Korf, Nikolai [Корф, Николай], b 14 July 1834 in Kharkiv, d 25 November 1883 in Kharkiv. Zemstvo leader and prominent proponent of universal education. A Russian baron of German origin, he organized zemstvo schools and Sunday schools, and invented the three-year village school. He conducted numerous teachers' courses and congresses in the Kherson, Mariupol, and Berdiansk regions. Although he did not accept the equality of Ukrainian with Russian, he proposed to begin elementary education for Ukrainian children in the Ukrainian language. At the time, this was a significant departure from official policy. He wrote a number of textbooks for teachers and students, and numerous articles on educational matters.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]