Iakovlev, Ivan Iakovlevich
Born Apr. 13 (25), 1848, in the village of Koshki-Novotimbaevo, in what is now Tetiushi Raion, Tatar ASSR; died Oct. 23, 1930, in Moscow. Chuvash cultural figure; educator with democratic views; writer. Associate of I. N. Ul’ianov.
The son of a peasant, Iakovlev graduated from the history and philology faculty of the University of Kazan in 1875. In 1868, while still a Gymnasium student, he founded the Simbirsk Chuvash School with his own and other private funds; with the support of I. N. Ul’ianov, the school was included in the government budget in 1871. It became the Simbirsk Central Chuvash School in 1877 and the Simbirsk Chuvash Teachers’ School, a center of Chuvash culture, in 1890. In 1878 a women’s division was opened at the Central School.
Iakovlev was an inspector of Chuvash schools for the Kazan School District from the time of his graduation from the university until 1903. Until October 1919 he directed the Chuvash Teachers’ School, which became a teachers’ seminary in 1917 and the three-year Chuvash Pedagogical Courses in 1919. He helped establish schools for the Chuvash and for other nationalities in the Volga Region.
Iakovlev developed for Chuvash schools teaching methods that made creative use of the pedagogical legacy of K. D. Ushinskii and his followers. In the early 1870’s, Iakovlev created a new Chuvash alphabet, based on Russian letters; he wrote primers and textbooks. His readers contained stories about the Chuvash way of life and samples of oral folk literature that he had collected. He contributed to the development of Chuvash literature and the Chuvash literary language by translating classic works of Russian literature by such writers as A. S. Pushkin, I. A. Krylov, L. N. Tolstoy, and N. A. Nekrasov and by publishing popular science books. Through such efforts he acquainted the Chuvash with progressive Russian culture.
V. I. Lenin highly valued the educational activities of Iakovlev, “who worked for 50 years for the national development of the Chuvash” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 50, p. 61). The Chuvash Pedagogical Institute was given Iakovlev’s name in 1958. There is a monument to Iakovlev in Cheboksary, as well as a memorial museum that opened in 1968.
WORKS“O shkol’nom obrazovanii chuvash.” Gorodskoi i sel’skii uchitel’, 1897, no. 5.
Kratkii ocherk Simbirskoi uchilel’skoi shkoly. Simbirsk, 1908.
Detskie rasskazy. [Cheboksary, 1968.]
REFERENCES“Itogi iubileinoi nauchnoi sessii, posviashchennoi stdetiiu so dnia rozhdeniia I. Ia. Iakovleva.” Zapiski Chuvashskogo n.-i. in-ta ia-zyka, literatury i istorii, 1949, no. 3.
Krasnov, N. G. Ivan lakovlevich Iakovlev: Zhizn’, deiatel’nost‘, pedagogicheskie idei, ocherki. Cheboksary, 1976. (Contains bibliography.)
N. G. KRASNOV