Girls Gymnasiums

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Girls’ Gymnasiums


secondary institutions of general education in Russia. Girls’ Gymnasiums were divided into schools of the Department of Institutions of the Empress Maria, schools of the Ministry of Public Education, and private schools.

Girl’s Gymnasiums of the Department of Institutions of the Empress Maria (Maria Gymnasiums). In 1862 the Maria Girls’ Academy for Nonresidents became a girls’ Gymnasium. By 1866 seven Gymnasiums had been opened in St. Petersburg (with a seven-year term of study). With these schools as a model, girls’ Gymnasiums were opened in other cities, funded by the Department of Institutions of the Empress Maria. Girls of all classes and religions who had reached the age of eight could attend the schools. The Charter of Girls’ Academies for Nonresidents, established in 1862, was in effect until the Maria Gymnasiums were closed in 1918. In 1859 a one-year pedagogical section (changed in 1864 into two-year pedagogical courses) was opened in the Maria academies; completion certified a woman to be a domashniaia uchiteVnitsa (home teacher).

In 1879 a single required program of instruction was established for all Maria girls’ Gymnasiums ; the curriculum was reorganized to bring it closer to the curriculum of the institutes for girls of the nobility. “The Model Educational Table” adopted in 1905 made the schools’ curriculum finally equivalent to that of the institutes. The girls’ Gymnasiums charged tuition. By 1911 there were 35 Maria girls’ Gymnasiums in Russia with 16,000 pupils.

Girls’ Gymnasiums of the Ministry of Public Education. In 1870 girls’ academies were renamed Gymnasiums and Progymnasiums. They were intended for girls of all classes and religions and consisted of a preparatory class, seven primary grades, and the eighth, pedagogical, grade. The first three grades (and sometimes more) constituted the Progymnasium and could exist as independent educational institutions. The curriculum at the Ministry of Public Education girls’ Gymnasiums was on a slightly higher level than that of the Maria Gymnasiums, but on a lower level than the boys’ Gymnasiums.

A girl who completed seven grades was certified as an elementary teacher; a girl who completed eight grades was certified as a domashniaia uchitel’nitsa, and if she also received a medal, as & domashniaia nastavnitsa (home tutor). Upon graduation from the eighth grade a young woman was guaranteed admittance to the higher courses for women without an examination. All Ministry of Public Education girls’ Gymnasiums charged tuition.

In 1880 there were 79 Gymnasiums and 164 Progymnasiums; in 1909 there were 958 Gymnasium institutions.

Private girls’ Gymnasiums. The private girls’ Gymnasiums followed the rules and programs established by the Ministry of Public Education and were subject to the local school district. In the 1870’s, 23 private Gymnasiums were opened, including seven in St. Petersburg, five in Kharkov, and four in Moscow. Because of their high tuition, only the daughters of independently wealthy parents could attend them. In the better private girls’ Gymnasiums the curriculum corresponded to that of the boys’ Gymnasiums (for example, the Stoiunina Girls’ Gymnasium in Tsarskoe Selo and the S. N. Fisher Classical Gymnasium in Moscow). Some private girls’ Gymnasiums were based on class status—for example, the aristocratic type of girls’ Gymnasium of Princess Obolenskaia in St. Petersburg. In the 1880’s some private girls’ Gymnasiums were put under the auspices of the Ministry of Public Education.


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