Edited by Ben Eklof, Larry E. Holmes and Vera Kaplan 

This volume consists of a collection of essays devoted to study of the most recent educational reform in Russia. Large-scale changes have been effected in finance, structure, governance and curricula. At the same time, there has been a renewed and widespread appreciation for the positive aspects of the Soviet legacy in schooling. The essays presented here compare current educational reform to reforms of the past, analyze it in a broader cultural, political and social context, and study the shifts that have occurred at the different levels of schooling from political decision-making and changes in school administration to the rewriting textbooks and teachers' everyday problems. The authors are Russian educators, who have played a leading role in implementation of the reform, and Western scholars, who have been studying it from its very early stages. Together, they formulate an intricate but cohesive picture, which is in keeping with the complex nature of the reform itself.

Contributors: Kara Brown, (Indiana University) * Ben Eklof (Indiana University) * Isak D. Froumin, (World Bank, Moscow) * Larry E. Holmes (University of South Alabama) * Igor Ionov, (Russian History Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences) * Viacheslav Karpov & Elena Lisovskaya, (Western Michigan University) * Vera Kaplan, (Tel Aviv University) * Stephen T. Kerr, (University of Washington) * James Muckle, (University of Nottingham) * Nadya Peterson, (Hunter College) * Scott Seregny, (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) * Alexander Shevyrev, (Moscow State University) * Janet G. Vaillant, (Harvard University)


Ben Eklof is Professor of History and Education at Indiana University and editor of Khronika: Chronicle of Education in Russia and Eurasia. Among his books are Russian Peasant Schools (1986), Soviet Briefing (1989), School and Society in Tsarist and Soviet Russia (ed., 1993), Democracy in the Russian School (ed., 1993), Russia’s Great Reforms, 1855-1881 (ed., 1994), The World of the Russian Peasant (ed., 1990). Recently, he edited the two volume English language translation of Boris Mironov’s acclaimed Social History of Imperial Russia, 1700-1917. Prof. Eklof continues to work on a volume on the daily life of the Russian school before the Revolution, and to publish on education in the post-Soviet era.


Larry E. Holmes is Professor of History at the University of South Alabama. During the 1992/93 academic year he lectured in Russian and Soviet history at Rostov State University. His publications include: The Kremlin and the Schoolhouse: Reforming Education in Soviet Russia, 1917-1931 (1991); Sotsial’naia istoriia Rossii: 1917-1941 (1994); and Stalin’s School: Moscow’s Model School No. 25, 1931-1937 (1999). A book, Grand Theater: The Administration of Schools in the Russian Republic, 1931-1941, is under preparation.


Vera Kaplan is a research associate at the Cummings Center for Russian and East European Studies, Tel Aviv University. She currently coordinates a research project on ‘The Teaching of History and Formation of New Historical Narratives in Post-Soviet Russia’. She has authored a number of scholarly papers on the history of Russian education, as well as on educational policy and history teaching in contemporary Russia and co-edited a volume entitled, The Teaching of History in Contemporary Russia: Trends and Perspectives (Tel Aviv, 1999). Alongside her research work, Dr. Kaplan teaches courses on modern Russian history at the Department of History, Tel Aviv University.






1. Introduction:

Ben Eklof


I: Educational Policy: Past and Present 

2. Educational Change in Time of Social Revolution: The Case of Post-Communist Russia in Comparative Perspective

Viacheslav Karpov and Elena Lisovskaya

3. School and Schooling under Stalin, 1931_1953

Larry E. Holmes

4. The Experimental Tradition in Russian Education

Stephen T. Kerr

5. Democratic Educational Reform in Russia: Achievements and Setbacks

Isak D. Froumin

6. Demographic Change and the Fate of Russia’s School’s: The Impact of Population Shifts on Educational Practice and Policy

Stephen T. Kerr  

7. The Education of Russian-Speakers in Estonia

Kara D. Brown


II: The Teacher, the Textbook and Educational Practice 

8. Teachers in Post-Soviet Russia: The Past in the Present

Ben Eklof and Scott Seregny

9. Civic Education in a Changing Russia

Janet G. Vaillant

10. History Teaching in Post-Soviet Russia: Coping with Antithetical Traditions

Vera Kaplan

11. Re-writing the National Past: New Image of Russia in History Textbooks of the 1990s

Alexander Shevyrev

12. New Trends in Historical Scholarship and the Teaching of History in Russia’s School

Igor’ Ionov

13. Teaching Literature in the New Russian School

Nadya Peterson

14. The Conduct of Lessons in the Russian School: Is Real Change on the Way?

James Muckle


Notes on Contributors





350 pages 2005
0 7146 57050 cloth £65