Chief Pedagogical Institute

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chief Pedagogical Institute


a higher teachers’ training school of the boarding-school type, established by the statute of Dec. 23, 1816, and based on the reorganized St. Petersburg Pedagogical Institute (1804-16). The task of the Chief Pedagogical Institute was the preparation of teachers for the Gymnasiums, teachers and tutors for private and boarding schools, and professors and instructors for institutions of higher learning. It had a six-year course of study and was divided into three sections: physical and mathematical sciences, philosophical and juridical studies, and historical and philological studies. The institute never graduated any students; all of them were transferred to St. Petersburg University in 1819.

After a ten-year interval, in the course of which Russia did not have a specialized higher pedagogical institution and the preparation of teachers was carried out by the universities, the Chief Pedagogical Institute was reestablished by the statute of Sept. 30, 1828. It was divided into the same three sections as earlier. In August 1849 the course was shortened to four years and restricted to two departments: physics and mathematics and history and philology.

For the training of teachers for the primary provincial and parish schools, the Second Division was established on Dec. 12, 1838, as a special branch of the Chief Pedagogical Institute. It served the institute students as a permanent center for practice teaching (a statute of July 26, 1847. abolished it).

The Chief Pedagogical Institute’s student body (in all, 100) was composed of raznochintsy (intellectuals of no definite class), mainly pupils from the religious seminaries. The state subsidized the students and provided them with dormitory accommodations. A severe regime was introduced for the students, with regulations controlling every detail of their behavior. The Chief Pedagogical Institute was expected to turn out teachers dedicated to autocracy and Orthodoxy. With the appointment of I. I. Davydov as director in 1846, the institute became even more reactionary in spirit. This reactionary atmosphere was resisted by several progressive-minded professors, outstanding scholars who exerted a great influence on the students (for example, the philologists I. I. Sreznevskii and N. M. Blagoveshchenskii, the mathematician M. V. Ostrogradskii, the chemist A. A. Voskresenskii, and the botanist I. O. Shikhovskii).

Among the graduates of the institute were N. A. Dobroliubov and D. I. Mendeleev, as well as a number of outstanding professors and teachers, including N. S. Budaev (mathematics), N. A. Vyshnegradskii (pedagogy), and K. D. Kraevich (physics). In all, 682 teachers were graduated by the institute on 11 separate occasions. Of these, 43 became professors and instructors at institutions of higher learning, 377 secondary school teachers, and 262 elementary school teachers. By a decree of Nov. 15, 1858, the institute was closed down (it actually ceased functioning in 1859).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.