Palaces and Houses of Pioneers and Schoolchildren
Palaces and Houses of Pioneers and Schoolchildren
extracurricular institutions within the system of the ministries of education (public education) of the Union republics; organizational and instructional-methodological centers of mass extracurricular work with schoolchildren that, with the school and the Pioneer and Komsomol organizations, set the tasks of the communist upbringing of the growing generation. These institutions are subdivided into organizations on the raion, municipal, oblast, krai, and republic levels; they operate under the direction of the appropriate organs of public education, councils of the Pioneer organization, and Komsomol committees.
The first Palaces and Houses of Pioneers and Schoolchildren in the USSR were opened in 1923–24 in Moscow. During the 1930’s Palaces and Houses of Pioneers and Schoolchildren were organized in Leningrad, Sverdlovsk, Tbilisi, Kiev, Irkutsk, and other cities and raions of the country. In 1971 more than 3,500 were operating in the USSR. There are circles, sections, clubs, and other children’s creative groups within the organization that function according to the age, level of skills, and interests of the children, as well as to the local conditions and the specifics of the development of the national economy in the given raion, city, or village. The educational work (political, cultural, technological, and artistic work as well as tourism and regional studies, camping, junior natural history studies, and military games and sports) is aimed at developing love and interest for work and knowledge, the creative capabilities of adolescents, the vocational orientation of children, and amateur and social activities among schoolchildren.
The work of the circles is constructed along the lines of the model programs approved by the Ministry of Education of the USSR and the Central Council of the All-Union Pioneer organization, and it does not duplicate the school programs. Each circle, club, section, and other group (learning workshop, laboratory, ensemble, orchestra, choral group, children’s theater) of the Palaces and Houses of Pioneers and Schoolchildren is a methodological laboratory for analogous children’s associations in schools, in school-sponsored neighborhood institutions, in camps, and so on. One of the basic principles of work with the circles is “When you have learned something, teach it to a friend.”
Palaces and Houses of Pioneers and Schoolchildren organize and conduct Pioneer holidays, assemblies, conferences, parades, competitions, exhibits of children’s creative work, competitions in subjects of the school curriculum, athletic games, military games and sports, and tourist and camping trips.
Palaces and Houses of Pioneers and Schoolchildren suggest ways to help improve the content, form, and methods of extracurricular work of the active members of the Pioneer and Komsomol organizations, teacher-training specialists, employees of extracurricular institutions, and public-spirited people who organize the leisure time of children in their neighborhoods. The Palaces and Houses work with institutes for teacher improvement, councils of the Pioneer organization, and committees of the Komsomol to organize seminars, clubs, universities for active members, and camp assemblies; to prepare methodological literature; and to found methodological associations for teacher-training specialists and parents on the various trends in educational work.
For their successful work in the communist upbringing of the growing generation the Moscow, Leningrad, and Tbilisi Palaces of Pioneers and Schoolchildren were awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.
O. I. GREKOVA
At first the Palaces and Houses of Pioneers and Schoolchildren were primarily located in private homes and palaces that had been remodeled for these purposes (the Palace of Pioneers in the former Anichkov Palace in Leningrad, 1937; architects, A. I. Gegello and D. L. Krichevskii). Imitation of palace architecture of the past predominated in the construction of new buildings for Palaces and Houses of Pioneers that began in the mid-1930’s. It was only in the late 1950’s that innovations began to appear, based on the utilization of modern construction techniques, structural elements, and materials. The space utilization and external appearance of the palaces corresponded to their social purpose—for example, the largest Palace of Pioneers and Schoolchildren in the USSR, built with Komsomol funds on the Lenin Hills in Moscow (1959–63; architects, I. A. Pokrovskii, F. A. Novikov, V. S. Egerev, V. S. Kubasov, B. V. Palui, and M. N. Khazhakian; engineer, Iu. I. Ionov). Another example is the Palace of Pioneers in Kiev (1965; architects, A. M. Miletskii and E. A. Bil’skii).
The structure of present-day Palaces and Houses of Pioneers and Schoolchildren is low-storied for work with children and has individual functional zones and premises for specific activities (meetings, assemblies, and lectures; junior natural history studies; and technological and artistic activities). The presence of areas differing in purpose and equipment determines the complex, branched form of many of the buildings that have separate housing for each function (the so-called block type). Buildings of the corridor type have the various rooms located along a corridor that usually surrounds an inner courtyard. The Palaces and Houses of Pioneers and Schoolchildren are designed to achieve synthesis of the arts. The building and the adjoining area with parade grounds, fields for games and sports, and other facilities form a unified whole.
V. V. KIRILLOV