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the principles, practice, or profession of teaching
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the science of the specially organized, goal-oriented, and systematic molding of a human being; the science of the content, forms, and methods of upbringing, education, and instruction.

The basic categories of pedagogy are personality formation, upbringing, education, and instruction. Personality formation, formerly called upbringing in its broad sense, is the process of shaping an individual by means of goal-oriented influence (upbringing in the true sense of the word) and of the varied and often contradictory influences of the environment. In contemporary foreign pedagogy the first group of influences is often called intentional upbringing, and the second functional upbringing.

In Marxist pedagogy, upbringing is a key concept referring to the goal-oriented activities of society and family directed toward forming a fully developed person, chiefly in institutions and organizations specially created by society. The concept of upbringing generally comprises intellectual, moral, labor, aesthetic, and physical upbringing as well as the formation of a world view. However, such distinctions are largely arbitrary, since upbringing in practice is a single, integrated process.

Education is the process and result of assimilating a system of knowledge and of developing skills and habits eventually ensuring a certain level of development of a person’s cognitive needs and capacities and his ability to perform some kind of practical activity. A distinction is made between general and specialized education. General education provides each person with the knowledge, skills, and habits he needs for overall development. These are the basis for a subsequent specialized education, whose goal is preparation for professional work. In level and scope, both general and specialized education may be primary, secondary, or higher. Polytechnic education is an integral part of general education.

A most important means for effecting education and upbringing is instruction, the process of transmitting and assimilating knowledge, skills, and habits and the modes of cognition necessary for the realization of a continuous educational process. The process of instruction comprises the two interconnected parts of a single whole: teaching, the pedagogue’s transmittal of knowledge and his supervision of students’ independent work; and learning, the students’ mastery of a system of knowledge, skills, and habits. Pedagogy is one of the sciences studying man, human society, and the conditions of human life; thus, it takes its place alongside such disciplines as philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, psychology, political economy, ethics, sociology, history, anatomy, physiology, and medicine. It uses their hypotheses and research methods, including mathematical statistics and cybernetics, as well as the results of their empiric research.

Structure and system of pedagogic disciplines. Within the framework of pedagogy are a number of relatively independent divisions dealing with individual facets of teaching and upbringing. The development of the goals, tasks, content, principles, methods, and organization of education and instruction is the province of didactics, or the theory of education and instruction. The theory and methodology of upbringing concern themselves with the formation of moral qualities, political convictions, and aesthetic tastes, as well as with the organization of pupils’ and students’ activities. The discipline of school administration studies all organizational problems related to the management of public education and to the network, structure, and management of educational institutions.

In order to make use of pedagogical research and to study pedagogy thoroughly as a discipline, it is necessary to distinguish the features of upbringing and instruction of groups having different ages and professional orientations. Examples of these groups are preschool children; pupils and students in general-education schools, vocational schools, secondary specialized and higher educational institutions; and members of the military service. Here, such arbitrary designations as preschool, school-age, and higher-educational pedagogy are used, and under study are the organization and the upbringing and instructional methods for a given contingent of students. The specific pedagogic principles governing each group are taken into account.

Related to pedagogy as such are the teaching methods for individual disciplines. Defectology studies the psychophysiological development of abnormal children and the principles of their upbringing, education, and instruction. It includes such narrowly specialized branches as the theory and methods of bringing up, educating, and instructing deaf and hard-of-hearing children, children who are blind or have poor vision, mentally defective children, and children with speech defects. Also related to pedagogy is the history of pedagogy, a discipline that studies the development of the theory and practice of upbringing, education, and instruction during various historical periods.

Development as a science. The first attempts to interpret upbringing in terms of the needs of society were made during the period when slaveholding states flourished in the Mediterranean. Statements about the goal, tasks, content, and methods of upbringing—only for the freeborn, of course—were prominent in the works of Democritus, Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient Greek philosophers. These statements were not independent pedagogical theories but rather parts of philosophical systems or of programs for organizing society. The ancient Greek philosophers wrote about the reliance of upbringing on principles of ethics and psychology and about the unity of intellectual, moral, and physical development and the division of human development into age periods. Their views were of great importance for the later development of pedagogical thought. In ancient Rome there arose in rhetorical schools a special interest in problems of the organization, content, and methods of instruction. Quin-tilian’s Institutio oratoria was the first specialized work summarizing teaching methods and formulating what was required from teachers and educators; it also indicated the necessity of taking into account the individual traits of each child.

