Gogebashvili, Iakov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gogebashvili, Iakov Semenovich


Born Oct. 15 (27), 1840, in the village of Variani, present-day Gori Raion; died June 1 (14), 1912, in Tbilisi. Georgian educator and founder of the Georgian progressive school of teaching; publicist; children’s writer.

Gogebashvili studied at the Kiev Theological Academy. He was an active participant in the national liberation movement, which was headed by I. Chavchavadze and A. Tsereteli. Russian democratic revolutionary literature had a great influence on him. Gogebashvili organized scientific circles, propagandized the works of Darwin among their members, and founded the journal for students Shroma (Labor). His progressive pedagogical activity provoked his persecution by the administration of the theological academy where he taught, the synod, and tsarist officials. In 1874 he was forbidden to engage in pedagogical activity because he was considered “politically unreliable.” In 1879 the Society for Spreading Literacy Among the Georgian Population was founded on his initiative. Gogebashvili made a particularly great contribution as an author of textbooks for the national schools. His school primer The Georgian Alphabet was published in 1865, his reader The Key to Nature in 1868, and his native-language textbook Native Speech in 1876. (It was reissued every year until 1925.) He demanded expansion of the national school system, fought against the scholastic content and teaching methods of the tsarist school, and advocated practical education.

Gogebashvili exposed the russifying policy of tsarist officials; however, at the same time he emphasized the necessity and importance of studying the Russian language. In 1887 he published a textbook of the Russian language for the Georgian schools—The Russian Word—which became the basis for the modern Russian language textbook. (Since 1945 the latter has been a standard textbook in Georgian schools.) As a follower of K. D. Ushinskii, Gogebashvili considered nationality his guiding pedagogical principle. Under this principle he placed education that serves the interests of the people, defense of their native language, and encouragement of their cultural development.

The origin of children’s literature in Georgia is associated with Gogebashvili. His works for children are written with a profound knowledge of child psychology. The best known are The Bud (1880), The Twig (1883), The Galaxy (1883), and The Cluster (1901). His language is simple, expressive, and distinguished by its rich vocabulary.

In 1960 the Georgian government established the Gogebashvili medal, which is awarded to people working in pedagogical science and national education.


Txzulebani, vols. 1-10. Tbilisi, 1952-65.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannye pedagogicheskie sochineniia. [Moscow] 1954.


Iakov Gogebashvili: Iubileinyi sbornik, posviashchennyi 120-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia. Tbilisi, 1960.
Tavzishvili, G. Iakov Gogebashvili. Moscow, 1959.
Lordkipanidze, D. O. Klassik gruzinskoi pedagogiki Ia. Gogebashvili, 2nd ed. Tbilisi, 1965.
Ia. Gogebashvili: Kratkii rekomendatel’nyi spisok literatury. Tbilisi, 1965.
Lort’k’ip’anize, D. Didi k’ar tveli pedagogi Iakob Gogebashvili (dabadebidan 120 clist’avis gamo). Tbilisi, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.