Joanna Schiller-Walicka 1
  • 1 Institute for the History of Science, Polish Academy of Sciences, al. Solidarności 105, Warszawa, Polska

Myths and Stereotypes: Some Comments on the History of Education in the Kingdom of Poland in the 19th Century

2014. No. 3. P. 223–243 [issue contents]
Joanna Schiller-Walicka - Professor, Institute for the History of Science, Polish Academy of Sciences (Warsaw). Address: al. Solidarności 105, Warszawa, Polska. E-mail: j.schiller@onet.eu

Some widespread beliefs about school and instruction in Poland need to be reexamined. It would be an unreasonable simplification to believe that the educational system of Poland was exposed to russification throughout the whole 19th century. In reality, the educational policy of the Kingdom of Poland was not unchangeable, and the school system was different in different periods. Russification
is understood as making non-Russian communities adopt the Russian language, culture and Orthodoxy, including administrative initiatives to make non-Russians give up their national identity in favor of the Russian one. The educational system in the country, if judged by the language of teaching and by the ethnic composition of the teaching staff, was absolutely Polish in January 1863, just before the January Uprising. It was only in the 1870s that the russification began. It would even be more appropriate to talk about multiple russifications, their consequences differing in intensity and duration; meanwhile, some  of the periods of the 19th century were not affected by the phenomenon at all. We also analyze specific features of the educational policy in Poland: during the Duchy of Warsaw (1807–1815) —development of an efficient multilevel system of public education that honored interests of each social class; in the 1820s — increased control over instruction and the clerical conservative trends in changing the content of education; in the period between the November and January Uprisings — unification of the educational system of Congress Poland with the Russian one; and, finally, the return to the Polish-style instruction on the rise of the so-called Post-Sevastopol Thaw. Special focus is placed on the 46-year existence of the Russian university in Warsaw as an institution that was forced through by Russian authorities but succeeded in developing its own university traditions and goals in culture and science.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2014-3-223-243
Citation: Schiller-Walicka J. (2014) Mify i stereotipy: neskol'ko zamechaniy ob istorii obrazovaniya v Tsarstve Pol'skom v XIX v. [Myths and Stereotypes: Some Comments on the History of Education in the Kingdom of Poland in the 19th Century]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no3, pp. 223-243.