During the Middle Ages, pedagogical views in Europe were strongly influenced by Christianity, which had become the prevailing religion in European feudal society. All views on upbringing developed strictly within the confines of Christian theology. A similar situation existed in other parts of the world, where other religious ideologies, such as Islam and Buddhism, predominated.

Pedagogical views of the 14th to 16th centuries reflected both a striving to free human thought from religious dogma and the revival of interest in man himself and in his everyday work. These were traits characteristic of the period of feudalism’s decline and the emergence of capitalist social relations. Writing in diverse genres, Renaissance humanists such as T. More, T. Campanella, Erasmus of Rotterdam, F. Rabelais, and M. Montaigne advanced ideas of an all-around harmonious development of man’s spiritual and physical resources. They favored a secular education based on the assimilation of the ancient world’s cultural legacy and on the achievements of science, which was developing rapidly.

The history of pedagogy as an integrated theory of educating man began at the time of the first bourgeois revolutions in Europe. The first important contribution to the history of pedagogy was made by the Czech thinker J. A. Comenius, who summarized and theoretically interpreted European educational traditions to create a harmonious pedagogical system. In The Great Didactic he examined the basic problems of instruction and upbringing. Comenius founded the classroom system of instruction. His pedagogical theory formed part of the broad sociopolitical concept set forth in his major work, General Consultation About the Improvement of Human Affairs, one of whose parts, the Pampaedia, is wholly devoted to pedagogy. In particular, it contains the first formulation and exposition of the idea of continuous education and upbringing throughout a person’s life and also the contention that books should be the chief instrument of education.

Beginning with the period of the English Civil War of the 17th century, two basic trends in the development of pedagogical thought may be distinguished. The feudal and clerical concept of upbringing continued to prevail, but at the same time a new, bourgeois interpretation of upbringing emerged, whose goal was to mold a man of action and prepare him for his struggle for personal well-being. A clear expression of the new ideals of upbringing is found in the works of the English Enlightenment philosopher J. Locke, who stressed the importance of moral and physical upbringing and originated the utilitarian approach to education and instruction. Locke’s opposition to the theory of innate ideas was of major importance.

In the 18th century theories of upbringing developed chiefly within the framework of the Enlightenment. Guided by Locke’s doctrine of the innate equality of man, such leading French thinkers as C. A. Helvetius, D. Diderot, and J.-J. Rousseau developed the hypotehsis of the decisive role of upbringing and environment in personality formation. Diderot, in particular, considered one of the basic tasks of upbringing to be the development of a person’s individuality. The French materialists substantiated and popularized the idea of a practical education that would eventually replace scholastic education. The greatest contribution to 18th-century pedagogical thought was made by Rousseau, who originated the concept of a natural, free upbringing. Rousseau undertook to outline the tasks, content, and methods of bringing up and instructing children, proceeding from the specific features of their physical and spiritual development at different stages of growth; he stressed the need for more active methods of instructing children. His influence is seen in the democratic plans for reforming public education in France during the revolution of 1789–93. It is also reflected in the work of the German philanthropists J. B. Basedow, C. G. Salzmann, and J. H. Campe, who founded the first boarding schools and inaugurated the theoretical development of pedagogy as a discipline.

Pedagogical thought in the 18th and 19th centuries was influenced by a number of theses of German classical philosophy as expounded in the works of I. Kant, J. G. Fichte, and G. W. F. Hegel. The Swiss democratic pedagogue J. H. Pes-talozzi played an important role in resolving pedagogical problems. He attempted to construct a theory of upbringing and instruction based on psychological data. His experience and thoughts dealt with child development during instruction and upbringing and with vocational instruction and methods of teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and other subjects at the elementary level. His work stimulated the development of the science of upbringing in the first half of the 19th century. Pestalozzi was the first theoretician of the public school.

