Confident optimism, with which Czech and Slovak teachers entered the independent Czechoslovak Republic in 1918, still prevailed at the first teachers’ congress in 1920. The congress discussed and adopted the teachers’ cultural programme, its principal points being comprehensive education, university education for teachers, school administration reform, adjustment of the service and material conditions of the teaching profession, secondary modern schools covering fixed areas, and a number of other partial demands. It was only the obvious reluctance to implement the congress resolutions and the first failures in the early twenties that made the teachers start pondering more profoundly about the broader social pre-requisites for educational reforms and realizing also their own position in the social structure of the bourgeois society. This more realistic view gave rise to the formation of the Socialist Teachers’ Association, which, as an organization of the teachers’ left, strongly influenced further development of the teachers’ movement and took part in the struggle for the implementation of the adopted programme. This long and complex struggle was accompanied by numerous discussions and controversies, which rendered joint action difficult. As a result of different ideological and political orientation different attitudes were taking shape among teachers towards the bourgeois state and state power, towards the ruling coalition, political parties and towards the development of conditions in general; on this basis also different opinions arose as to the tactical approach to be adopted in pushing through their programme demands. From the end of the twenties teachers were divided by controversies regarding the conception of educational reforms, which were criticised by the teachers’ left as pedagogical reformism. The criticism concerned not only the theoretical starting points, the pedagogical and didactic problems of the reform, but it also raised the problem of clarifying broader social questions, especially the question as to whether a far-reaching educational reform is possible at all in a bourgeois society. Subject to controversy were also Schools of Higher Pedagogical Studies, two different conceptions of teacher training in the thirties, organizational and other questions. Long-standing reform efforts, whose manifestation was also great pedagogical activity and the admirable activity of progressive teachers, only led to modest progress. Of major cultural significance were only the rural secondary modern schools enacted as late as 1935. But the experience acquired and the differences in outlook were not without influence on the teachers’ way of thinking, in which there was an apparent change and shift to the left. The teachers’ left had its share of merit in bringing this about.