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Non-Soviet Children. How Are Children Different And Similar, Separated By Half A Century? - Society
Non-Soviet Children. How Are Children Different And Similar, Separated By Half A Century? - Society

Video: Non-Soviet Children. How Are Children Different And Similar, Separated By Half A Century? - Society

Video: Non-Soviet Children. How Are Children Different And Similar, Separated By Half A Century? - Society

If we can communicate with modern children, how can we find out what was important for Soviet children? This will help us … children's periodicals

At the end of the 1950s, the Pioneer magazine opened the Pioneer Club section, in which the editors encouraged schoolchildren to write letters to which guests who had an undeniable authority at that time were invited (for example, the hero of the Soviet Union, pilot Alexei Maresyev, whose the story of Boris Polevoy told in the book "The Story of a Real Man").

And the students wrote - hundreds of letters with questions, answers, complaints, requests for advice came to the editorial office of the magazine. Then the mail received was processed and appeared on the pages of the magazine in the form of ideologically correct material.

A story of cowardice

In No. 4, 1959, the following letter was published under the heading “Pioneer Club”:

“I was walking home yesterday from school, and two boys were taking a briefcase from a girl in our class. She shouted something at me, I did not hear what. I know these boys, they are from the next yard. I can't handle them. I turned and walked back. And today in class Tamarka called me a coward. She calls everyone names - someone an egoist, someone a coward. For this she falls. They didn’t even take the portfolio away from myself. Does she have the right to call me a coward? After all, all the same, I would not have driven them away, only they would have beaten, and that's all. And in general, can a pioneer fight?

Edik K."

In No. 5, the editorial office reports that 230 children have sent answers to Edik's letter. The opinions of these guys are expressed in the editorial material in the voices of 21 characters - 16 with names and 5 in the form of unnamed portraits with signatures.

We conducted a survey among modern children 11–12 years old, students of one of the lyceums in a city with a population of one million. The questions were:

  1. What do you think Edik should have done?
  2. Is he a coward? If you think so, write why. If you think not, also write why.
  3. Did Tamara have the right to call Edik a coward?
  4. Can you fight? If so, in what cases? And in which ones it is impossible?
  5. What would be your actions in the situation in which Edik found himself?

Then we compared the responses of Soviet and modern children. The installation given in the publication of the “Pioneer Club” sounds like this: “The worst thing is to be cowardly,” and the majority considers the boy Edik not only a coward, but also a scoundrel. In 2018, the opinion of children was different: a minority considers him a coward. In addition, halftones appeared in the responses.

If in 1959 there were two options - "a coward" and "not a coward", then in 2018 a third appeared, where we attributed answers like: "He is not a coward and not brave, he is indifferent", "He just did not think about his actions." …

However, the difference in the responses of the two generations of children is not only this. It is curious that 54% of today's children wrote that in this situation they would turn to adults - parents, class teacher or just a passerby - to help resolve the situation. Many of the thoughts expressed by the guys in 1959 and 2018 converge. For example, that Edik “simply calculated his strength correctly”; if he intervened, Tamara would have suffered even more; that you cannot fight, except in special cases; that girls need to be protected. But the proposal to turn here and now for help from elders in 1959 did not sound.

In the same way, the idea of negotiations did not sound, and yet 37% of modern schoolchildren wrote that they would come up and try to influence the fighters with words. The Soviet pioneers, on the other hand, suggested that the issue be resolved by action - to intervene, repel, beat.

A story of friendship and dislike

A guest in the “Pioneer Club” No. 3 for 1958 is a teacher Maya Benediktovna Kopeliovich from the city of Yuryuzan, Chelyabinsk region. She tells two stories - about the arrogant girl Marina and about the indifferent "self-lover and careerist" Andrei, who is not loved by everyone, including the teacher. This publication gave us the idea of another survey among modern schoolchildren of 11-15 years old. We asked them: “How do you feel about people? How do people feel about you? " and “What is loneliness? Why do people become lonely?"

The largest percentage of answers (more than half) fell on the option “I treat other people well”, then “people treat me well” goes with a small margin. An essential part (about a third) was taken by the answer “in different ways”. All of these children wrote that relationships depend on the person and the circumstances. And how to communicate with a person if he behaves badly?

Here we come to the question of loneliness

People become lonely, "when they are rude", "they are angry, callous", "when someone betrays", "do not want to communicate, make friends", "when they lose friends, relatives", "because of dirty linen, fights", " because of their negligence towards other people "," when they think only of themselves."

In "Pioneer" the opinion sounded that any person can be remade. Is it so? Most of the modern 14-15-year-old children we surveyed believe that it is possible to change a person. The answer of one of the girls almost literally coincided with the quote from “Pioneer”: “You need to be patient and find an approach to the person. And you need to talk to the person, point out to him his wrong actions, if the person understands and wants to change, then everything will work out."

Is it possible to win the love of other people?

Most people think it can. How to do it? "Having common interests with them", "behaving correctly and culturally", "helping", "showing oneself from the best side", "trying to understand them", "paying more attention", "good behavior", "making compliments", "Be friendly and respectful."

Marina, the heroine from the story in Pioneer, was “executed with contempt” by her classmates for her pride. In the publication, the children told a few more cases describing the upbringing and "remaking" of their comrades with the help of encouragement and punishment. What is more important for educating a person - to praise or punish him?

Almost 60% of the surveyed modern children aged 14–15 believe that only praise or only punishment does not work. A person must not only be punished, but also praised. Because "everything must be done in moderation", "upbringing of a person is like the scales", "there must be a golden mean in every upbringing."

So what's the difference?

Comparing the statements and thoughts of schoolchildren in the 1950s and 2018, we see that modern children write more about feelings - their own and those of others, they are more inclined to listen to them, try to analyze them, and are more inclined to empathy and reflection. They are not as intransigent about the actions of their peers as the pioneers of the fifties.

Today's children and adolescents believe in communication. Most are convinced that the problem must first be solved in words and that this is quite possible

They tend to trust adults and are ready to turn to them for help if necessary, both from acquaintances and strangers.

As for the opinions of others, both Soviet and modern children believe that the good attitude and love of others can be won by doing what they like and "doing the right thing." However, modern children also write that "if a person hates you, then nothing can be done, it is not worth trying." This indirectly indicates the understanding that the attitude of other people does not always depend on you, others may have their own internal reasons to act one way or another.

We can say that modern children and adolescents have more knowledge and understanding of everyday psychology, using definitions that are most likely unfamiliar or unfamiliar to their peers from the 1950s

They talk about "the totality of personality traits", "individual psyche", "inner world". They use words like motivation and aggressiveness. Moreover, both of them consider overcoming as one of the ways to change oneself.

The cultural and historical changes that have taken place in our country over the past fifty years could not but affect the upbringing of children, drawing the attention of our compatriots both to their own inner world and to the manifestations of the inner world of other people.

There are quite a few fans of the Soviet model of upbringing, where the word of the elder was the law, and the child only needed to obey. Where the one who is not with us is against us. But this model is hopelessly outdated.

Obedient, correct, comfortable children do not make confident adults who know what they want and are ready to defend their point of view

Many modern children already know what some adults should learn - listen to themselves, recognize their emotions, desires and needs. They know how to calmly relate to the dissimilarity, otherness of another person and take it for granted.

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