Out-of-school education in the Ukrainian S.S.R.

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    17-Mar-2017

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  • Trends and cases

    for positive communication with the rest of the system.

    The complications of this dual role are often too much--for our energy, skills, knowledge and spirit. But just as often, some deep inner

    forces of survival, pride and conviction push us up again. The future? I look forward to it; most of us do. We are pleased that we have an opportunity to be doing something we think is important.

    O u t - o f - s c h o o l e d u c a t i o n in t h e Ukra in ian S.S.R.

    Leonid Grekov

    In a socialist society the school extends its influence to almost all children, adolescents and young people; it is the basis of the whole system of education. Schools provide the conditions required for equipping the rising generations with knowledge, forming their outlook and character, and developing their aesthetic and physical powers. As pupils study the basic sub- jects, they acquire a Marxist-Leninist outlook and develop an interest in various forms of activity and in the subjects they are studying.

    However, the intellectual interests and the outlook of pupils are formed in their free time as well as while they are in the classroom. Indeed, experience shows that school work and out-of-class educational activities are directly dependent on each other: the higher the quality of teaching, the more likely the pupils are to have varied interests and to pursue them res- olutely. Conversely, varied out-of-class work helps to raise the standard ofpupils' knowledge.

    For this reason a very large part in the edu- cational process of all-round personality devel- opment is played by the out-of-school insti- tutions in the Republic, which exist alongside

    Leonid Grekov (Ukrainian S.S.R.). Head of the Department of Out-of-School Educational Activities, Ministry of Education of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

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    the school systemmYoung Pioneers' Palaces and club houses, young technicians' and young natu- ralists' centres, touring centres, junior sports schools, children's theatres, cinemas, railways, sailing-clubs and recreation grounds.

    During the years of Soviet power a wide network of out-of-school institutions has been set up in the Ukraine. For example, in I97Z there were z,328 out-of-school institutions in the education system of the Republic, including 738 club houses and palaces for young pion- eers and other pupils, I2I young technicians' centres, 80 young naturalists' centres, 28 ex- cursion and tourist centres, and 386 children's sports schools.

    What is the distinguishing feature of the system of out-of-school education for young people? The main point is that it forms an integral part of the educational work carried out by teachers to give their pupils a knowledge of the basic subjects of study, and it cannot be considered in isolation from this.

    The system is an extension of the main branches of classroom teachingmintellectual, polytechnical, physical and aesthetic--but it is not rigidly controlled or standardized; on the contrary, the distinguishing features of out-of- school work are its many-sidedness and the op- portunities which it provides to find answers to the various questions which arise in connexion

  • Trends and cases

    with life, science, technology, politics and art. Educational work in out-of-school institutions offers pupils a range of activities appropriate to their age, level of knowledge, aptitudes and skills. At the same time it should provide a permanent means of satisfying all the growing interests of pupils and give them the oppor- tunity of developing their varied abilities and gifts.

    Indeed, the out-of-school educational insti- tutions of the Republic today have at their command such a profusion of forms of edu- cational activity that they can cater for all the pupils' interests and requirements, however varied. As a result of many years' practical experience in running these out-of-school insti- tutions forms of educational activity have been developed which are an excellent means of pro- moting the all-round development of young people. These include: verbal activities (debates, conferences, lectures, universities of culture, the production of magazine and news pro- grammes (with or without the use of broadcast- ing)); practical activities (the holding of excur- sions and outings for school children, sporting and other kinds of competitions (Spartakiads, Olympiads, etc.), the organization of festivals, work-oriented games, games requiring initiat- ive, interest groups, and every imaginable kind of pupils' association); visual activities (the organization of museums, exhibition halls and galleries, art and technology exhibitions, and displays on a particular topic, in special stands and cases).

    In practice, these forms of out-of-school work interact: they are independent activities which are also mutually complementary. The basic unit for the activities of every out-of- school institution is the hobby group.

    The hobby group is a very valuable form of education in that it fosters a deep and lasting interest in the various branches of science, technology, art, sport, brings out and develops the creative gifts and aptitudes of pupils and contributes towards solving the problems of

    Communist education. Work in the hobby group differs from all other forms of work with children in that the basic approach is through direct practical activity connected with the performance of a particular task: building models, acquiring knowledge and skills, physi- cal training, artistic assignments. Consequently these groups raise in a distinctive way the ques- tion of the relationship between theory and practice. In these groups, a grasp of general theory is usually acquired mainly through prac- tical activities.

    Out-of-school institutions include the follow- ing groups: curriculum-oriented (e.g. literary, historical, mathematical, etc.), technological groups, aesthetic appreciation groups, physical culture and sports groups, touring and regional studies groups, political groups, etc. The num- erical strength of each group may vary from five or six members for a small group, to fifteen or twenty members. Physical culture groups and sports teams, choirs, orchestras and other performing groups generally have more mem- bers. A pupil may join two groups at most.

    The out-of-school institutions of the Ukraine have gained considerable experience of edu- cating pupils in the spirit of patriotism and love of their Soviet motherland, The study of the history, economy and culture of the fraternal peoples of the U.S.S.R. is a source of mutual enrichment for young people and makes them aware of the magnitude of the Soviet people's achievements. International social gatherings, the exchange of delegations, letter writing, the exchange of souvenirs, the holding of friendship forums and demonstrations are among the ac- uvities which promote the spiritual develop- ment of young people.

