A Perfect Match : Women and Schoolteaching in Tobol'Sk Guberniia, 1870-1914

in Russian History
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Abstract

Tobol'sk Gubemiia may be distinguished from all other provinces of the Russian Empire by the unique role of female schoolteachers in its educational development. There is no question that they played a significantly greater role in the teaching profession in Tobol'sk Gubemiia after 1870, and hence in the development of primary education, than did their colleagues in European Russia. It is generally accepted by most historians of education that the inclusion of women in the teaching profession was essential for the successful development of primary schooling.1 In this article I examine the conditions that enabled them to assume a more important position in Tobol'sk educational affairs than elsewhere in the Russian Empiie, as well as how this expanded role influenced the emerging school system. In order to do so, it is necessary to examine the position of female schoolteachers in Tobol'sk classrooms, as well as the training they received. Their effect on girls' education will also be investigated, in particular, how the presence of women influenced the number of female students attending Tobol'sk primary schools. This is an important question, because these girls would become the next generation of primary schoolteachers. Indeed, the unique position of women in Siberia can be under

A Perfect Match : Women and Schoolteaching in Tobol'Sk Guberniia, 1870-1914

in Russian History

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