HUI, XII, 2021, 13-40

Historia Universitatis Iassiensis 12, 13–40

Maria Rados | School Inspection and Teacher Training in Moldova in the First Half of the 19th Century

Abstract. During the first couple of decades of the 19th century, the intellectuals of Moldavia were deeply involved in the creation of politically and culturally modern institutions, following the occidental example. The field of education was one of the most willing to take part in the modernisation process, eager to keep up with the more-advanced states in the West. Therefore, it started to take shape through the appearance and evolution of the first school-inspection organisation, the Commission for Public Education (Epitropia Învățăturilor Publice) This study analyses the relationship between the school inspection – as a process and an institution – and the training of the teachers, as it was in the beginning, given the poor research of this matter. Expanding the number of schools in the Moldavia had been a prime concern of the Commission for Public Education (Epitropia Învățăturilor Publice) and of Gheorghe Asachi, which meant it was necessary to recruit more people. That being said, the criteria for recruitment were decided at once with the legalization of the school inspection- and teaching body. The interest of hiring more teachers grew as the first rules were adopted: organising a training program for the soon-to-be professors and encouraging them to write schoolbooks, sending scholarship-students to study abroad, guidance from the Commission for Public Education and Gheorghe Asachi, and bringing in foreign teachers. All of these were ways to continuously prepare the human resource in Education. The institutional transformations that the school inspection went through in the middle of the 19th century following the ruling in favour of the 1851 law [Așezământul] - hadn’t slowed down the perfectioning of the teachers. Other than the obligation to attend pedagogical training courses, what had also been beneficial to their development was the important role the general school inspectors played (Gheorghe Săulescu, August Treboniu Laurian, Teodor Veisa) and their substitutes (Iosif Patriciu, Simion Bărnuțiu). Even judging by their formal meetings and the school inspections, it was obvious that the care for discipline and quality in all things regarding the education field was a prime concern. The role of the Ministry of Education (Ministerul Cultelor și Instrucțiunii Publice) continued to grow through the 1864 public instruction Law, as the general school inspection organisation was disbanded, which led to the irrefutable subordination of the new inspectors (revizori) who had their attributions limited.