The author discusses the shortcomings of one of the most important spheres of ethical education of the youth — the training of team spirit. He points out the incorrect methods used in this field of education, which both in theory and practice mechanically adopted out-dated propositions (formulated by Makarenko under completely different social conditions) without taking into account the dynamic of social development. The existing situation in the education of the younger generation in the spirit of collectivism has been characterized, like any other field of education, by disregarding social realities and the concrete man in the name of social needs which were voluntaristically enforced and frequently conceived abstractly. The idea of the ≫collective≪ became a fetish, its educational function being overestimated and its social function underestimated. This resulted in harmful hypertrophy of organized activities of the youth and in the failure to appreciate the significance of spontaneously formed associations of young people. One of the causes of the unsatisfactory state of education in the field of social relationships of the youth is the lack of conclusive facts about the social life of the generation of adolescents verified by reliable researches. This can be gradually removed by large-scale sociological researches into the life of the young people of today, but as regards the immediate need of the educationists it is absolutely essential to obtain facts about at least some of the fields of the given complex of problems. The author has therefore made an attempt to carry out a research into one of the fields of social relationships of the growing-up schoolchildren of today and has summed up the results in more extensive paper entitled ≫Some facts about the social life of the adolescents of today, especially in the field of inter-personal (in particular inter-individual, friendly) relationships being formed among senior Basic School pupils≪. The article published here is only one of the chapters of that paper. It gives a summary of facts about the desirable forms of associations among 12 to 13- year-olds. It gives concrete answers to the following questions: 1) Which form of association is preferred by senior pupils? — 2) Differences in the manner of association between boys and girls. — 3) Influence of the environment on the form of pupils* associations. — 4) Influence of the conditions of educational work on the form of pupils’ associations. — 5) Occurrence of small informal groups (≫gangs≪) of pupils in school environment. — 6) Significance of intimate friendship in the life of growing-up schoolchildren. The facts found out by the author’s researches have shown, among other things, that a small informal group (gang) is obviously the ideal formation in which senior pupils find maximal satisfaction of their social needs. They cannot find the same satisfaction in being members of such groups as their class at school, especially because it is an artificially created formation always having a definite educational purpose. Furthermore, these groups are too large and so mutual relationships between individual members become complicated and concealed. Young people feel the pressures of this sort of unnatural collective life to be unpleasant and they try to seek those forms of social life which suit their mentality best. The research has unequivocally proved that the ideal forms are on the one hand a small gang, and on the other hand the existence of an intimate friend. The optimal solution is mostly a combination of the two.