TitleAnton Makarenko in American Education
AbstractAnton Makarenko, one of the predominant Soviet educational theorists of the 1930s, developed a unique system of education designed to reeducate the juvenile delinquents who plagued the Soviet Union following the Bolshevik Revolution. Though he designed his methodology to educate a specific population and to create ideal communist citizens, Makarenko’s techniques continue to be held in high regard and are still used across Eastern Europe and in many other parts of the world. However, American educators possess very little knowledge ofMakarenko’s philosophy. Therefore, this study explored the potential effectiveness ofMakarenko’s methods in American schools and the extent to which they are currently being applied. The study began by examining Makarenko’s methods as they are currently employed in a residential school for mildly cognitively delayed children in Shirokolanovka, Ukraine. The use of Makarenko’s methods appeared to create desirable student characteristics such as leadership skills, discipline, kindness, and responsibility to one’s community, attributes that American schools attempt to develop in their students as well. A review of literature then investigated the fundamental principles of Makarenko’s educational methodology. Additionally, a teacher questionnaire was designed and distributed to Helena School District teachers to measure the applicability of Makarenko’s methods in modem, American classrooms. Teachers rated statements regarding Makarenko’s techniques based on their agreement with the statement and the extent to which the method is currently being practiced in their classroom or school. The results from the questionnaire suggested that the majority of Makarenko’s techniques are effective in American classrooms and many are currently being applied.