The early 20th century was a time of change for many parts of the world; advances in all areas of technology and changing mindsets made a huge difference in the way that human civilization progressed. One significant example of this was the overthrow of Czarist Russia and the establishment of the Soviet Union . While far from a revolution in freedom, the Soviet Union was revolutionary in many ways that are still worthy of discussion. With this in mind, this paper will present an account of the historical period of the Early Soviet Union and of the impact of education on that period.
EDUCATION EVOLVES WITH THE BIRTH OF THE SOVIET UNION An understanding of the birth of the Soviet Union, as well as its educational system, requires first an overview of the political and educational system which preceded it. Russia, under control of the Czars, was a land of great darkness- politically, economically and educationally. For the Czars, the rule of law was intended to keep the masses as oppressed as possible; there were limited job opportunities, leading to widespread famine, poverty and deprivation from all vantage points.
In many ways, these factors can be directly linked to a lack of available education for the masses , and vice versa. The insistence of the government in place to keep the populous ignorant and ill-educated kept the collective skill set of the people at a bare minimum, relegating them to menial jobs for low pay. Even with the oppressive taxation imposed by the Czars, there was little money available to support decent education, even if the Czars wanted to have such institutions in place. At any rate, the change of education definitely came with the change from Czarist rule to the establishment of the Soviet state.
The breakup of the Soviet Union was a pivotal event of the 20the century that changed significantly the political environment of the world. Million of people in Eastern Europe awakened from a bad dream as the communism collapsed. Poland and Ukraine are two of the countries that have come out of the Communist block and embarked in a transition, from the general characteristics of a Communist ...
With the 1917 Russian Revolution, not only were the people shifted from the essentially dictatorial system of government they had known before to one that was largely driven by Socialism , a system which relied on the sheer power of the people to provide the muscle needed to power the factories, build the roads, and brandish the weapons that would keep the state economically viable, physically strong, and able to meet the challenges of enemies foreign or domestic. A key to this power, it was immediately discovered, would in fact come from the education of the common people.
Previously, the upper classes were guaranteed education through private means, as they had the ability to pay for such instruction, but there existed an entire class of people for whom the books of knowledge had essentially been sealed shut for generations upon generations. To ensure that education would be delivered to towns large and small across the Soviet Union, from the earliest days of the Revolution, boards of education were established in each of the republics which comprised the Soviet Union. In this way, education could likewise be customized for the needs of any particular locality.
This should not give the impression, however, that education was autonomous in each of the republics, or that there was no agenda behind education. As much as education aimed to teach marketable and practical skills to the average Soviet, it was also designed to indoctrinate impressionable minds about the superiority of the Soviet governmental systems, ideologies, and theories, for it was the compliance of the people that would allow the Soviet Union to grow to dominance over a period of several decades. A MISSING ELEMENT FROM SOVIET EDUCATION
From the very beginning of the Soviet Union, its educational system and political ideology were unavoidably entwined. One of the key tenets of the Soviet philosophy, which was consequently built in to the educational system is the entire lack of a spiritual element, as Soviet leaders subscribed to the assertions of Dostoevsky that without having to wrestle with the idea of the existence of God, the mind is thereby free to imagine that anything is possible, as many of the moral dilemmas which complicate decision making are effectively erased.
Describe the dumbing down of the nations educational system. Our nation views all situations as a competition and, in some cases, goes to extremely deceitful lengths to protect the possibility of failure. All tasks assigned to Americans are assumed to be easy and conducted with concurring enthusiasm; however, when it becomes arduous, frustration overcomes us and we look for the first available ...
CONCLUSION In conclusion, what can be seen in the parallel development of the Soviet Union as a state and its accompanying educational system is the introduction of political ideology and practical instruction, both with the collective goal of advancing the state. This worked for decades and brought the Soviet Union to the status of world superpower in a remarkably short time. Therefore, in conclusion, what can best be said about education and the early history of Soviet Union is that they were inexorably linked, and each enhanced the other.
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