How did the Communist Russia influence Russian Culture?
The Russian education system went through a number of reforms from the time of the Bolshevik revolution through to the end of the Soviet Union. The current state of the Russian education system ranks Russia as having one of the highest rates of literacy among the population in the world(CIA, 2015) as well as having the 13th best education system in the world(S, 2014). This paper will focus on the influences of the communist era on education; going into detail about Stalinism 1928-1937 and the 1st and 2nd five-year plans, the Thaw under Khrushchev rule 1953-1964, and the Perestroika reforms during 1985-1991. This paper will identify each of the key elements of these education systems and review how they were influenced or, how they were a product of communist Russia.
The first five-year plan, was an initiative that was created by Stalin (while he was general secretary) to reflect his policy of socialism in one country. The plan was essentially a list of economic goals that would lead to greater social, economic and industrial development in Russia. The first five-year plan (and the most successful) was initiated in 1928. In order to help achieve a wide-spread integration and understanding of this plan a book was published by Mikhail Illin titled ‘The New Russia Primer: the five year plan’. This book was to be given to children from a young age in order to indoctrinate future workers. This book was intended to encourage children to work together from a young age, and to emphasize the importance of the collective initiative and greater good(M, 1928). The flow-on from this into the classroom was an emphasis on collectivism and group orientated tasks. Russia’s focus during this time was on labor, and thus the educational structure was altered accordingly. With the goal, to produce future generations of workers, of whom could contribute towards a more rapid rate of modernization and industrialization.
Education during this time period also included the introduction of the Young Pioneer programs, which were similar to the Boy Scouts of America, but with vastly different ideology. The Young Pioneer’s were initially used as an out of school activity but were eventually used within the classroom setting(M, 1928). Once again, the vision of the first five-year plan was that of a unified effort towards the greater good (rapid modernization via industrialization) and so the emphasis in these groups was, group work towards a collective goal (a parallel to the greater good). Not surprisingly, the ideology of this movement changed depending on the ideology of the state. The early Young Pioneers would have had a greater leaning towards the Lenin cult movement, or elevation of the ideologies of Lenin, where as later generations of the Young Pioneer’s (in particular the second five-year plan) followed more closely Stalin’s ideologies.
An interesting point is during the first five-year plan,...