High School Education in Irkutsk in the First Half of the 19th Century

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Kuznetsova Marina Valerievna, Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Associate Professor of Applied Information and Document Sciences Department, ORCID https://orcid.org/ 0000-0001-6672-4309, Irkutsk State University

1 K. Marx St, Irkutsk, Russia, 664003, tel.: +7(3952)426417, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract. Introduction. This study focuses on the activity of an Irkutsk high school in the first half of the 19th century. The quantitative and social structures of  students and teachers in different periods of high school development are presented based on the existing archive materials and those made recently available for research. The paper presents a rather detailed characteristic of teachers and such an approach makes the research interesting. Moreover, it touches upon the issues related to the establishment of the Siberian intelligentsia. The comparison of the historical data on Irkutsk with the data on Russia as a whole fits in with the statement of the problem on the study of “cultural nests”, which has been paid special attention to in the contemporary historical studies. The objective of the study is to demonstrate the activity of high school in Irkutsk, a center of Eastern Siberia, in the context of the development of public education in Russia as whole and in its regions.

Materials and methods. The study employs the methods of comparative analysis of historical documentation, and reconstruction of historical period.

The results of the research. The paper presents the activity of Irkutsk high school in the first half of the 19th century. The emphasis is placed on the following trends in its development: improvement in the quality of knowledge of students, a quantitative growth in the number of learners, a general increase in education and literacy of Irkutskians. The children of nobles and civil servants dominated the social structure of students, whereas the number of children from the families of merchants, militaries and priests was small. In the first half of the 19th century, the teaching staff of the high school included mainly the graduates from Kazan university, Petersburg theological seminary and other higher educational institutions of the country, as well as the school leavers from Irkutsk schools who received additional education in the educational institutions of Russia. Irkutsk high school was the most important educational institution in Siberia in the first half of the 19th century. It contributed greatly to the development of education in Siberia and was at the forefront of the national education.

Keywords: high school, students and teachers social structure, education, quality of knowledge, curriculum, academic performance.

For citation: Kuznetsova M. V. Pedagogicheskiy IMIDZH = Pedagogical IMAGE. 2019; 13(4): 520-535.

UD–°: 373.1

DOI: 10.32343/2409-5052-2019-13-4-520-535


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