Young Pioneers

The Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union played a huge role in the education of soviet youth. This organization was meant for children ages nine to fifteen. Children were generally expected to be a part of the Pioneer organization, and being excluded from it was often used as a punishment.[39] The pioneers partook in many activities that were very similar to those of the Boy Scouts of America, however their ideology was drastically different. The pioneers were always held to the same ideology that the state was propagating at the time, and, though their structure changed over time, their goal was always to educate children, whether it was inside or outside of the classroom. Originally the pioneers were solely an afterschool activity meant to supplement the teachings of the classroom. However, when the pioneer organization was introduced into schools, it was used, not just as an afterschool activity, but also as a means of organizing the classroom and collectively making sure that students were staying on track. This was the case until Krushchev tried to separate them again during the Thaw through the building of Pioneer Palaces, though this was not entirely successful. Moreover, the pioneers were not just educational, but fun, and children very much enjoyed being a part of the organization. [40]

As Pioneers, children had to recite the oath of the organization. This oath changed as soviet ideology changed. It is interesting to note the lexical differences that occur during different time periods. The examples provided do not include all of the oaths of the Pioneer organization that existed, but a sample of the most drastically different oaths. The bolded parts signify parts that are different from previous versions.

  • 1922 Version (Original): “I, (last name, first name), give my word of honor that I will be true to the working class, that I will help my comrades and brothers every day, that I know the laws of the Young Pioneer and will obey them.”
  • 1937 Version: “I (last name, first name), young Pioneer of the USSR, do solemnly swear, in the presence of my comrades, that I will staunchly support the cause of Lenin and Stalin in the victory of communism, and for the construction of socialist society, that I will honorably and unwaveringly follow the commands of Il’ich and the laws of the Pioneers.”
  • 1954 Version: “I (last name, first name), young Pioneer of the USSR, do solemnly swear, in the presence of my comrades, the Bolshevik Party, and the Leninist Komsomol, that I will be true to the testaments of Lenin in the victory of communism, and that I will honorably and unwaveringly follow the commands of Il’ich and the laws of the Pioneers.”
  • 1986 Version: “I (last name, first name), joining the ranks of the Vladimir Il’ich Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization, in the presence of my comrades solemnly promise: to passionately love and cherish my Motherland, to live as the great Lenin bade us to, as the Communist Party teaches us to, as require the laws of the Pioneers of the Soviet Union.”


The Komsomol organization was essential to the Soviet Union, as it preceded acceptance to the Communist Party. Whereas any child could be a member of the pioneers, youth had to be accepted to be a member of the Komsomol. Once a youth was too old for the Pioneers, he or she could be considered for Komsomol membership. One important role that Komsomol members played was that of being mentors to younger children in the Pioneers, especially while the brigade method was in use during Stalinism. Pioneer groups had Komsomol leaders that they would report to along with their teacher.

Circles (Kruzhki)

Circles played an important role in the lives of children during the Thaw. Circles existed inside of Pioneer Palaces as educational leisure time that children highly enjoyed. There were circles devoted to drama, literature, chemistry, robotics, physics, astronomy, aviation, cultivating friendship, and many more things.[41] Only children of certain ages were allowed to join them, especially if the specific circle required that the child be at a higher developmental level and have a higher level of schooling (such as those in the sciences).[42] Circles were important because they represented what leisure time was supposed to be: fun and free, yet with a purpose.[43]

Classification and terms

The Soviet educational system was organized into three levels. The names of these levels were and are still used to rate the education standards of persons or particular schools, despite differences in the exact terminology used by each profession or school. Military, militsiya, KGB and Party schools were also graded according to these levels. This distinguishes the Soviet system from the rest of the world, where educational levels of schools may differ, despite their similar names.

Elementary schools were called the "beginning" level (Russian: начальное, nachalnoye), 4 and later 3 classes. Secondary schools were 7 and later 8 classes (required complete elementary school) and called "incomplete secondary education" (Russian: неполное среднее образование, nepolnoye sredneye obrazavaniye). This level was compulsory for all children (since 1958-1963) and optional for under-educated adults (who could study in so-called "evening schools"). Since 1981, the "complete secondary education" level (10 or, in some republics, 11 years) was compulsory.

10 classes (11 classes in the Baltic republics) of an ordinary school was called "secondary education" (Russian: среднее образование—literally, "middle education").

