a means of improving the qualifications and training of teachers at general-education schools and specialized educational institutions.
Pedagogical courses in existence throughout prerevolutionary Russia in the second half of the 19th century included summer courses for teachers organized by zemstvos and town councils, two-year pedagogical courses given under the auspices of educational districts, and pedagogical classes at women’s Gymnasiums. Among the directors of summer pedagogical courses were the educators I. N. Ul’ianov, N. F. Bunakov, D. I. Tikhomirov, V. I. Vodovozov, and V. P. Vakhterov. Women qualified to teach in women’s Gymnasiums and in the junior grades of men’s Gymnasiums were trained at those advanced courses for women that specialized in pedagogy.
In the early years of Soviet power, pedagogical courses trained and retrained teachers in accordance with the tasks of the new socialist system of public education. When institutes for advanced teacher training were founded, the pedagogical courses became part of their system. Between 1920 and 1960, graduates of institutions of higher learning were trained in various types of permanent higher pedagogical courses to be teachers of pedagogical and other specialized disciplines in secondary specialized and vocational and technical schools. Since 1962, highly qualified foreign-language teachers for higher schools have been trained in advanced pedagogical courses at a number of higher educational institutions. Persons with a higher education are accepted into this program. In 1973 such courses were given at ten institutions of higher learning.