New Publication: Socialist Primary School as Seen by Eyewitnesses
Zounek, J., Šimáně, M., & Knotová, D. (2017). Socialist Primary School as Seen by Eyewitnesses: Probing teachers’ life in the South Moravia Region. Praha: Wolters Kluwer.
The book sets out to preserve the memory of school and teachers in former Czechoslovakia before 1989 through interviews its authors made within research “Everyday life of basic schools in the Normalisation period through the eyes of teachers. Using oral history in studying contemporary education history”.
One important part of the book is the history background containing a brief outline of history of socialist education. This chapter provides a broader framework to the individual life stories of teachers. The book also contains a methodological chapter, describing especially the way oral history can be used in history-pedagogy research including the strengths and weaknesses of the method. The chapter is therefore divided into a general methodology part and a part describing the specific methodology applied in the research undertaken by the authors.
The core of the book consists of edited interviews with teacher witnesses. The book also reprints some historical sources, firstly, to supplement memories by the witnesses, and secondly, to show what sources a historian can work with. Many of the sources included in the book are being published for the very first time. They are unique sources of personal nature which many people failed to keep and which are as yet unavailable in archives.