Teachers' seminaries

Image - Students of the Ridna shkola society teachers seminary (1914).

Teachers' seminaries [учительські семінарії; uchytelski seminarii]. Pedagogical education institutions which prepared teachers of elementary schools. They first appeared in the Russian Empire in 1779; the first teachers' seminary in Ukraine was established in Kyiv in 1869 (and moved in 1873 to Korostyshiv, now in Zhytomyr oblast). In the 1870s teachers' seminaries were founded in Kherson, Pereiaslav, Vovchansk and Ostroh. A zemstvo teachers' seminary in Chernihiv was also founded at that time. Graduates of ‘two-class’ (five-year) elementary schools could enrol in the teachers' seminaries, where the program of study was three to four years. In 1917 there were 26 teachers' seminaries in Ukraine (171 in the Russian Empire).

In Western Ukraine under Austrian rule, teachers' seminaries were established in the wake of the educational reform of 1869. They had a four-year program of instruction and were the only institutions preparing teachers for elementary schools. In Galicia there were 10 state teachers' seminaries, with Ukrainian and Polish as languages of instruction (7 for men and 3 for women). In addition there were three private Ukrainian-language teachers' seminaries. Bukovyna had three state teachers' seminaries (one Ukrainian), and Transcarpathia three, albeit with Hungarian as the language of instruction. In Galicia under Polish rule, teachers' seminaries were reorganized into pedagogical lyceums with a three-year program of study. In Transcarpathia in 1938, there were five teachers' seminaries (of which four were Ukrainian-language institutions). During the Second World War, in the Ukrainian parts of the Generalgouvernement there were nine teachers' seminaries.

Bohdan Krawchenko

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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