Textbooks as Propaganda
Poland under Communist Rule, 1944-1989
Textbooks as Propaganda analyzes post-WWII Polish textbooks to show that Communist indoctrination started in the first grade. It increased as students grew older, but its general themes and major ideas were consistent regardless of the age of the readers and the discipline covered.
Textbooks promoted the new, post-war Poland’s boundaries, its alliance and friendship with the Soviet Union, communist ideology, and implementation within the countries of the Soviet bloc. Through a thorough analysis of nearly 1,000 archival textbooks, Joanna Wojdon explores the kind of propaganda incorporated into each school subject. The textbooks included mathematics, science, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, history, Polish language instruction, foreign language instruction, art education, music, civic education, defense training, physical education, and practical technical training. Wojdon also traces the extent of the propaganda, examining its rise and eventual waning in textbooks as the totalitarian state began its decline. Wojdon positions school textbooks and textbook propaganda in the broader context of a changing political system, the system of education in post-World War II Poland. She also poses questions about the effectiveness of the regime’s educational policies.
Originally published in Polish, this edition addresses international audiences and discusses recent research on political influences on school education. This book will appeal to anyone interested in communist-era propaganda or Poland’s development.