Wrong Hand, Wrong Children? The Education of Left-Handed Children in Soviet Latvia
Zanda Rubene
University of Latvia
Linda Daniela
University of Latvia
Dace Medne
Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music
Published 2019-07-12


education of left-handed children
disciplining of the body and mind
Soviet education
project of the “New Soviet man”

How to Cite

Rubene Z., Daniela L. and Medne D. (2019) “Wrong Hand, Wrong Children? The Education of Left-Handed Children in Soviet Latvia”, Acta Paedagogica Vilnensia, 420, pp. 10-28. doi: 10.15388/ActPaed.42.1.


Left-handers have always been surrounded by stigma and controversy, and attitudes toward this group have always been rooted in the ideas and traditions of power relations existing in a given society. Thus, the goal of this study is to describe the retraining of left-handers as it was conducted in Soviet education. The impact of political power on an individual’s body-mind interaction is a significant problem in research on the creation of the “New Soviet Man.” The teaching of left-handed children in the Soviet Union is a noteworthy example of the totalitarian regime’s illusionary endeavors to change human nature. The Soviet education envisaged neither a special attitude nor any particular pedagogical strategies for the work with left-handed children. The Soviet science was based on the anthropological understanding of man as a tabula rasa, which made it possible to explain the omnipotence of Soviet pedagogy as well as the unswerving belief that it was possible to educate every child into a true member of the socialist society. The present study provides insight into the disciplining of the left-handed children’s bodies and minds using pedagogical tools that was being conducted in Soviet Latvia. 

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