Keskkooliõpetajate koolitamine sõjajärgses Tartu Riiklikus Ülikoolis

Anu Raudsepp


Training high school teachers in post-war
Tartu State University

After World War II the heavy sovietisation of Estonian education
began. The key persons of this process were undoubtedly teachers,
preferably those who had arrived from the Soviet Union (especially
Estonians from Russia) or young people taught in Estonia in the
spirit of new educational ideas. A great shift took place in the Estonian
teacher community at that time. Altogether 4,176 teachers are
known to have been fired, dismissed at their own request or transferred
to another position during the period of 1946–1950. The only
counterbalance was preparing new teachers locally. In the post-war
years, high school teachers were trained only at Tartu State University,
which was exceptional in the Soviet Union because elsewhere it
was mainly done in pedagogical institutes.
The article studies the substantial and formal changes in the sovietisation
of teacher training that were realised through complying
with union-wide regulations and pedagogical trends. Similarities and
differences are also outlined. Secondly, the process of making teacher
training obligatory at Tartu State University and its importance in
providing Estonian schools with local staff is explored. Thirdly, the
article attempts to disclose the role and activity of various people
related to pedagogy at the time in this process. The study is mainly
based on new and practically unused archive sources related to the
history of the University of Tartu.
During the era of Stalinism, teacher training became obligatory
for everyone in the University of Tartu faculties that taught subjects
also covered by general education schools. In the 1940s there
were few university graduates, incl. teachers, but since the spring
of 1950 the number of people who were appointed as teachers from
Tartu State University increased significantly. The establishment of
the Tallinn Pedagogical Institute in 1952 added a second educational
institution in Estonia that trained high school teachers and helped
provide the schools with local staff. It was mainly the service of the chairs of pedagogy that teacher training persisted at the University
of Tartu. However, it was the service of the specialisation chairs that
teachers received an education, which was, to a great extent, in the
spirit of the traditions of the independence era. Therefore, the compulsory
teacher training of the university contributed much to educating
university graduate, Estonian-minded, Estonian and Russian
speaking teachers for Estonian schools to counter the Russian-minded
and Russian speaking teachers who were appointed to Estonia
from elsewhere.

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