Soviet Education under Lenin 

~ It Models U.S. Education for the New millennium ~

Based on quotations from the Russian book:

"On Labour-Oriented Education and Instruction"

by Nadezhda Krupskaya [Lenin's wife & widow]

English translation published in 1982 by Progress Publishers, Moscow, USSR


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Young Pioneers


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Dr. William Glasser

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        Concerned parents around the world need to understand today's global management system which merges labor and "lifelong learning" with socialist ideology, psycho-social manipulation and high tech monitoring.  Only then, can we take our stand, equip our children and prepare for the future.

For background information, please read: Bush, Gorbachev, Shultz and Soviet Education

Molding Human Resources for a Global Workforce & Solidarity Versus Christianity

Nadezhda Krupskaya: "Following the Eight All-Russian Congress of Soviets [1920], a Party conference was planned on public education....  instructions should be linked with practical work, with the problems of building socialism which country faced... that the range of knowledge which should be taught in the schools at each level should be determined in a new way." (page 100)

Marc Tucker, President of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), in a 1992 letter to Hillary Clinton: "We think the great opportunity you have is to remold the entire American system for human resources development.... What is essential is that we create a seamless web of opportunities, to develop one's skills that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone young and old, poor and rich, worker and full-time student. It needs to be a system driven by client needs (not agency regulations or the needs of the organization providing the services), guided by clear standards that define the stages of the system for the people who progress through it, and regulated on the basis of outcomes that providers produce for their clients, not inputs into the system."

Topic Soviet Education Workforce Development in the U.S.


"The pedagogical legacy of Krupskaya, the founder of Soviet pedagogics, meets the objective needs of socialist society and is an extremely valuable contribution to the theory and practice of educating the new man."

"[Our objective] will require a change in the prevailing culture--the attitudes, values, norms and accepted ways of doing things."[1]

       Marc Tucker, the master-mind behind the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). He is calling for a paradigm shift--a total transformation in the way people think, believe, and perceive reality.



"The curricula must lay the foundation of a communist world outlook... Initially, the work of the scientific-pedagogical section proceeded in that direction." p.101-102 "Radical changes in attitudes, values and beliefs are required to move any combination of these agendas." Marc Tucker's 1992 letter to Hillary Clinton


"Constantly consulting Lenin, she clearly formulated that tasks of socialist schools. Krupskaya attached particular important to the link between school and life and to the participation of schoolchildren in labour."

1932: "The Society of Marxist Pedagogues considers the questions of vocational orientation and choosing an occupation a component part of making the school  polytechnical; they consider the introduction of polytechnical education to the schools a major part of t the struggle for socialism." p.148

   "A renewed federal focus on youth challenges local communities to
achieve a level of collaboration that brings together local workforce
training providers, schools,
community organizations, business and
others in an effort to develop an overall youth training and
employment system including improved linkages with local labor
market needs Local youth programs will be linked more loosely to local labor market needs."

    "Create the comprehensive service delivery system based on sound
individual assessments"
Workforce Investment Act





1936: In the earliest days of its existence, Soviet power began to smash the class barriers and has reorganized the entire system of public education, striving in every way to arm workers with knowledge and selections from the total sum of knowledge that which is most essential for the cultural growth of the masses." p.150  "....what we are about is total restructuring... What it amounts to is a total transformation of our society. We have moved into a new era...  I'm not sure we have really begun to comprehend and act on sufficiently is the incredible amount of organizational restructuring and human resource development restructuring." McCune, speaking at the 1989 Governors Conference on Education.


contrary facts or certainties

 A uniform labour school was established whose curricula were freed from obsolete nonsense.... The reorganisation of the system of public education along new lines was carried out at a time of ... a radical reorganising of the entire social structure." p.150      "What the revolution has been in curriculum is that we no longer are teaching facts to children.... we no longer see the teaching of facts and information as the primary outcome of education.  We use facts and we use changing facts in a variety of ways to teach them information processing." Shirley McCune 




"[1926] Above all, we must awaken in children a deep interest in social phenomena. This is one of the guiding principles of the programmes developed by the State Academic Council  -- namely, to open the eyes of children to what is taking place around them...." p.116

The goal and process are explained in chapters 5 & 6 in Brave New Schools: "Establishing a Global Spirituality" and "Serving a Greater Whole."



 The methods employed in following these programmes should also provide an emotional impetus.... A school's success is measured by its ability to educate children so that they will be actively concerned with all social issues. The old schools were indifferent to everything. As to Soviet schools, everything is their concern." 116       

That's now true in America-- even with math. See 'Fuzzy' Math May Eventually Give Students the 'Blues'

"We have to understand that the only way anyone ever learns is from their own frame of reference, and that all learning begins with the affective [dealing with feelings and emotions] parts of life." 

