Moscow: Rabotnik prosveshcheniya, 1930. 120 pp. In original printed wrappers. Partly uncut. Very good.
First edition. Scarce.
A research on religious dissemination in Soviet schools.
The charter of the Unified Labor School in the Soviet Union completely excluded the possibility of teaching the doctrine of Christianity and familiarizing with the rites of a religious cult. One of the criteria for the competition for the best teacher in 1923 was an active desire to eradicate religious prejudice from the classroom. By the end of the 1920s, the wave of the struggle against religiosity among children began to grow rapidly: in 1928, a compulsory anti-religious hour was introduced in schools and the corresponding theme began to fill the ABCs and books in elementary grades.
Yet, the teaching corps turned out not to be prepared for the propaganda of militant atheism. Religious beliefs were still strong and many educators attended church, sold crosses to students and convinced them of the divine origin of life on Earth. According to the statistics from 1929, 92% percent of the graduates of the seven-year school in the Sokolniki district of Moscow considered themselves Christians, and 75 schoolchildren of the 5th group attended church. Against this background, the Soviet state exacerbated its fight against the spread of religion in the classroom.
This interesting book offers a rare detailed insight into the late-1920s religious situation among the students of Soviet schools. In the edition, the author, pedagogue and professor Solomon Rives (1892-1953), represents the results of the first mass pedagogical survey undertaken in 1929 by the Institute for School Methods. The research provides a picture of the state of religious and anti-religious sentiments in several Soviet schools. The publication consists of two main sections. The first section shows the results of tests or collisions carried out among schoolchildren on a variety of topics: “Should people attend the celebration of Easter in church?”, “What should children do if their parents are religious?”, “When one is debilitated should he trust the faith of God or seek help from a doctor?”, “Where do children prefer to spend their time in church or reading rooms?”, “What should students do if their teacher is religious?”. The second section features the text of the debates unfolded around the theme of religious beliefs and mainly, the calming power of religion. The author also elaborates upon religious and anti-religious sentiments among parents and offers the results of several parental collisions regarding the research topic. Interestingly, according to Rives, respondents who took the test were assured that the experiment was anonymous, yet the researchers could easily determine their identities by the order in which the tests were distributed. Based on the participants’ answers, which are given in precise form, the author summarizes the research and offers detailed recommendations on the eradication of religion in Soviet schools. The edition also includes tables showing information on the ratio of social groups according to the data and the influence of the party membership of parents on the answers of the respondents.
Overall, a rare insight into the Soviet struggle against Christianity.
No copies found in Worldcat.