This article deals with theoretical starting points for research on the needs and requirements of a socialist society with regard to education. The first part describes the position of the respective problems in the Marxist pedagogy: The latter recognizes the necessity of respecting social needs (requirements) in forming conceptions for the development of education, but it has so far failed to work out the necessary machinery for ascertaining and analysing these needs. In this context the article formulates research tasks and questions for the pedagogical research into social needs. The second part of the article describes conceptions of social needs coming into play in the Marxist philosophy and sociology. These conceptions are the basis for a pedagogical interpretation of the problem of social needs (part 3). Formulations are given of the basic definitions setting forth the substance of social needs with regard to education. Conclusions arrived at in the article are as follows: a) In the content of social needs concerning education a strong position is held by economic needs, which goes not only for vocational (professional) education, but also for general education. These economic needs have let to theoretical studies of such phenomena as the „quality of education“, „productivity (effectiveness) of education“, „the learner's profile“ on completing a certain type of education, and others. Study of these phenomena, also from the point of view of pedagogy and especially of didactic, can be regarded as extremely desirable and urgent It would be wrong to disregard these economic needs concerning education, but it would be just as wrong not to see anything else. For social needs with regard to education also include the needs that are only indirectly connected with economics: They are expressed in the requirements for an all-round and harmonious development of each member of the socialist society. b) In the literature published in Czechoslovakia and abroad there are no works (except for some first attempts) dealing directly with the ascertainment and analysis of social needs with regard to education and their transformations into educational projects. Certain attempts at exactly ascertaining the needs of the socialist society in regard to prospective educational systems in some subjects taught at schools providing general education are contained in the works of those engaged in solving research task VIII-5-4/2 at the Pedagogical Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. The methods and results of these empirical studies will be described in another article.