       Dr. Shirley McCune, keynote speaker at the 1989 Governors Conference on Education, led by  Bill Clinton 




"As a child learns to express his own thoughts and feelings, he becomes interested in the expression of thoughts and feelings of others.... Schools should strengthen and deepen the child's awakened social instincts, and show him that human life in society is founded on labour, teach him to rejoice in creative productive labour and make him feel that he is part and a useful member of the a community." p.50 "...foster inclusionary strategies for integrating workforce training, education, and other community offerings to local youth...." Vision

"It is important to emphasize local flexibility to bring positive social behaviors and soft skills training into he mix of services provided to each youth.  Such skills, including appropriate attitudinal development and self esteem building will help to enable event he hardest to serve young person to succeed....." Vision



It is extremely important that work be of a collective nature...." p.50 Group thinking, group work and group grades has become the norm in classrooms everywhere.



"...there is a profound self-analysis and systematisation of acquired impressions. Adolescents study themselves, society, and various branches of knowledge and types of skills. Critical thinking is then especially active. ... It is extremely important that by that time, the pupil possess a sufficient store of impressions and facts.... This is the period during which a worldview is developed. Thus it is especially important that pupils be given a method, a guiding light by which to organise the knowledge they have acquired." p.51

 [C]ritical thinking means not only learning how to think for oneself, but it also means learning how to subvert the traditional values in your society. You're not thinking "critically" if you're accepting the values that mommy and daddy taught you. That's not "critical."[xxii]

     Raymond English, Vice President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, presented this negative summary of a scheme already established in U.S. schools to the National Advisory Council on Educational Research and Improvement. See Mental Health and New Meanings




    But this is not all. All pupils should acquire the habit of taking an active approach to each question. A road must be repaired. It is in a poor state. ... This worries them. and the next step is this: what can we, the school collective, do in order to put things right?" p.116 Both "whole language" and the "consensus process" use stories and illustrations that evoke feelings and build politically correct social concerns, motivating students to become activists for a new world order.



"The Young Communist League now faces the task of planning the work of the Young Pioneers for the next five-year period." p.96 The Youth Council as a Catalyst for Systemic Reform. Central to implementing this new vision for serving youth is the establishment of the local youth council, an integral part of the local Workforce Investment Board. WIA Vision



and monitoring

1928: "The next step is the distribution of work. This calls for a knowledge of each pupil's ability to work. Next, there is a need for checking up, for public control in the process of work, help to lagging sectors, a discussion of difficulties. And, finally, the evaluation of  their work done.... But lessons alone cannot teach pupils to evaluate their work and help check up the work of others. Such an ability is only acquired in the course of collective work.....

     Today everyone speaks of self-criticism. 

"Individual assessment of each youth will require that the local program operators tailor services and activities to effectively meet each youth's specific needs.  We envision the provision of activities tied to the age and maturity level of each individual youth." WIA Vision

"We encourage States to establish additional performance indicators to measure State and local performance goals." WIA Vision

  1932: "By correctly combining physical labour occupations with mental labor occupations and doing this on a  large scale we shall undermine the very foundations of the social divisions of people into intellectuals and people engaged in physical labour." p.146 "Achieving Equality Through High Standards and Accountability. The federal government can, and must help close the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their peers." NCLB
    All students Taught by Quality Teachers

New meaning of Morality

1932: "Lenin also said that the young generation should evolve a new, communist morality that would subordinate personal interests to general ones and should develop the conscious discipline of the fighters and builders, that the younger generation should know how to achieve solidarity in their struggle...." p.43, 37 Additional funds will be provided for Character Education grants to states and district to train teachers in methods of incorporating [a new kind of] character-building lessons and activities into the classroom. NC part 2



"State planning of the national economy is the element that radically distinguishes the socialist economic system from the capitalist one." 103p. 37] "...create a single comprehensive system for professional and technical education that meets the requirements of everyone from high school students to skilled dislocated workers, from the hard core unemployed to employed adults....The question is how to get from where we are to where we want to be." Marc Tucker's Letter to Hillary
TQM: continual change "Modern Industry never looks upon and treats the existing form of  a process as final... It is continually causing changes...." p.146 TQM includes adapting human resources to continual change. Nothing -- truth, values, etc. -- can be seen as absolute or unchanging. 
TQM: Stakeholder "But the primary objective of socially useful work is an educational objective namely, to educate socially active persons, and that will be possible only when the objectives are close to the hearts of children, understandable to them, and perceived as their own objectives." p.123-124 Create "feel good' goals that children will pursue without coercion.  Everything must be "relevant" to their interests and perceived as their own desires When we put all this information together - the needs... behavior, and our ability to create completely new behaviors - we have the basics of control theory."

