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9780190845001

The Enterprisers The Politics of School in Early Modern Russia

  • ISBN 13:

    9780190845001

  • ISBN 10:

    0190845007

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 05/29/2019
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.)

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Summary

The Enterprisers traces the emergence of the "modern" school in Russia during the reigns of Peter I and his immediate successors, up to the accession of Catherine II. Creation of the new, secular, technically-oriented schools based on the imported Western European blueprints is traditionally presented as the key element in Peter I's transformation of Russia.

The tsar, it is assumed, needed schools to train officers and engineers for his new army and the navy, and so he personally designed these new institutions and forced them upon his unwilling subjects. In this sense, school also stands in as a metaphor for modern institutions in Russia in general, which are likewise seen as created from the top down, by the forceful state, in response to its military and technological needs.

Yet, in reality, Peter I himself never wrote much about education, and while he championed "learning" in a broad sense, he had remarkably little to say about the ways schools and schooling should be organized. Nor were his general and admirals, including foreigners in Russian service, keen on promoting formal schooling: for them, practical apprenticeship still remained the preferred method of training.

Rather, as Fedyukin argues in this book, the trajectories of institutional change were determined by the efforts of "administrative entrepreneurs"-or projecteurs, as they were also called-who built new schools as they sought to achieve diverse career goals, promoted their own pet ideas, advanced their claims for expertise, and competed for status and resources. By drawing on a wealth of unpublished archival sources, Fedyukin explores the "micropolitics" behind the key episodes of educational innovation in the first half of the eighteenth century and offers an entirely new way of thinking about "Petrine revolution" and about the early modern state in Russia.

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