The author deals with the question of pedagogical activity in the field of the theory of ethical education in the last seven years. In the first part of his paper the author traces and evaluates the literature concerned from the point of view of its content. He comes to the conclusion that it is gradually beginning to get rid of its former normativism and dogmatism and is seeking for new ways, especially in co-operation with biology, psychology, sociology and anthropology. What appears to be receiving insufficient attention, however, is the question of passive and active methods of ethical education and especially the problem of the influence of external and internal factors on the, mental development of the child, on the development of the child’s independence and activity. The second chapter deals with the theoretical work requirements in the field of education. The author points out that progress in the theory of education can be achieved, if, first of all, the educationists acquire deeper knowledge of scientific methodology and if they apply it consistently in pedagogical research work. Pedagogical science cannot fulfil its social mission unless it works out a theory of education from the viewpoint of the needs of our society both at present and in its prospective development. This theory must be based on a creative application of the teaching about the social substance of man and his activity, about the conditions which influence his development and about the mutual relationships between man, his environment and education. Consequently, it is necessary to determine the aims of education on the basis of economic and social conditions of the development of our society, and to work out a system of educational principles and exactly define their contents and the methods of implementing them. The perfect methodological approach to the task of solving questions of the theory of education also necessitates the application of practice as a criterion of knowledge in pedagogical theory. This is one of the ways of transforming pedagogy from a descriptive and speculative discipline into one of the exact sciences, which would not only describe and explain phenomena and processes, but would also help to change the world. In the third chapter the author touches upon the economic and social conditions and perspectives of scientific work in the theory of education. He refers to the shortcomings which hinder a proper development of pedagogical theory at the present time:
1. With the predominance of the economic aspects of social development education in both capitalist and socialist countries has become a matter of secondary importance.
2. The divorce of theory from practice has resulted in theory lagging behind practice and also quite often in practice lagging behind theory. It has not always been the fault of practice only, but also insufficient care for the results of theoretical researches being put into practice in good time.
3. The insufficient number of experimental schools hinders the development of basic, partial and applied research in all the fields of educational activities.
4. Proper development of pedagogical theory is also hindered by inadequate cooperation with other scientific institutions and other branches. Work on the solution of educational problems ought to be shared, to a far greater extent than hitherto, by teams of workers from various scientific branches (educationists, psychologists, philosophers, sociologists, physicians and others) according to the scope and the nature of the problem investigated. Present-day organization of scientific places of work, which include research institutes, university departments and all sorts of small scattered places, renders this cooperation very difficult.
5. Proper development of scientific work in pedagogy is also hampered by bad material conditions, concerning such things as the setting up of pedagogical laboratories with up-to-date equipment, the providing of foreign literature, the possibilities of study trips abroad and, last but not least, the remuneration of this kind of work and its appraisal in relation to other occupations.