Primary school teachers as a tool of secularisation of society in communist Czechoslovakia

Zounek, J., Šimáně, M., Knotová, D. (2017). Primary school teachers as a tool of secularisation of society in communist Czechoslovakia. History of Education, 46(4), 480-497.

23. 2. 2017

This study focuses on the secularisation of society in communist Czechoslovakia (1948–1989) as a process in which primary school teachers played an important role. It aims to describe and explain typical everyday situations in which teachers were forced to fulfil tasks in connection with the Communist Party’s politics of secularisation. The text is based on witness memories obtained through oral history interviews, and on examination of historical archival sources and legislation. The study shows that the situations in which teachers found themselves in connection with performing these tasks were often not easy to face. This was, on the one hand, due to the expectations of the political establishment that teachers would obey their instructions meticulously and without reservations. The teachers, on the other hand, strove to interfere in negative ways with the lives of their students (and their families) as little as possible.

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