Computers in the classrooms of an authoritarian country: The case of Soviet Latvia (1980s-1991)

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Our study focuses on the time when the subject 'Informatics and basics of computing techniques' was introduced in Soviet secondary schools' curriculum during Gorbachev's perestroika in 1985. The sources of our research were reflections on computing and informatics studies in the Soviet press, as well as interviews with early informatics teachers and students. The story of the entering of the computer into the classroom of one Soviet republic - Latvia - reveals the introduction of major innovation in everyday school life: how the need for innovation is explained and justified in the authoritarian country, and how it is accepted by educational consumers and innovation subjects - students, teachers and society in general; what changes in the socialization process of schooling accompany innovation: how innovation processes accumulate unintentionally transmitted values, belief systems and relational norms, and how innovation can generate social agreements "not to see" what is in hidden in plain sight - a hidden curriculum, the inevitable companion to schooling.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHow Computers Entered the Classroom, 1960-2000
Subtitle of host publicationHistorical Perspectives
EditorsCarmen Flury, Michael Geiss
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherDe Gruyter Oldenbourg
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783110780147
ISBN (Print)9783110779592
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Hidden curriculum
  • Informatics
  • Soviet Latvia
  • Soviet school

Field of Science*

  • 5.3 Educational sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.1. Articles or chapters in proceedings/scientific books indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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