During the first half of the 19th century the German pedagogue, psychologist, and philosopher J. F. Herbart attempted to present pedagogy as a scientific theory based on philosophy and psychology. In his view, philosophy laid the groundwork for the goals of upbringing, and psychology permitted us to find the correct ways of attaining these goals. A number of Herbart’s theses were used in the later development of pedagogy. These included his views on the role played by interest in instruction, on the educative nature of instruction, and on the structure of the learning process. At the same time, however, bourgeois pedagogues assimilated the conservative aspects of Herbart’s doctrine. These were expressed in his theory on handling children, which amounted to suppressing the child’s personality by means of a detailed and fully elaborated system of restrictions and punishments.

The 19th-century German democratic pedagogue F. A. W. Diesterweg contributed significantly to pedagogy in general and to didactics in particular. He maintained that one of the most important factors in upbringing was the principle of cultural conformity—the taking into account, during the process of upbringing, of all aspects of the culture, history, and economy characteristic of a country and its people. Together with the concept of conforming to nature in upbringing, originated by Comenius, Rousseau, and Pestalozzi though interpreted differently by each, Diesterweg’s principle of cultural conformity significantly enriched pedagogy.

In the late 19th century the movement of progressive education arose. Its adherents expressed the interests of various strata of the bourgeoisie then hostile to one another but united in their opposition to the proletariat and its ideology. The followers of the movement also criticized the scholastic content and dogmatic instructional methods in schools suppressing the personality of pupils and students. The representatives of such currents of progressive education as the new upbringing, the labor school, the movement for art training, and the pedagogy of the personality advocated the free development of each child’s individuality. These educators wanted to develop new organizational forms and methods of instruction, to reform curricula, and to place greater emphasis on upbringing in schools. The ideas of such exponents of progressive education as J. Dewey, G. Kerschen-steiner, L. Gurlitt, H. Scharrelmann, O. Decroly, M. Montes-sori, and A. Ferrière dominated bourgeois pedagogy until the mid-20th century and, to an extent, have been influential to the present time.

In Russia during the 16th and 17th centuries, the old Christian and feudal concept of upbringing as a means of overcoming man’s original sin and developing feelings of humility, submission, and religiosity was challenged by expanding humanistic views of man, although often expressed in concepts and terms of Orthodoxy, and expounded by Simeon Polotskii, Epifanii Slavi-netskii, and the monastic scholars.

The first state system of schools was established in Russia with a charter issued in 1786. Russian pedagogical thought, expressed by F. F. Saltykov, Feofan Prokopovich, and V. N. Tatishchev, dealt with the substantiation of various forms of this system. Views on the tasks, content, and methods of upbringing and instruction largely reflected the interests of “enlightened absolutism” and were rather strongly influenced by the ideas of the French philosophes, well known to such progressive Russian thinkers as I. I. Betskoi and N. I. Novikov. In the late 18th century, F. I. Iankovich de Mirievo helped found didactics in Russia. His work was connected with the need to provide the broadening network of schools with textbooks and teaching aids and to give teachers recommendations on the organization and methods of instruction.

Before the 1860’s, progressive pedagogical ideas in Russia developed mainly as part of the current of democratic and revolutionary social thought. These ideas were expressed by such writers as A. N. Radishchev, A. I. Herzen V. G. Belinskii, A. N. Dobroliubov, N. G. Chernyshevskii, and D. I. Pisarev. The democratic revolutionaries were concerned with the meaning, aim, and tasks of upbringing and with the content and methods of upbringing and education. They regarded the goals of upbringing to be the inculcation of citizens and patriots with a revolutionary and materialistic world view and the training of these citizens as relentless opponents of social evils and as broadly educated and industrious persons.

The development of the emancipation movement that began in the mid-1850’s engendered a widespread antiserfdom movement in pedagogy. Prominent scholars, authors, and educators of the time, including N. I. Pirogov, L. N. Tolstoy, and N. Kh. Vessel’, discussed problems of upbringing and of the impending school reform. Of central importance were questions of the purpose of schools, the humanization of upbringing, and changes to be made in education and teaching methods. Indiscriminate application of foreign pedagogical theories and educational systems was attacked, and a movement for the establishment of a national system of upbringing emerged. All this contributed to pedagogy’s development into an independent professional discipline.

