The author characterises education as the purposeful shaping of people (mainly by teaching, training), above all members of the growing up generation for life in certain social positions, assigned to them by a certain social formation. Pedagogics then, as a sociaS science, should, even in its history, disclose and prove the application of laws governing social development in education, or specific laws governing education as a process which has a share in determining social development, while respecting the relation of education to the ideological superstructure and thereby to the economic basis and production. It should deal with laws, which not only explain the development of education in the past but also enable us to lay down directives for present and future development. This can be achieved only by gathering rich historical material with the help of widely organized research work.
For this purpose it is not enough to compile a history of pedagogics only in the form some »history of pedagogical literature«, it will not suffice to draw upon the work of outstanding pedagogical personalities. Their work does not always reflect the whole complex of educational problems in a given period and the role played by these personalities in reforming education has changed substantially in the course of history — and they are not the only essential agents in developing the theory of education. It is in this connection that the author points out what can be done by a powerful modern school organisation for the development of education. He shows how far-reaching special educational problems have arisen by the development of schools and points out the great significance^ of non-professional educationalists side by side professional ones; he stresses the necessity to devote particular attention to the people as an educational factor, or, to the question of the so-called people’s, folk pedagogics; he touches upon the necessity to adjust suitably the mutual relation between pedagogics and public (popular) educational work (i. e. work concerned with educating the people) from the historical point of view, etc. The history of pedagogics should give, in essence, a complete picture of the development of educational theory and practice, based on dialectical relations between all the educational factors concerned.
The history of pedagogics should devote particular attention to the question of technical education, which reflects directly the development of new social-economic functions. It is necessary to study carefully the typical professions in each historical stage, the laws governing their origin, social functions, hierarchy, metamorphoses and the reflection of all that in education. This will help substantially to explain the laws governing the origin of schools and their types, as well as to explain the relative social significance of the so-called cultural assets and individual sciences in education and instruction. In this connection, it is impossible to neglect the question of education for military and police services. Without this the real picture of class problems in the history of education, the importance of "the functions of violence" for the development of certain branches of science, technique, and thereby also for the development of certain types of education and types of schools, for the instroduction of certain subjects in the curriculum and the like, would be distorted. Socialist pedagogics, however, must in its history pay particularly careful attention to the question of education for the productive and technical activities in all historical stages, especially to the laws governing the transition from training by practical work to the preparation in the form of education at special technical schools, paying heed not only to the development of the production but also to the change of economic relations. It is not the questionof a simple formal requirement that the history should be complete, but is of substantial importance for following the laws governing the development of education and it is of extraordinary importance for our present, which places to the forefront the education of a new generation of young workers and technicians. It is of substantial significance also for the development of the subject-matter of general education from the standpoint of polytechnical education of the present, and it is of particular importance also for the conception of a new type of educationalist - the foreman-master of training in productive trades.