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The education of Russian women: evolution or revolution; a comparative analysis Klabik-Lozovsky, Nora Neli

Abstract

The hypothesis of the thesis is that changes in provisions for the education of women introduced after the Russian revolution were evolutionary in nature rather than revolutionary. In essence educational traditions rather than political ideology have been an important determining factor in post-revolutionary educational reforms in the Soviet Union and the privileges, rights and equality in education granted to women after 1917 have been inherent in the Russian tradition of education and educational theory prior to 1917. The study traces the history of the education of women from the period of Kievan Rus' in the ninth century to the present with a special emphasis on the second half of the nineteenth century education and educational reforms. It is limited to the analysis of only those ideological and institutional factors which directly affected the education of women. The conclusion reached in this study is that the nature of the educational system of the Soviet Union and the participation of women in the system can be explained in terms of the same determining factors, attitudes and values, within an identifiable social context, which underlined the educational system of the Tsars. Major changes in educational policies, reforms and attitudes towards the education of women in the U.S.S.R. are thus a part of the educational traditions imminent in the ideology and institutional factors of Tsarist Russia rather than Marxist-Leninist educational philosophy. The equal educational opportunities enjoyed by Soviet women today are therefore the result of an evolution rather than a revolution, t The thesis is not a study of all the issues and aspects of the education of women in pre- and post-revolutionary Russia and is focused on those issues and situations which concerned the education of women of Greater Russia, rather than the minorities, in the department of the Fourth Section of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancellery and under the Ministry of Public Education. The study is divided into three parts comprising a total of ten chapters and a conclusion. The first part traces the history of the education of women from the first era of Christianity to 1856, and notes the contributions of the Russian Tsars and their advisors as well as those of Russian philosophers and educators to the development of a system of education for women. The second part, covers the period between 1856 and 1917, certain trends in educational philosophy and the development of a public elementary and secondary system, and the provisions made for the higher education of women are discussed. The third part is a study of the Marxist-Leninist educational philosophy and the extent to which it influenced and modified the development of post-revolutionary educational theories and practices concerning the education of women. The "Last chapter is a comparative analysis of the forces of pre-revolutionary Russian educational traditions and Marxist educational philosophy in the development of equal educational opportunities for women in the U.S.S.R. and indentifies, particularly with respect to the education of women the educational elements common to pre- and post-revolutionary Russia.

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