Monday, June 12, 2017

The Smolny Institute for Daughters of the Nobility

Founded by Catherine the Great, the Smolny Institute provided a liberal arts education for young ladies for over a century until the Revolution and the Bolsheviks closed its doors. According to Russia Beyond the Headlines:
The Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens was the first women's educational institution in Russia and paved the way for women’s education in the country. The institute was founded at the urging of Ivan Betskoy and in accordance with a decree signed by Catherine the Great on May 5 (April 24 according to Julian calendar) 1764. Smolny Institute admitted the daughters of officials with a rank no lower than colonel or actual state counselor and paid for their education using funds from the state treasury. The daughters of hereditary nobles were also admitted for an annual tuition fee. The girls were prepared for life in the royal court and high society. The institute’s curriculum included lessons on classic school subjects: Russian language, mathematics, history, geography, as well as music, dance, painting, sculpting, blazonry, etiquette, various means of housekeeping, religious studies, and others. Ivan Betskoy wrote the institute’s charter, instilling in it his pedagogical views that had been influenced by Western European Enlightenment philosophy, views that Catherine the Great also shared. (Read more.)


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