The establishment of pedagogy as a science in Russia is linked with K. D. Ushinskii, who made use of all the positive achievements that had been made by the mid-19th century in pedagogy and psychology. Ushinskii originated a harmonious concept of psychology and pedagogy and based upon it a theory of upbringing and instruction. He came close to understanding how socioeconomic conditions determine the nature of upbringing.

Ushinskii observed the difference between unintentional molding of human personality by the society and upbringing as a purposeful activity for the social reproduction of man. He used the phrase “upbringing in the broad and narrow sense of the word” to define the process. These observations led him to define the subject of pedagogy and to divide pedagogy into a number of branches. By taking a many-sided view of man in the light of information provided by all the sciences studying man and his life, Ushinskii was able to found the discipline of pedagogical anthropology, which he considered the science of educating man as he develops, or pedagogy as such.

Research into these fundamental problems provided the basis for a substantiated theory of education and instruction, which in turn was the basis for the best prerevolutionary public-school textbooks and for the development of teaching methods. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, general problems of pedagogy and didactics were studied by P. F. Kapterev, V. P. Ostrogor-skii, V. P. Vakhterov, N. F. Bunakov, I. N. Ul’ianov, and P. F. Lesgaft and teaching methods by V. Ia. Stoiunin, V. I. Vodovo-zov, and D. D. Semenov. These fields developed extensively at this time under the influence of Ushinskii’s ideas and as a result of his adherents’ work. Ushinskii’s pedagogical ideas also influenced pedagogic through among other peoples of Russia, as seen in the work of Ia. S. Gogebashvili, I. Ia. Iakovlev, G. Agaian, I. Altynsarin, and R. Efendiev.

The turning point in the establishment and development of a truly scientific system of pedagogy was the creation of the theory of dialectical and historical materialism by K. Marx and F. En-gels in the mid-19th century. The founders of scientific Communism stated that man is essentially the sum of social relations, which he “transfers” to himself during the process of social and practical activity. They declared that even while men influence their natural environment and social milieu, they change their own nature. These discoveries revealed the means and factors involved in the social molding of the personality. The works of Marx and Engels disclosed the class character of upbringing in a class society. Their works examined in general the content and methods of molding a fully and harmoniously developed person; the tasks, content, and methods of polytechnic education; the forms and methods of combining instruction with productive work; and the correlation between family upbringing and that of society. Marx and Engels developed the theory of Communist education for the new man. They pointed out that this theory can be realized only after the power of the working class is established.

The basic tenets of the Marxist doctrine of upbringing were developed and defined concretely by V. I. Lenin, who maintained that in a socialist society the younger generation should be inculcated with a materialist world view, Communist convictions, and high moral qualities. The means for achieving this goal are a broad scientific education on a polytechnic base, the linking of instruction with productive work, and the participation of young people in the work of building a new society. Lenin’s doctrine of socialist culture, enlightenment, and Communist education became the basis of modern pedagogy.

Pedagogy in the USSR. The Great October Socialist Revolution created the necessary prerequisites for realizing the Marxist-Leninist conception of upbringing. Soviet pedagogy, guided by the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of man and society, has concerned itself chiefly with developing principles for building a unified polytechnic labor school, with defining the content of instruction and upbringing in this school, with finding means of stimulating teaching, and with the problems of the teaching staff. These concerns are reflected in the works of N. K. Krupskaia, A. V. Luna-charskii, P. P. Blonskii, S. T. Shatskii, P. N. Lepeshinskii, and A. S. Makarenko.

