Codes of Conduct in the Soviet School System. Part 1: The Teacher as the Mouthpiece of the State
The purpose of this article is to analyze Soviet school codes as part of a continuous tradition in Russian education and as a way of arriving at a portrait of Soviet schoolchildren. The article is divided into two parts. The first part provides a brief historical overview of the codes of conduct in prerevolutionary and Soviet school policy
and practice. The body of evidence that we consider includes resolutions of the Soviet government, Soviet regulations about schooling, as well as the corpus of codes of conduct for Soviet schools stretching from the 1930s to the 1980s. The history of codes of conduct in the Soviet school system can be told in several stages: an initial period of complete rejection of all codes of conduct (1917–27), a period of gradual legitimation through the issuance of government resolutions (1927–35), a transitional period of waiting for the adoption of regulations promised by government resolution (1935–43), a decade (1943–54) during which all requirements were based on the “Code for Students,” adopted in 1943, and finally a gradual transition period when disciplinary functions became subject to uniform requirements (1954–72). The “Code for Students” promulgated in 1943 differed from a similar set of rules issued in 1874 as the former sought to construct an ideal image of the Soviet school and student. The fact that the new “Code” came to play a largely symbolic function meant that it lost its ability to actually regulate school discipline on a day-to-day basis.