Wladimir Berelowitch (ENG)

Wladimir BerelowitchEmeritus Professor of History at the University of Geneva and Professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, where he has founded and directed the Center of Russian, Caucasian and Center-European Studies (CERCEC). His current research activities are focused on cultural history of Russian elites, mainly on education in 18th century, and on studies in historiography of Russia. He lead a project entitled ‚The human and social sciences in Russia: networks and circulation” (SHUSOCRU) and a data basis (www.hsrussia.eu), both devoted to the role of international contacts in constructing human and social sciences in Imperial Russia. He has published several books and collections, including La soviétisation de l’école russe, 1917-1931 (Lausanne, 1990), Histoire de Saint-Pétersbourg (avec Olga Medvedkova, Paris, 1996).


Published works related to the history of education inbclude:

‘Les hospices des enfants trouvés en Russie (1763-1914)’, in Enfance abandonnée et  société en Europe XIV-XXe siècle, Collection de l’Ecole française de Rome, 140, 1991, pp. 167-217.

‘Aleksej Jakovlevic Polenov à l’université de Strasbourg (1762-1766). L’identité naissante d’un intellectuel’, Cahiers du Monde russe, 43/2-3, 2003, pp. 295-320.

Образовательные стратегии русских аристократов и воспитание сирот Голицыных (1782 – 1792) // Европейское просвещение и цивилизация России. – М.: Наука, 2004. – С. 318 – 330.

‘Modèles éducatifs des Lumières dans la noblesse russe : le cas des Golitsyne’, Dix-huitième siècle, n° 37 (2005), pp. 179-194.

(with Galina Smagina), ‘Enseignants et modèles éducatifs français à Saint-Pétersbourg au XVIIIe siècle’, in La France et les Français à Saint-Pétersbourg, XVIII-XX siècles, Европейский дом / Institut français, Saint-Pétersbourg, 2005, pp. 36-69 (in French and Russian).

Гувернеры в семье Голицыных 1760-1780 годы // Франкоязычные Гувернеры в Европе XVII- XIX вв. Под. ред. А. Чудинова и В. Ржеуцкого. Французский ежегодник, 2011. C. 190-199.


Educational Plans in Private Education in Russia in the

Second Half of the 18th Century

From 1750s – 60s onwards so-called „plans d’éducation“, „plans d’étude“, „instructions“, etc. start to emerge in Russia both in the newly created schools and in the home education of young noblemen. In the latter case, they had to serve as a guide for families, tutors and teachers. Despite the fact that this practice can not be called overarching, it played an important role for the following reasons: 1) The imperial regime has encouraged its elite to a more systematic education than it used to be. 2) The nobility and gentry in return experienced this need too, investing time, energy and money in their education. 3) The relative novelty of educational practices in Russia encouraged different counselors, parents and professionals to write rather detailed texts of that kind, so that these models were literally applicable in the real life. 4) As in other European countries, Russian nobility preferred home education to closed institutions, and thus needed such guidelines. 5) These plans appeared particularly necessary when children were sent to study abroad.

These plans were widely distributed among the elite to become a subject for imitation, even for copying. Often they began with a general preamble, which set out the basic principles of training and education, then the recommended discipline followed, then the layout of classes for each year separately, sometimes even a weekly schedule, and finally plans of „voyages“ and „economic plans“.

Despite their obvious similarity, these texts represent certain variability, not only in their volume and detail, but also in their content. Especially these variations are interesting to study and to compare with the identity of the authors (heads of families, academics and teachers, foreign professors and tutors), with customers, with different often Western sources, in particular, with the very goal of the plan – whether has it been intended for a future military? for a civilian official? a courtier? an „honest“ man? or all together? Analysis of the preamble and the layout of disciplines can identify these different orientations, as well as the possible tension between the wide notion of the elite, up to the formation of civilian experts, and the narrower concept related to the social structure of Russian elite of those days.

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