Even though the reception of John Dewey’s pedagogical theories in Russia and the Soviet Union has been extensively investigated, there are still several little-known aspects to the subject, especially concerning the circulation of his ideas in Tsarist and post-revolutionary Russia, and it is on these that this article focuses. Dewey’s works were translated into Russian at the beginning of the twentieth century and again after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. During the 1920s, his writings formed the basis of a series of experiments in the reform of Soviet schools, which were not conceived as authoritarian institutions as they were later in the 1930s, under Stalinism. This article is divided into three parts. The first introduces the context in which Dewey’s works were first translated into Russian, before the Revolution, in order to reform Tsarist schools. The second deals with the spread of Dewey’s theories, and in particular the place of American concepts within Soviet reforms, as they corresponded to the values and purposes of the Marxist schools that the new Bolshevik government defined as polytechnics, charged to train future collective workers. The third section describes some aspects of the Soviet educational system that are presented in Dewey’s work Impressions of Soviet Russia and the Revolutionary World: Mexico – China – Turkey, which he wrote in 1929 after his trip to Russia in the previous year. In this writing, he observed the creation of a Marxist educational system during the 1920s, through which American activism was diffused.

John Dewey’s Impressions of Soviet Russia, and the Post-revolutionary Educational System / Dorena Caroli. - ELETTRONICO. - (2021), pp. 225-236. (Intervento presentato al convegno Second International Conference "Scuola democratica" Reinventing Education tenutosi a Roma (online) nel 3-5 giugno 2021).

John Dewey’s Impressions of Soviet Russia, and the Post-revolutionary Educational System

Dorena Caroli
2021

Abstract

Even though the reception of John Dewey’s pedagogical theories in Russia and the Soviet Union has been extensively investigated, there are still several little-known aspects to the subject, especially concerning the circulation of his ideas in Tsarist and post-revolutionary Russia, and it is on these that this article focuses. Dewey’s works were translated into Russian at the beginning of the twentieth century and again after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. During the 1920s, his writings formed the basis of a series of experiments in the reform of Soviet schools, which were not conceived as authoritarian institutions as they were later in the 1930s, under Stalinism. This article is divided into three parts. The first introduces the context in which Dewey’s works were first translated into Russian, before the Revolution, in order to reform Tsarist schools. The second deals with the spread of Dewey’s theories, and in particular the place of American concepts within Soviet reforms, as they corresponded to the values and purposes of the Marxist schools that the new Bolshevik government defined as polytechnics, charged to train future collective workers. The third section describes some aspects of the Soviet educational system that are presented in Dewey’s work Impressions of Soviet Russia and the Revolutionary World: Mexico – China – Turkey, which he wrote in 1929 after his trip to Russia in the previous year. In this writing, he observed the creation of a Marxist educational system during the 1920s, through which American activism was diffused.
2021
Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of the Journal Scuola Democratica REINVENTING EDUCATION VOLUME I Citizenship, Work and The Global Age
225
236
John Dewey’s Impressions of Soviet Russia, and the Post-revolutionary Educational System / Dorena Caroli. - ELETTRONICO. - (2021), pp. 225-236. (Intervento presentato al convegno Second International Conference "Scuola democratica" Reinventing Education tenutosi a Roma (online) nel 3-5 giugno 2021).
Dorena Caroli
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