* war and social upheaval: The Cold War -- Space Race schools

The Cold War: Space Race--Schools

Soviet space program
Figure 1.--Here we see Soviet Kindegartners dressed up for a May Day celebration. Botice some of the boys gert to wear Cosmonaut outfits. We see all kinds of celebratiins like this at Soviet schools. The Space race, however, had very lottle ipact on Soviet education. There was already a strong emphasis on math and science. Despite developing all kinds of advanced technology, very little found its way into the Soviet economy.

Children have an innate interest in space and the solar system, rather like dinosurs, Here for whatever reason there is a gender difference, with boys more interested than girls. We think that this is especially the case of dinosaurs, but also true of space. We see various activities at schools. We are not sure how many changes took place in Soviet schools. There was already a strong focus on math and science. There were changes in American schools with an increasing focus on math, science, and foreign language. The America Federal NDEA help finance thios in schools across the country. We see kids dressing up in astronaut/cosmonaur costumes, at least the boys. But we do not see anything more than superficial promotions. It made for great domestic and international propaganda, especially as all of the early first were achieved by the Soviets. Of course the Americans in the end won the race to the moon with Apollo 11 (1969). This was great Cold war propganda, but both the Soviets and the Americans had the technical skills to get to the moon. The American victory was basically a matter of needed funds. The American capitalist economy was more productive and efficient and could afford huge expenitures. The Soviet economy was hard put to support the enormous level of military spending associated with the Cold War. What was really important about the space race was the degree to which the technology was available to develop new products and industries for the civilan economy. This occured in America and the west. In the Soviet Union, technological advannces were kept secret, not only from the Americans, but from Soviet enterprises which could have developed consumer products. Another factor was that unlike the West, Soviet scientists and technicuans did not benefit financially from their accomplishments.


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Created: 10:11 PM 8/30/2020
Last updated: 10:11 PM 8/30/2020