Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
in prerevolutionary Russia schools providing general education for adults (workers, peasants, artisans, and clerical employees) held on Sundays.
The Sunday schools originated in the middle of the 19th century on the initiative of the progressive intelligentsia—for the most part, students. One of the first schools was opened in 1858 in Poltava by a group including Gymnasium teachers, cadet school teachers, and women’s institute teachers. In Kiev in 1859 a group of students and professors organized a Sunday school with the permission of N. I. Pirogov, the trustee of the educational district; Professor P. V. Pavlov took an active part in the work. During the course of two or three years approximately 300 Sunday schools were opened in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and other cities of Russia. The revolutionary democrats utilized these schools for the revolutionary upbringing of the masses. The rapid growth of the Sunday schools, which in certain instances became places for the propagation of democratic ideas, and the type of teachers on their staffs attracted the attention of the tsarist government, which as early as the beginning of 1860 had already imposed various limiting regulations; on June 12, 1862, it closed down all the Sunday schools on the pretext of “transforming” them. By the 1864 Decree on Elementary Schools the Sunday schools were again permitted, but they were treated the same as were elementary schools and were subjected to the strict supervision of the inspectorate of public schools. During the 1870’s, Sunday schools began to open again. In 1870 in Kharkov, Kh. D. Alchevskaia opened a free Sunday school for women that remained in existence for 50 years. The same year the St. Petersburg Sunday School was opened; here prominent specialists in teaching methodology worked. In some of these schools classes were conducted not only on Sundays and holidays but also in the evenings and on weekdays. In 1905-1907 there were 782 Sunday schools.
REFERENCESAbramov, la. V. Nashi voskresnye shkoly: Ikh proshloe i nastoiashchee. St. Petersburg, 1900.
Vakhterov, V. P. Sel’skie voskresnye shkoly i povtoriteV nye klassy. Moscow, 1896.
Obshchee delo: Sbornik statei po voprosam rasprostraneniia obrazovaniia sredi vzroslogo naseleniia. Edited by V. S. Kostromina. Issue 1., 2nd ed.: Moscow, 1905. Issues 2-4: Moscow, 1902-12.