Part one deals with the development of this problem. As regards capitalist countries, special attention is given to the investigation of this problem in the Federal Republic of Germany (e. g. Thomae, Bittner), and to the researches in the USSR (e. g. Dukat, Nikolayeva and others) as regards socialist countries. The author deals in greater detail with the research work of I. J. Dukat, whereby she shows that the application of the Marxist-Leninist theory of cognition on the one hand allows a deeper penetration towards the substance of these phenomena, and on the other hand reveals new possibilities of investigation. Part two deals with the objectives and tasks of the research. The research was supposed to provide data
1. showing the profile of the personality of the Czech pupil in the 10 to 15 age-group,
2. allowing to penetrate towards the substance of the example’s and ideal’s structure,
3. allowing to characterize their development as dependent on the pupil’s development and to discover the key stages of that development,
4. showing under what conditions these structures are functional,
5. indicating what formative possibilities are concealed in them,
6. clarifying certain basic -pedagogical problems connected with the functional aspect of the models. Part three makes the objective and the tasks of the research concrete by means of a number of questions and working hypotheses. Part four deals with the methods and techniques of the research and gives an explanation of the basic terms. The method used in the research was the method of indirect observation applying the technique of written statement in the form of an essay. Altogether 2,108 essays were analysed, which were collected in the course of a four-year research from pupils in the 10 to 15 age-group attending the 5th to 9th class of the Elementary Nine-Year School (in the years 1965—1969). The research covered 70 classes (1074 boys and 1094 girls). Part five deals with the results of the research. Only 1.9 per cent of the pupils took a negative or indifferent attitude, the others chose an example to be followed or an ideal. The author look upon the pupil’s choice from various points of view, mentions the sources of the models, points out the types which the pupils prefer, explains the psychological and social causes of their preferences, etc. She pays great attention to the values which the pupils mentioned as the reason for their choice and characterizes the changes in evaluation between the groups of younger pupils (10 and llyear-olds) and older ones (14 and 15-year-olds). She goes on to discuss the structure of the models, the stages of their development, the obstacles that prevent the pupil from following the chosen example (these obstacles are either of a real nature or they are fictitious obstacles conditioned by the degree of the pupil’s mental development and finally the forms and ways of imitating and following the example. The research has confirmed that examples and ideals are even noW a significant educational medium which, if expertly used, can contribute substantially to the education of socialist-minded citizens. Moreover, these structures appear to possess all the pre-requisites for becoming a significant medium of self-education.