Learning in Class

What Lessons in the Soviet School Are Like
  • James Muckle


It scarcely needs saying that within any national education system teachers differ widely. The styles they adopt in the classroom result partly from their training and partly from their personality and the type of instruction they experienced when at school. Much has been made in Western countries of the difference between ‘authoritarian’ and ‘progressive’ teaching styles, and studies have discovered every imaginable point on the scale between the two extremes.1 It is, none the less, possible to generalise about the manner most commonly adopted by teachers in Soviet classrooms. The fact that this is now likely to change under glasnost’ does not alter the fact that there is a flavour which one experiences in a very great many Soviet classrooms, and that this flavour is different from that in many other countries. In this chapter I aim to characterise the dominant teaching style and say how I believe it will change in the future. I shall leave the matter of foreign language teaching to separate chapters, as this is a different matter and one of considerable interest for other reasons.


Teaching Style Soft Sign Music Education Foreign Language Teaching Social Study Teacher 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    The issue attracted wide public attention in England after the publication of S. N. Bennett, Teaching Styles and Pupil Progress (London: Open Books, 1976 ). This work encouraged a mass of discussion, criticism and further studies.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Some of the material used in this chapter is derived from observation of teachers at work, reports of which appeared in Muckle, J., ‘Classroom Interactions in Some Soviet and English Schools’, Comparative Education, vol. 20, no. 2, 1984, pp. 237–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Reported in S. A. Gerasimov (ed.), Sistema esteticheskogo vospitaniya shkol’nikov ( Moscow: Pedagogika, 1983 ), pp. 80–1.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Zverev, I. D. and Kashin, M. P. (eds), Sovershenstvovanie soderzhaniya obrazovaniya v shkole ( Moscow: Pedagogika, 1985 ), p. 62.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© J. Y. Muckle 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Muckle
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NottinghamUK

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