Education in the USSR: Russian or Soviet?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jonathan R. Tudge, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Works on the history of Russian education often point out and emphasize the similarities between the Tsarist and Soviet systems. Nicholas Hans has coined an aphorism which summarizes this line of thought; he maintains that Soviet education is not, strictly speaking, 'Soviet' at all: "Russian it was and Russian it remains". [1] William Johnson, another major writer on the history of Russian and Soviet education, while recognizing that the Soviet educational system departs from the Russian tradition in certain respects, [2] also concentrates his attention upon the similarities between the two systems, arguing that the Soviet system was built upon the established foundations of a popular interest in education and the existing network of schools. [3] He maintains, moreover, that the relationship extends further than this, and that the scientific, secular nature of Soviet education and its use as a major socializing agency can be traced back to the eighteenth century. Peter the Great gave Russian education its practical bent, he argues, by opening in 1701 the first school in the world with a non-classical curriculum, [4] while Catherine, whose "influence on present-day education in Russia is great indeed", [5] first appreciated the importance of education as a primary socializing instrument. Besides being the first of the Tsars to allow women to be educated, she drew up a set of rules for moral conduct in schools. Johnson also believes that even the religious orthodoxy required in Tsarist times can be likened to the political orthodoxy of the present, and indeed that Uvarov's trinity of Orthodoxy, Autocracy and Nationality "have their somewhat different counterparts in the Soviet Union today". [6]

Additional Information

Comparative Education, 11(2), 127-136
Language: English
Date: 1975
Russian education, Soviet Union, polytechnical education, Soviet education

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