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What was it like growing up and attending school in the Soviet Union and other socialist societies? Did the lived experiences of children match the official rhetoric of the state or the Western bloc? What agency did children have? My guests today are Iveta Silova and Nelli Piattoeva. Together with Zsuzsa Millei, they have a new co-edited book that explores the memories of everyday life in socialist societies, showing the multiplicity and political nature of childhood experiences.

Their memories challenge the master-narratives that have come to dominate the way we think about the Soviet Union and other Socialist societies. Ultimately, their work pushes the field of comparative education in new directions.

Iveta Silova is a professor at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University and Nelli Piattoeva is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education and Culture, University of Tampere, Finland.

Their new co-edited book is entitled Childhood and Schooling in (Post)Socialist Societies: Memories of Everyday Life.

Nelli Piattoevia’s photo credit: Jonne Renvall/Tampere University

Citation: Silova, Iveta & Piattoeva, Nelli, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 162, podcast audio, www.freshedpodcast.com/Silova-Piattoevia.

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Textbooks are perhaps the most recognizable part of school systems. You go to school; you learn from a textbook.

But what’s inside that textbook your reading? Who wrote it? How are controversial issues dealt with? And how have textbooks changed over time and compare across the country?

My guest today, Jim Williams, has edited or co-edited three volumes on textbooks. The many chapters across the volumes looked at textbooks around the world. The first volume looked at textbooks and national-governments. The second volume explored the issue of identity. And the last zoomed in on textbooks in post-conflict settings.

Jim William is the UNESCO Chair in International Education for Development and Professor of International Education & International Affairs at the George Washington University. While on sabbatical in Tokyo, Jim was kind enough to stop by my office where we recorded this interview.

Citation: Williams, Jim, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 81, podcast audio, July 10, 2017. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/jimwilliams/

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