In connection with our school reiorm civic education is being introduced as a new subject into the hinger forms of the Basic Nine-Year School as well as into all types of schools of the second cycle. In view of the fact that this is a new subject all the endeavours and experiences at our schools in this respect in the past should be carefully studied.
From this point of view the most important movement was that for lay ethics in the first three decades of this century, which spread especially in the Czech lands. The Church and its all-powerful influence in the field of education was opposed by the more radical represen tatives of the bourgeoisie, who wanted their own influence to prevail in school education. For this reason they necessarily had to take a stand against churches and religion, which were standing in the way of their free-th inking reforms, especially in the field ethical education. Even though this reform ist movement was of a bourgeois character, it was supported, in its initial stages at least, by the progressive part of educationists and teachers. Only in this way can we explain that we find a great many progressive ideas in it. There were many suggestions for reform , such as the separation of the Church from the State, the exclusion of religion from the school curriculum, the introduction of a special ethical subject based on the prin ciples of lay ethics and the like.
The reform of education in the first Czechoslovak Republic was never carried out. The bourgeoisie, in order to make people believe that it was striving for a secular school, introduced civics as a new subject. The main ob jective of this subject was to foster in the youth the conviction about the justice and the dem ocratic character of the bourgeois system of governm ent.
In spite of this some ideas contained in the works dealing with the problem of lay ethics are suggestive both from the th eoretical and m ethodical point of view, and many of them can be used even at the present time.