KGB's higher education institutions were called either "schools" (like "Higher School of KGB") or "institutes" (like "Red Banner Institute of KGB" - training specifically intelligence officers).

CPSU's higher education institutions were called "Higher Party Schools" (Russian: Высшая партийная школа, vysshaya partiynaya shkola).

The spirit and structure of Soviet education is mostly inherited by many post-Soviet countries despite formal changes and social transitions.

See also


  1. M. L. Spearman, "Scientific and technical training in the Soviet Union", NASA, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, AIAA-1983-2520, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Aircraft Design,Systems and Technology Meeting, Fort Worth, TX, Oct 17-19, 1983.
  2. Grant, Nigel (1979). Soviet Education. Harmondsworth: Penguin. p. 27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. See the articles on Trofim Lysenko and Lysenkoism.
  4. Ferro, Marc (2003). The Use and Abuse of History: Or How the Past Is Taught to Children. London; New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-28592-6. See Chapter 8, Aspects and variations of Soviet history.
  5. Brodinsky, Ben (1992). "The Impact of Perestroika on Soviet Education". Phi Delta Kappan. 73 (5): 379. Retrieved 15 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. The generic category (школы для детей с дефектами [недостатками] физического и умственного развития — schools for children with defects (deficiencies) of physical and mental development – included schools for children who were deaf, hearing impaired, speech impaired, partially sighted, orthopedically handicapped, or mentally retarded but educable. Compendia of educational statistics would report the number of such pupils in a separate "auxiliary schools" category from children in the general schools.
  7. Barbara A. Anderson, Brian D. Silver, Victoria A. Velkoff, "Education of the Handicapped in the USSR: Exploration of the Statistical Picture." Soviet Studies 39 (July 1987): 468-488.
  8. Anderson, Silver, Velkoff (1987).
  9. Russia U.S.S.R.: A Complete Handbook New York: William Farquhar Payson. 1933. p. 665.
  10. Fitzpatrick, S. (1994). Stalin's peasants: resistance and survival in the Russian village after collectivization. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 225-6 & fn. 78 p. 363. OCLC 28293091.
  11. For literature concerning policy change over time, see the article on Russification. For an analysis of changes over time in the extent of native-language schooling, see Barbara A. Anderson and Brian D. Silver, "Equality, Efficiency, and Politics in Soviet Bilingual Education Policy, 1934-1980," American Political Science Review 78 (December 1984): 1019-1039.
  12. See the essay on Russification.
  13. Grant, Nigel (1979). Soviet Education. Harmondsworth: Penguin. pp. 39–40.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Lisa A. Kirschenbaum, Small Comrades: Revolutionizing Childhood in Soviet Russia, 1917- 1932 (New York, London: RoutledgeFalmer, 2001), 23, 72-73, 75.
  15. A. Lunacharsky, “Basic Principles of the United Labor School,” in Bolshevik Visions: First Phase of the Cultural Revolution in Soviet Russia, Part 2: Creating Soviet Cultural Forms: Art, Architecture, Music, Film, and the New Tasks of Education, ed. William G. Rosenberg (USA: The University of Michigan Press, 1984) 38, 39, 44.
  16. N. K. Krupskaya, "All-Round Development of Children," in On Education: Selected Articles and Speeches, ed. N. K. Krupskaya (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1957), 128.
  17. Kirschenbaum, Small Comrades, 20.
  18. Ibid., 117-121.
  19. Alan M. Ball, And Now My Soul is Hardened: Abandoned Children in Soviet Russia, 1918-1930 (Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1994), 61.
  20. Ball, And Now My Soul is Hardened, 61-62.
  21. Ibid., 88, 92-93, 97-99, 107.
  22. M. Ilin, New Russia’s Primer: The Story of the Five-Year Plan, trans. George S. Counts and Nucia P. Lodge (Boston, New York: The Riverside Press, 1931), 159-162.
  23. Deana Levin, Children in Soviet Russia (London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1942), 31-34, 106.
  24. Levin, Children in Soviet Russia, 36.
  25. Ibid., 51.
  26. Ibid., 19, 22-23.
  27. Tatiana Smorodinska (Associate Professor of Russian), interview by the members of the class Born Under a Red Star: Children of Russia’s Revolution at Home, at School, and at Play, Middlebury College, May 1, 2014.
  28. Nina Lugovskaya, I Want to Live: The Diary of a Young Girl in Stalin’s Russia, trans. Andrew Bromfield (London: Black Swan, 2008).
  29. Catriona Kelly, Comrade Pavlik: The Rise and Fall of a Soviet Boy Hero (London: Grant Publications, 2005), xxiv, 161-162.
  30. Alexis Peri, “Destalinization and the Thaw,” (Lecture Slides, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT, April 10, 2014) Slides 7, 10.
  31. Susan E. Reid, Krushchev in Wonderland:The Pioneer Palace in Moscow’s Lenin Hills, 1962 (Pittsburgh: The Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, 2002) 2-5.
  32. Livschiz, Ann, “De-Stalinizing Soviet Childhood: The Quest for Moral Rebirth, 1953-58” in The Dilemmas of De-Stalinization: Negotiating Cultural and Social Change in the Krushchev Era, ed. Polly Jones (London: Routledge, 2006) 122-123.
  33. Yachnik, E., “About Cinderella Again” in Soviet Youth: Some Achievements and Problems, ed. and trans. Dorothea L. Meek (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1957) 66-69.
  34. Alexis Peri, “Destalinization and the Thaw,” Slide 17.
  35. Ibid., Slide 17.
  36. Alexis Peri, “Perestroika and It’s Children,” (Lecture Slides, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT, April 29, 2014) Slide 10.
  37. Deborah Adelman, The “Children of Perestroika”: Moscow Teenagers Talk About Their Lives and the Future (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe Inc., 1992), 7-8.
  38. Adelman, The “Children of Perestroika," 9.
  39. Nina Wieda (Assistant Professor of Russian), interview by the members of the class Born Under a Red Star: Children of Russia’s Revolution at Home, at School, and at Play, Middlebury College, May 6, 2014.
  40. Tatiana Smorodinska (Associate Professor of Russian), interview by the members of the class Born Under a Red Star: Children of Russia’s Revolution at Home, at School, and at Play, Middlebury College, May 1, 2014.
  41. Miriam Morton, Pleasures and Palaces: The After-School Activities of Russian Children. (New York: Atheneum, 1972).
  42. Morton, Pleasures and Palaces, 14, 16.
  43. Ibid., 12.