     William Glasser, M.D., The Quality School: Managing Students Without Coercion

Tucker "Lenin ... viewed schools as an instrument for preparing a classless society and for reeducating the entire rising generation in the spirit of communism." p.37 "What is essential is that we create a seamless web of opportunities, to develop one's skills that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone young and old, poor and rich, worker and full-time student." Marc Tucker's Letter to Hillary

1933: "Marx wished to remove the education of the rising generation from the hands of the Church and the bourgeois state." p.36

"Lenin always attached great importance to the education of the new generation. He viewed schools as an instrument for preparing a classless society and for reeducating the entire rising generation in the spirit of communism." p.37

"The system of toys designed by Montessori intends to encourage the smallest children to learn to observe and exercise their senses by selecting toys rather than by the use of words." p.50

"At this time the question of educating the adults is the most urgent one...." p.54

"The teaching of labour in polytechnic schools must develop both general work skills and habits.  ... These activities play an enormous role in teaching children collective work habits and a social approach to their work.... It should also develop in pupils the ability to link theory with practice.... p.66

The nature of modern large-scale industry is such that it creates a demand for specialists who can adapt to the continually changing conditions. This is why the teaching of work skills and habits is increasingly being conducted....p.67

"... we must equip [the younger generation] with an understanding of the scientific foundations of industrial production as a whole...." p.68

Polytechnical education must inspire the younger generation with the romantic character of socialist economic development and enable them to participate in building socialism... and to familiarize themselves with the various branches of the national economy through practical activities. p.68

Universal polytechnical education will enhance the women's share in production." p.69

The rapid rate at which our national economy is being reorganized makes the regrouping of the work force and the changes in the jobs they perform even more massive and profound... [It] demands an ability to adapt to radically changing functions. p.69-70

In his pamphlet entitled 'A great Beginning' Lenin.... wrote that a characteristic feature of our building socialism are different social relations. What are the social relations in capitalist countries? ... . This different type of social relations, the power of the Soviets, creates conditions for the masses' work... and it is only within that social bond that the creative force of the masses is born..." p.75

"Propaganda of polytechnical education should be related to life and reality, and supported by actual examples. It should be a discussion of practical questions rather than abstract talk." p.79

"Sound films and radio are new advances in technology. We are borrowing them from capitalist countries, but we are using them for diametrically opposite objectives. We are using them in order to disseminate our socialist culture among the broadest masses." p.82

"With the help of radio and cinema our best experts ... can be placed at the service of socialist education and the introduction of polytechnical education to the schools." p.83

"In his theses on production propaganda, Lenin included a point saying that efforts to eliminate illiteracy should be linked with production propaganda.... Here the Society of Marxist Pedagogues must do a great deal." p.86

"In the old schools, theory was usually divorced from practice.... The heads of children began to be stuffed with wide-ranging knowledge, but divorced from life and practical work, that knowledge was quickly forgotten. This led many teachers to propose that greater emphasis be placed on the development of work skills and habits." p.92 

"The Party continually worked on forging a revolutionary theory, gradually developing it and fertilizing it with living experience." p.93

"Quantity is transformed into quality. The universal character of polytechnical schools transforms them into a means for eliminating the divisions of society ... into representatives of mental labour and of physical labour, equipping each person with knowledge and an ability to work, and clearing the way for a classless society." p.95

"Polytechnical schools represent a path to the mastering of knowledge." p.97

"Ilyich particularly noted Marx's statement in the first volume of Capital concerning combining the instruction of children and adolescents with productive labor... labor should be made obligatory for a all adolescents and should be closely associated with instruction." p.98

. Local youth programs will be linked more loosely to local labor market needs...." and will be based on an overall assessment of the strength and challenges experienced by area youths. (WIA, Vision for Youth)

"Special 'biases' were established to train elementary workers for intellectual occupations." p.102

"One of the greatest evils and misfortunes left to us by the old, capitalist society is the complete rift between books and practical life.... The old schools did not link the fundamentals of sciences with practical life.... Labor instruction in schools proved to be divorced from other studies, was no not really illumined by the light of knowledge." p.104