    Such work with young people in the out-of- school institutions of the Ukraine is organized by international friendship clubs. As a rule, they are run by a council of twenty to thirty members. Within these clubs there are sections specializing in, for instance, the nationalities of the U.S.S.R., socialist countries and foreign

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    States, correspondence and meetings with rep- resentatives of different countries, as well as sections for lecturers and excursion guides. Each club has its rules, and its members take a solemn oath to strengthen friendship between peoples and to be internationalists. Pupils in the third to the tenth grades are eligible for membership, each member being obliged to participate actively in one of the sections of the club, to carry out all instructions, to promote the strengthening of friendship among children and young people of all countries, to honour the memory of the heroes who gave their lives for national freedom and world peace, to make their own contribution towards peace and to improve their knowledge of their mother tongue and of a foreign language.

    The work of the international friendship club of the Kiev Young Pioneers' Palace is widely known throughout the Republic. In recent years the members of this club have assembled quan- tities of information about the activities of pro- gressive children's and young people's organ- izations and about the life of children in other countries. The principal purpose of the young internationalists of the Kiev Young Pioneers' Palace is to strengthen the international soli- darity of workers and to establish friendly relations with children of various nationalities. Club members are in constant touch with chil- dren in the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia; their ac- tivities include the organization of forums, festivals, meetings, and friendship months, and in addition they contribute regularly towards the organization of similar clubs in the schools of Kiev.

    Members of the club are helped and advised by foreign students studying in higher edu- cational institutions in the Ukraine and by Soviet citizens who have been to other countries or to the union republics. Both pupils and guests learn much from joint discussions and exchanges of views. The children find out what sort of lives children in other countries lead and

    what their schools and school work are like. Our guests learn more about the people of the first socialist State in the world.

    The scientific groups for the study of natural history and technology in out-of-school insti- tutions are of the greatest importance in that they foster the aU-round development of chil- dren, the growth of their intellectual interests and their love of knowledge. Pupils in the Ukraine today take a great interest in the pro- gress of science and technology. The activities of pupils in such groups broaden their theor- etical knowledge in various branches of science and technology, develop their interest in the study of scientific principles, bring to light any aptitude they may have for designing, and teach them to put the knowledge they have gained to practical use. In the town of Lvov, for example, the Young Pioneers' and School Children's Palace, which has over 8o0 young technicians in its hobby groups, is doing much to develop the powers of initiative of its members.

    In this institution attention is focused pri- marily on design and construction; children learn about the latest advances in science and technology, and their intellectual powers are developed. Pupils in the eighth to tenth grades construct complicated models, for which they themselves make aU the necessary calculations, diagrams and drawings. Many years of experi- ence have shown that to take part in the ac- tivities of a technological group considerably increases a pupil's knowledge of physics, chem- istry and mathematics.

    It is very revealing that in many Young Pioneers' Club houses and Palaces and in young technicians' and young naturalists' centres hobby groups for the study of the most ad- vanced branches of science and technology are coming into existencensubjects such as biochemistry, cybernetics, electronics, auto- matic control, molecular physics and radio engineering.

    Work of this kind is being carried out with particular success by the young technicians'

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    centres in the towns and provinces. The teachers working in these out-of-school insti- tutions are making every effort to promote the improvement of the pupils' school work; they obtain information about the latest develop- ments in this field, organize correspondence courses and advise teachers and group leaders on matters connected with out-of-school work in technology, physics, mathematics and chem- istry. They also give pupils information about scientific and technological achievements and about the life and work of outstanding scientists in both the pre-revolutionary and the Soviet periods.

    Furthermore, these centres organize corre- spondence clubs for young technicians, physi- cists, model aircraft enthusiasts, and those interested in radio and photography; they hold lectures, talks and discussions, arrange meetings with progressive industrial workers, show scien- tific films (followed by discussion) and organize excursions to factories and exhibitions of tech- nological work.

    The pupils' scientific societies and associ- ations which have grown up in out-of-school in- stitutions in the Ukraine are particularly worthy of attention. These have a wider membership than the hobby groups, and scientists, research students, designers and engineers act as leaders. Scientific societies train pupils to work for them- selves, independently, and enable larger num- bers of young people than in the case of hobby groups to obtain information speedily and rap- idly master the essential minimum of knowledge in a particular branch of science.

    The year 197 z was the tenth anniversary of Iskatel, the Junior Academy of Sciences of the Crimea. About 5,o0o senior pupils, living in twenty-two towns and districts throughout the region, attend seminars, lectures and meetings, and carry out experiments.

    All sections of Iskatelwmathematics, phys- ics, cybernetics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, engineering and technology, history, regional studies, and the press centre--work under the

    direction and with the active participation of scientists of the Crimea. The young scientists of the Junior Academy have to their credit a number of interesting inventions and obser- vations. For example, one of the sections of Iskatel, the Crimean Amateur Astronomy Soc- iety, was one of the few amateur bodies in the Soviet Union to be officially invited to take part in the observations carried out in connexion with the programme of Imernational Quiet Sun Year. Thirty-two spectra obtained by the young Crimean scientists were included in the Worm Gatalogue of Meteor Spectra. The senior pupils make their own astronomical apparatus and instruments, including a reflecting telescope. The results of the research and observations of Iskatel appear in academic journals as well as in popular scientific and youth publications.

    Much that is of interest has been achieved by the members of the Donets school pupils' science society, Poisk, which has sections for mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, medi- cine, history, creative writing and other sub- jeers. For the last two years a junior economists' study group has been part of the society.

    Societies for young amateur scientists and technologists are an interesting form of or- ganized out-of-school activity for pupils. They perform very important tasks: they encourage senior pupils to take up research work, stimu- late their interest in the various branches of knowledge, and in many scientific problems not included in the school curricula which are of great interest to pupils and arouse in them a love of science and a desire to acquire knowledge.

    The excellent work done by the staff of out-of-schoo...

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