Class/Consciousness: Education in the Soviet Union from Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports, 1957-1995

Just in time for the new school year, we’re taking a look at education in the former Soviet Union during the 1960s. We have two volumes of curriculum material for a correspondence course on Marxism-Leninism, an in-depth examination of the Soviet education system, and for extra credit, a serious study on sleep learning.


Contemporary International Communist, Workers, and National-Liberation Movement

Vol. I by Z.A. Zamyslova. Moscow, 1963

Vol. II by V.V. Aleksandrov, O.I. Bershadskaya, I.F. Gorin, and Z.A. Zamyslova. Moscow, 1965

Want to broaden your world view but too busy to take that graduate seminar on socialism? Then this two-volume correspondence course, “The Modern International Communist Worker and National-Liberation Movement” was made for you.

Before discounting this material in light of the collapse of the Soviet Union, bear in mind that there is value to be had in a socialist critique of capitalism despite that particular outcome. Utopian projects are not unknown in the West, and millions of Russians were not delusional in their adherence to socialism. They were rather courageous, and endured a great deal of political trial and error at a tremendous personal cost.

Workers in the West have benefited greatly from the labor movement in such matters as the eight-hour workday and laws prohibiting child labor. Just as learning a second language will improve one’s native language skills, an understanding of socialism will make the reader a better citizen in a democracy.

Much of the content of these volumes is historical rather than theoretical, so it’s a relatively easy read. The first volume covers socialism in the Soviet Union from 1917-1939, while the second volume covers 1939-1963 from a more international perspective.


The Administration of Public Education

By Galina Aleksandrovna Dorokhova. Moscow, 1965

Despite differences in the socio-economic structure of their country, the Russians confronted the same challenges and aspirations for the education of their children as we have in the West. This report examines the administrative side of Soviet education. Anyone who has served on a school board or struggled to understand education policy will encounter similar issues here.


Information Input and Fixation in the Human Memory during Natural Sleep

By Leonid Andreyevich Bliznichenko. Kiev, 1966

Wouldn’t it have been nice if you could actually have slept through those all-nighters you pulled in college, and still aced your coursework? This report makes the clinical case for sleep learning—hypnopedia. The author cites not only his native research but studies by the military and in other countries as well. The method was described as helpful in the acquisition of language skills, facility with telegraph key codes, and for general improvements in cognitive function.

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For more information about Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports, 1957-1994, or to request a trial for your institution, please contact readexmarketing[at]readex[dot]com.

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