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The Reform of Pedagogical Practices in the Soviet Children's Colonies, 1953 -1964s

Student: Nelli Gasimova

Supervisor: Seth Bernstein

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities

Educational Programme: History (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2019

In early Soviet culture, it was extremely important to create “the New Man” from young people. With Stalin’s rise to power, the will to experiment was transformed into a more stable desire to bring up the new generation in a certain way, not to create the new revolutionary kind of people. The leader’s death and the following destalinization once again triggered certain alterations in youth policy. This paper examines the changes in views about a “correct upbringing” and pedagogy during Khrushchev’s rule through children’s labor colonies. This project investigates whether the internal processes in the colonies and their management reflected the overall major transformations the Soviet state was experiencing during the Thaw. Children’s labor colonies used to be a part of the infamous GULAG system, and while historians had examined numerous aspects of “adult” institutions and their aftermath in much detail, there is still a need for more precise analysis of children’s colonies and the conceptual foundation behind the educational policy there.

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