The solution of theoretical problems of Soviet pedagogy dealing with the relationship of pedagogy to other sciences and with the definition of its subject, tasks, and methods has called for a critical review of the pedagogical concepts and theories of the past. As early as the 1920’s, the People’s Commissariat for Education of the RSFSR founded research institutes in Moscow for studying schoolwork (1922) and extracurricular work (1923). Scientific pedagogy was studied at an institute founded in 1926 at the Second Moscow State University, and the Institute of Scientific Pedagogy was founded in Leningrad in 1924. In 1931 an Institute of Polytechnic Education was founded in Moscow; in 1937 it became the Institute of Secondary Schools. In 1938 all pedagogical research institutes were united into the Institute of Schools of the People’s Commissariat for Education of the RSFSR.

In the second half of the 1920’s pedagogical research institutes were founded in the Ukraine (1926), Byelorussia (1928), Georgia (1929), and Azerbaijan (1931). During the 1940’s and 1950’s they were founded in other Union republics. In 1943 the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the RSFSR was established in order to consolidate scientific pedagogical studies; in 1966 it became the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the USSR.

The establishment and development of Soviet pedagogy is linked with the names of such well-known pedagogues as P. P. Blonskii, A. P. Pinkevich, B. P. Esipov, M. A. Danilov, Sh. I. Ganelin, L. V. Zankov, M. N. Skatkin, I. T. Ogorodnikov, and S. G. Shapovalenko (didactics); V. A. Sukhomlinskii, I. F. Svadkovskii, I. A. Kairov, N. K. Goncharov, E. I. Monoszon, and N. I. Boldyrev (theory and methods of upbringing); and N. A. Konstantinov, E. N. Medynskii, V. Z. Smirnov, F. F. Korolev, D. O. Lordkipanidze, I. K. Kadyrov, M. M. Mekhti-zade, A. A. Kurbanov, S. Kh. Chavdarov, A. E. Izmailov, and S. R. Radzhabov (history of pedagogy). In the years of Soviet power, scholarly editions have been published of the pedagogical works of many outstanding thinkers of the past who contributed to the founding of pedagogy, among them Comenius, Diester-weg, Locke, Pestalozzi, Herbart, Fourier, Owen, Belinskii, Herzen, Chernyshevskii, Dobroliubov, Pisarev, Ushinskii, and Lesgaft. In addition, such trends of the age of imperialism as modern upbringing, the labor school, pragmatism, and experimental pedagogy have been critically analyzed. Textbooks and teaching aids on pedagogy and history, as well as such reference works as the Pedagogical Encyclopedia (vols. 1–3, 1927–29), the Pedagogical Dictionary (vols. 1–2, 1960), and the Pedagogical Encyclopedia (vols. 1–4, 1964–68), have helped summarize and systematize the attainments of Soviet pedagogy.

The chief aim of modern research in Marxist pedagogical science is to find the best ways to mold a fully and harmoniously developed personality, one which is spiritually rich, highly moral, and physically perfect. Pedagogy shows how to develop the content of education and make it correspond to the needs of socialist economy, culture, and science. The age of the scientific and technical revolution is marked by a rapid growth of knowledge in all fields of science, requiring a wider scope of scientific education. Schools must supply this even while their own means and those of the students remain almost the same. Factors to be taken into account include the length of the period of study and of the academic day, as well as the students’ energy and their fatigue factor. Pedagogy develops new principles and criteria for selecting the content of general education: it studies the expansion of learning units, the generalization of knowledge applicable to the needs of general education, the reinforcement of system and theory in general education, and the consistent implementation of the polytechnic principle as a leading criterion in the selection of material for study.

Research in the field of instruction seeks ways to stimulate students and to develop their independence and initiative as they acquire knowledge. Thus, research is being carried on which aims to modernize the canonical forms of the lesson by introducing various types of group and individual student work while retaining the teacher in the role of leader. Other studies are being conducted that seek to perfect means and methods of instruction in order to maximize students’ cognitive interests and abilities and to develop their ability to organize work rationally. An important trend in pedagogical research is the study of the political, ideological, and moral upbringing of youth and of inculcating in them a communist world view. Such research investigates the content and natural laws of the process of molding communist views and convictions, as well as effective pedagogical means to ensure the development in young people of communist consciousness and conduct. The further progress of pedagogy as a science depends to a great extent on defining more precisely the subject itself and its categories and terminology, on improving research methods; and on strengthening ties with other disciplines.