"In order to carry out Marx's, Engel's, and Lenin's recommendations and to implement Party Programme [1931]... it is necessary: a) to establish close ties between labor instruction and the study of all other subjects... b) to make labour instruction more systematic..." p.108

"On the  basis of adopted decisions: a) revise curricula for elementary and secondary schools... b) produce curricula for teacher-training colleges and pedagogical institutes that provide for mandatory labor instruction... c) work out a manual on teaching methods...d) work out standards for equipping workshops... e) determine forms of participation by senor schoolchildren... g) organize the training and retraining of teachers of labour." p.109

"In the Communist Manifesto and in the first volume of Capital... whenever they spoke of education, of schools, of bridging the gap between physical and mental labour, Marx and Engels pointed to the need to combine education with productive labour in the schools...." p.110

"Should boys be taught those branches of labor that until now have been considered women's work exclusively...? ...In the future, the further transformation of production and changes in the conditions of community life will bring considerable changes to that aspect of the matter." p.113   

"On that issue [labor instruction in schools] we fought teachers from the old gymnasia, who treated labor with disdain." p.110

See Self as part of a greater whole:

"Among the habits that Soviet schools must cultivate in pupils, the most important is that of being a socially active person who is a collectivist." p.115

"If we want our country to proceed along the road of cooperation, then... we must make the greatest use of opportunities it ideologically overcome the small-proprietor mentality.... Textbooks must be thoroughly permeated with the spirit of collectivism. Such books should teach children systematically the habit of approaching each question from the point of view of the interests of the larger whole..... so that children could get accustomed to view themselves as parts of a whole." p.116

"It is the children who should give assignments to themselves and learn to evaluate the results. The ability to set social tasks for themselves, to resolve them collectively, to attract new forces to their collective, and to make arrangements with other collectives that are also interested in accomplishing these tasks-- that is what schools should teach their pupils ... the social habits that the school cultivates." p.117  

"Cooperative forms of children's labor should become the daily practice both in and outside schools. Clubs are one of he forms of cooperative work." p.117-118

"The joint work of children should be particularly valued, because it is the embryo of collective labour. This is where children's powers develop best." p.122

"If we attribute an educational role to socially useful work, then all children must be involved in it." p.123

"While each pupil in the group should contribute to the common task, those who are stronger should perform work that is more difficult and help those who are weaker." p.124

1929 "Comrade Lenin wrote... 'Communist labour.... is labour performed because it has become a habit to work for common good, and because of a conscious realization (that has become a habit) of the necessity of working for the common good--labour as the requirement of a healthy organism.'" p.126

1932: "It is vital to examine the extent to which the political consciousness of children grows in the process of work, as well as their understanding of class relations... their understanding of socialism and the Party's policy... It is important to establish the extent to which particular types of work increase children's interest in knowledge, and the extent to which they develop habits of independent learning. It is important to establish the extent to which particular types of work develop the ability to take a critical view of one's own work and provide the correct criteria for such self-criticism."

1932: "Polytechnical education plays an exceptionally important role in the building of a classless society... It provides an organic link between theory and practice, lends meaning to practice by rationalising it, while simultaneously extending theory and freeing it from all kinds of scholasticism." 130

1938: "As you know the capitalists hate our country and wish to destroy it..." p.137

1932: "To lead does not mean to command, to order. Commands and orders very often yield poor results. To lead is for those who best know the tasks and understand its very essence. Without knowledge there cannot be a correct leadership." p.144

1932: "The Young Communists league must evaluate the work of its members... and constantly monitor their work." p.144

1932: The Young Communist League should immediately undertake the elimination of the division of the population into intellectuals and people engaged in physical labour. The situation produced by building socialism will itself increasingly contribute to this." p.144

" It is important to know precisely who should be assigned to what jobs. And enormous role is played by the worker's 'profile', that is, the qualities, knowledge and skills he must possess for the particular trade.... There is even a special science that studies the qualities that are needed in particular occupations.... Modern psycho-technology, even bourgeois psycho-technology, can offer a great deal in this respect." p.145 

1937: "We must awaken the consciousness of children...." p.152

1937: "We must not take gifted children believe that they are somehow special and place them in a privileged position. We must see to it that they receive a comprehensive education." p.154

"We must support the initiative of children, help them in their creative work, guide them and their interests." p.154


[1] Marc Tucker, "How We Plan to Do It," Proposal to the New American School Development Corporation: National Center for Education and the Economy, July 9, 1992.

[2]Raymond English, "Research and Improvement in the Social Studies: Reflections of a Private Sector Practitioner," presented to the National Advisory Council on Educational Research and Improvement, April 2, 1987.

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