ERIC Number: EJ718727
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 59
Hope, Hostility, and Interest: What Motivated Teachers to Teach about the Soviet Union after World War II
International Journal of Social Education, v19 n1 p48-59 Spr-Sum 2004
Historically, the cold war was a watershed that separated two epochs: the time of abnormal, although compelled, partnership of two political systems and the period of peaceful coexistence with barely hidden hostility. The peacefulness of the latter, however elusive and vulnerable it was from time to time, has to be credited to the cold war, a relatively short period of time in world history, when humankind, and most importantly its leaders, realized how close our world was to self-destruction. The purpose of this article is to trace educators' rationale or motivation for teaching about the Soviet Union in the second half of the 1940s through the1950s, and how their motivation changed during that period. It is argued that although there existed a general tendency and interest among social studies teachers to teach about the Soviet Union these motivations and interests were conditioned by different circumstances and, consequently, pursued different goals. People who are in political power in the United States and Russia now belong to the post-World War II generation. They learned about the Soviet Union/Russia and the United States from their parents, from the media, and in school. The analysis of teachers' motivations in this controversial period of the cold war points out a general attitude toward the Soviet Union among many educators. This attitude can be expressed by the following triad: hopeful curiosity; confrontational hostility; and confrontation and interest.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, War, World History, World Problems, World History, Social Studies, History Instruction, Social Systems, Motivation, International Relations
International Journal of Social Education, Department of History-BB209, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306. Tel: 765-285-8621; Fax: 765-285-5612.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Russia; United States