Lenin’s Lessons on Schooling for the Left in the UK

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Abstract

If the recent revival in academic interest in Lenin’s theory has overlooked his few writings on education, this may be because they appear to offer so little. This paper seeks to rectify this oversight. Whilst acknowledging that Lenin’s educational offerings are thin, it is proposed that those on the left in the Twenty-First Century might profitably revisit Lenin’s arguments regarding the class character of education, and apply the lessons to contemporary conditions. In this regard particular attention will be paid to the UK. That those even on the radical left in Britain who disavow ‘political’ intervention in schooling might take a lesson from, of all people, Lenin, seems to challenge credulity. But, it is argued, they should, and so might usefully understand Lenin’s appreciation of the truth that all education is Political. Taking as a focus, Lenin’s pre-1917 critiques of bourgeois education, this paper argues that they constitute a relevant source for discussion of curriculum, ‘discipline’ and the orientation of schooling towards the workplace. The distinctiveness of Lenin’s position within the Bolshevik faction in the wake of 1905 can be seen as in part to do with his approach towards longer term changes in consciousness a propos public pedagogy as much as in relation to revolution. Lenin’s materialist realism set him against the educational strategies of the vperedists; yet, in retrospect, was theirs the more realistic view? The lessons of this rift relate to the relative importance of schooling, its content and structures, for the construction of socialism. However, this is not a historical study, but an attempt to reinvigorate Lenin’s educational ideas for the current period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-72
JournalJournal for Critical Education Policy Studies
Volume12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Education
  • Lenin
  • politics
  • social class

Cite this

Boxley, S. (2015). Lenin’s Lessons on Schooling for the Left in the UK. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 12(3), 44-72.
Boxley, Simon. / Lenin’s Lessons on Schooling for the Left in the UK. In: Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies. 2015 ; Vol. 12, No. 3. pp. 44-72.
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Boxley, S 2015, 'Lenin’s Lessons on Schooling for the Left in the UK', Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 44-72.

Lenin’s Lessons on Schooling for the Left in the UK. / Boxley, Simon.

In: Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, Vol. 12, No. 3, 02.01.2015, p. 44-72.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Boxley S. Lenin’s Lessons on Schooling for the Left in the UK. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies. 2015 Jan 2;12(3):44-72.