Since the very beginning of the socialist state’s existence the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia’s education policy has centred its attention on pedagogical science and has guided its activities in such a way as to help pedagogical practice. At the present stage of scientific and technological development in the conditions of a development socialist society the contribution of pedagogical science is of particular significance in solving questions concerning the scientific basis of teaching, the development of the young person’s learning, working and other abilities, and the character-building aspects of the educational process as such. All these and other problems are being examined in connection with the realization of ideas embodied in the document entitled For the Further Developm ent of the Czechoslovak Education System. The Pedagogical Research Institute in Prague, as the biggest departm ental scientific and research workplace, is responsible for the preparation and realization of the new conception of pre-school education, education in schools for children and young persons requiring special care, the new conception of the Elementary School, and it shares in the preparation and realization of a new conception of the gymnasium (i. e. senior high school or gram m ar school) for which the Pedagogical Research Institute in Bratislava bears the responsibility.
The focal point of the scientific and research work of the Pedagogical Research Institute in Prague has been the elaboration of a new conception in the teaching of individual subjects at the Elementary School, attention has been paid to solving questions of effective methods and forms of work, inter-subject relations, character building work in class and out of class, and other pedagogical problems.
The new content of education is being gradually verified experimentally and the effectiveness of its new conception is being ascertained under the closest cooperation of research workers with heads of schools, teachers, and other educational workers. Suggestions and com m ents from pedagogical practice on the basic pedagogical documents are being evaluated in the course of the experiment, and are being used for the creation of definitive syllabi, textbooks and m ethodological handbooks (teacher’s books).
Problems requiring time-consuming empirical researches and deep theoretical analyses are to be solved in the five-year plan of departm ental research. In the sphere of the Elementary School p ro blems they include primarily questions of linkage with pre-school education and transition to secondary education, questions of a concrete being given to educational goals and the means of attaining them, questions of the structure of the Elementary School’s content, the verification of the effectiveness of the new content and the like.