Other current topics of pedagogical research are the history of individual pedagogical problems and their solution, as well as the origin of various pedagogical concepts, theories, methods, and ideas. Such an approach makes the history of pedagogy a true history of the science of upbringing and gives historical research in the field a prognostic significance.

In other socialist countries as well, much attention is devoted to the study of pedagogy. A number of pedagogical research institutes have been founded, such as the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences in the German Democratic Republic. In the European socialist countries, a generation of Marxist pedagogues is contributing substantially to developing the theory and practice of communist upbringing. These educators include G. Neuner, K. H. Giinter, E. Drefenstedt, H. Stolz, and G. Frankiewicz in the German Democratic Republic; M. Cipro, B. Kujal, S. Mařan, E. Stračár, G. Pavlovič, O. Pavlík, and L. Bakoš in Czechoslovakia; W. Okoń, C. Kupisewicz, and K. Sośnicki in Poland; N. Chakarov, D. Tsvetkov, and Zh. Atanasov in Bulgaria; and J. Szarka, S. Nagy, and E. Földes in Hungary.

Contemporary bourgeois pedagogy. In the USA pedagogy is studied by the American Educational Research Association, the National Education Association, Phi Delta Kappa, the Educational Testing Service, and the departments and divisions of a number of universities, including Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Chicago. In Great Britain it is studied at the National Foundation for Educational Research in England and Wales and at the Institute of Education of the University of London. In France it is studied at the National Institute of Pedagogical Research and Pedagogical Documentation, as well as at several regional pedagogical centers, and in the Federal Republic of Germany it is studied at the German Institute of Scientific Pedagogy, the Comenius Institute, and the German Institute of International Pedagogical Research.

In contemporary bourgeois pedagogy there is no unity of approach to the basic problems of upbringing, owing to dependence on different schools of idealist philosophy and on various religious doctrines. This absence of unity is reflected in the very names of different pedagogical trends: neopositivism (B. Russell, T. P. Nunn), existentialist pedagogy (J. P. Sartre, O. F. Boll-now), Catholic or neo-Thomist pedagogy (J. Maritain, F. X. Eggersdorfer), and evangelical pedagogy (M. Stalmann, K. Schaller). These are not true schools of pedagogy but the views on education of proponents of these philosophical and religious doctrines. There is also a tendency to divide pedagogy into separate, often self-contained disciplines. These include comparative pedagogy (Y. Bereday, W. Brickman, J. Lauwerys, F. Hilker. L. Frese), cybernetic pedagogy (F. von Cube, H. Frank), and group pedagogy (M. Kelber, E. Hofmann).

In contemporary bourgeois pedagogy, the chief topic studied is didactics. In particular, researchers are trying to elucidate the psychological mechanisms governing instruction and learning (J. Bruner, J. Piaget, H. Roth). They are attempting to adapt education to the needs of each student; the goal of their efforts approaches individual instruction. To help realize these aims the audiovisual-aid method has been developed. Programmed instruction, fashionable in the 1950’s and 1960’s, did not justify the expectations it had raised: special research conducted in the USA in the late 1960’s indicated that 70 percent of the instructional programs were ineffective.

In many countries, and particularly in the USA, much attention is devoted to modernizing the content of education. Work on moral upbringing has increased, though as a rule this aspect of education is discussed in terms of religious morality, individualism, and abstract humanism. Dependence on idealist philosophy and on the sociopolitical ideals of the imperialist circles determines the basic direction of educational research. Bourgeois pedagogy is used to instill in young people the “moral values” of bourgeois society and the ideas of “social partnership” and convergence. The inability of bourgeois pedagogy to solve urgent problems of instruction and upbringing under capitalism has helped to disseminate the conviction that schools in general are outdated and that the society of the future can do without them. Most works of bourgeois pedagogues on upbringing either openly or obliquely preach anticommunism. The dissemination of bourgeois concepts of upbringing in capitalist countries is greatly impeded by the work of Marxist pedagogues, who publicize the achievements of socialist pedagogy and criticize the antidemocratic and antiscientific theories and practices of upbringing in the bourgeois world.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.