General references

  • Bronfenbrenner, Urie. Two worlds of childhood: U.S. and U.S.S.R. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1970.
  • Sheila Fitzpatrick. 1978. Cultural Revolution in Russia, 1928-1931. Indiana University Press.
  • E. Glyn Lewis. Multilingualism in the Soviet Union: Aspects of Language Policy and Its Implementation. The Hague: Mouton, 1971.
  • Spearman, M. L. Scientific and technical training in the Soviet Union, (NASA, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA), 1983.
  • Ebon, Martin. The Soviet Propaganda Machine. New York: McGraw, 1987. Print.
  • Grant, Nigel. Soviet Education. 4th ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1979. Print

Further reading

On education/childhood in the Soviet Union:

  • Adamovich, Ales’ and Daniil Granin. Leningrad Under Siege: First-hand Accounts of the Ordeal. Translated by Dr. Claire Burstall and Dr. Vladimir Kisselnikov. Great Britain: Pen & Sword Military, 2007.
  • Frierson, Cathy A. and Semyon S. Vilensky. Children of the Gulag. New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 2010.
  • Makarenko, A. S. The Collective Family: A Handbook for Russian Parents. Translated by Robert Daglish. USA: Anchor Books, 1967.
  • Riordin, Jim, ed. Soviet Youth Culture. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1989.
  • Vigdorova, F. Diary of a Russian Schoolteacher. Translated by Rose Prokofieva. New York: Grove Press Inc., 1960.
  • Yesipov, B. P. and N.K. Goncharov. “I Want to Be Like Stalin.” Translated by George S. Counts and Nucia P. Lodge. New York: The John Day Company, 1947.
  • Young Communists in the USSR: A Soviet Monograph Describing the Demands Made Upon Members of the Komsomol Organization. Translated by Virginia Rhine. Washington, D. C.: Public Affairs Press, 1950.

Children’s Fairytales/Stories/Literature:

  • Marina Balina, Helena Goscilo, and Mark Lipotevsky, eds. Politicizing Magic: An Anthology of Russian and Soviet Fairy Tales. USA: Northwestern University Press, 2005.
  • Morton, Miriam, ed. A Harvest of Russian Children's Literature. Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1968.
  • Von Geldern, James and Richard Stites, eds. Mass Culture in Soviet Russia: Tales, Poems, Songs, Movies, Plays, and Folklore, 1917-1953. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.