Women's education in Tsarist Russia: how was organized the Institute for noble maidens

Modern society not so long ago came to the idea of joint education for boys and girls. But just a hundred years ago girls were taught separately, or received home education. The Smolny Institute for noble maidens was the first women's educational institution in Russia.

Women's education in Tsarist Russia: how was organized the Institute for noble maidensInnovation in the field of education belonged to Catherine II. In 1764, issued a decree on the basis of the first educational institutions in St. Petersburg. The famous Smolny initiated the so-called women's institutions. In addition, the Smolny Institute became the first in Europe higher education institution for girls.

Women's education in Tsarist Russia: how was organized the Institute for noble maidens

The Empress was a fan of the progressive ideas of the time. The Smolny was to give Russia the educated women capable of becoming productive members of society and family. However, ignorant people disliked graduates of women's institutes. They were called muslin ladies, to CIT. The pupils of the Smolny was divorced from reality. Students contemptuously called "schoolgirl".

Women's education in Tsarist Russia: how was organized the Institute for noble maidens

To understand the cause of the failure of the institution, you need to look closely at the learning process. In that distant time there were absolutely other standards of education than now. The girls have been in a special program with a clear list of items. In the Institute for noble maidens were not very noble methods of influence.

Teachers sought to bring all students to a single standard. Individuality and personal preference censured. Ladies who are not able to "fit" in the College orders fall into the category of "bad" students. They received a household nickname "mooshka". So in French sounded "bad" — mauvaise. To become a "noveskey" was enough to talk louder than others or have unruly strands of hair.

Women's education in Tsarist Russia: how was organized the Institute for noble maidens

Exemplary student was called perfetcly. Translated from the French parfaite means perfect. Biased attitude affected the quality of education and ratio of girls to study at the Institute.

Not every teacher can work in the Smolny Institute. In selecting staff gave preference to unmarried women. In Tsarist Russia, an unmarried woman was considered an exceptional phenomenon, blamed society. Classy ladies differed nasty character. They were cruelly punished pupils, playing on them for personal failures in life.

Women's education in Tsarist Russia: how was organized the Institute for noble maidens

Teachers-men were a rarity in the Institute for noble maidens. It was thought that the presence of men will distract the girls from school. Therefore gave preference to married or elderly men. A teacher with physical disability were more likely to enlist in the Smolny.

The pupils were deprived of any entertainment. They lived and studied, not seeing the outside world. Noble girls experienced an acute need for emotions. Friendship and love took absurd forms. Girls find the object of adoration among teachers, implementing unclaimed feelings.

Women's education in Tsarist Russia: how was organized the Institute for noble maidens

The object of admiration gave gifts, tried to oblige. The girls prayed for the health of a beloved person. Such feelings wore an exalted character. Pupils adored not only teachers, but all members of his family.

Women's education in Tsarist Russia: how was organized the Institute for noble maidens

Noble girls were not physically punished. Delinquent girls had been humiliated. Teachers were resourceful to wean the girls from the indecent manner. For example, swearing was punished by hanging on the neck of a large tongue of red cardboard. Sloppy schoolgirl risked decorate the dress and torn stockings.

Women's education in Tsarist Russia: how was organized the Institute for noble maidens

Pupils are not deprived of food, as was customary in the men's institutions. They are simply forbidden to sit at the table. Of course, she could satisfy the hunger of standing. It is important to note that while only a fallen women ate standing up. Because the offending student was left hungry, not to be humiliated even more. The most feared punishment was the wearing of teak apron. Rough cloth was a lot protruding.

"Muslin" girls raised in harsh conditions. The pupils lived in unheated areas. The bedrooms have air never warmed up above 16 °C. the Girl woke up at six in the morning, wash with cold water, prayed, had Breakfast and went to Church.

Women's education in Tsarist Russia: how was organized the Institute for noble maidens

Sometimes they were taken out for a walk in the local Park. The area was closed to other visitors, the girls did not communicate with the laity. The pupils of the institution lived in complete isolation. The reading was confined to the narrow list of sources. Books were subjected to strict censorship. In many works there were not enough pages.

The leadership Institute controlled conversation of girls and their meeting with relatives. Talk about the house were considered a sign of weakness. The girls left his father's house at the age of six. Previously, the Institute has entered into a contract with the parents, who were forbidden to interrupt their studies.

Women's education in Tsarist Russia: how was organized the Institute for noble maidens

Catherine II considered the isolation of an important aspect of education. Girls are intentionally deprived the ignorant of environment. The Empress intended to improve Russian society, brought a new "breed" of people. Developed and refined a graduate of the institution was to soften the temper, and to educate a new, enlightened generation.

Women's education in Tsarist Russia: how was organized the Institute for noble maidens

Loud the name of the school is not meant the teaching of science. Level of education corresponded to the gymnasium. At the very beginning of its existence, the Institute for noble maidens offered a strong program. Subsequently, teaching was limited to dancing, singing, etiquette.

Keywords: 20th century | Education | Learning | Russian Empire | Facts

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