Author Topic: Women and higher education  (Read 15265 times)

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Finelly

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Women and higher education
« on: August 09, 2005, 11:46:56 PM »
My great-grandmother was admitted to dental school in St. Petersburg and attended there until she graduated sometime around 1998.

I've always been curious about this fact.  Was it common for a woman to be permitted to attend such a school?  Was it difficult to get in?  Were there many female professionals?


Finelly

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2005, 11:50:26 PM »
oops, I meant 1898. Sorry.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2005, 02:46:43 AM »
The staus of women attending institutes for higher learning was debated by Pirogov who argued that girls should be educated if only to be future mothers.

Not until 1860 was the trend for educating women initiated in St. Petersburg University. Special permission had to be sought to attend lectures in history and literature. However they had no right to participate in examinations and consequentially, were unable to graduate.

Courses were conducted in private residences, whereby prominent scholars of the day such as Mendeleev would read to their charges. To succeed beyond these limitations one had to marry and go abroad.

Russia was not alone in not recognizing women as having the same rights to education.

Only Zurich University during the 1870's accepted women as students. A few Russian graduates returned to Russia and were unable to find appropriate work because of their gender.

Sonya Kovalevskaya became the first female professor of mathematics, not in her home country, but in Sweden during the 1880's. Despite gaining membership to the Stockholm Academy of Science, such status in Russia was not open to her.

Sonya Kovalevskaya was one of the very first Russian women to obtain a European Doctorate of Science.  

During the 1880's government policy prevented women who had gained their doctorates abroad, from participating in teaching in higher institutes of learning in Russia.  

Bestuzhev courses were run and disbanded between 1886-9, by command of the Tsaritsa who considered that it was inappropriate for women to study, for it was better to look after the spouse, children and home.

1889 a number of women did graduate from the Bestuzhev courses and were finally given the opportunity to teach.

This is a fascinating topic. Thank you for introducing it! ;D  


   


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bluetoria

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2005, 05:54:22 PM »
The view that women were to be educated solely as mothers was also prevalent in England. The worst part about it was that when they were admitted to universities, they were severely hindered in following their studies by work. They could, for example, study law but were not allowed to practise law....so I guess it kind of made it seem rather pointless in many cases.

Wasn't Queen Victoria opposed to the idea of women doctors...or am I mistaken?

Finelly

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2005, 11:35:41 PM »
This is so interesting!  Thank you, both of you, for contributing your knowledge.

I know that my great grandmother was admitted to and attended dental school and I have a photo of her with another woman from her class.  I must assume that she graduated and got a degree, because when she came to the US she was permitted to immediately open her own dental office......

She was a Jew from the Ukraine, and I have always thought that her religion in addition to her gender SHOULD have prevented her from getting in to University....I wonder how she did it?

I know that Victoria did NOT approve of women in the medical profession, yet I believe she actually met Flo Nightengale.  In those times, of course, motherhood was the "only real" job of a woman.  (My great grandmother raised 4 children in addition to having her dental practice....)  Anything that would threaten that role would have been "just not done".  And yet.....slowly but surely, it happened.  There were hardly any female dentists in the US in those days, but obviously women in Russia could study.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2005, 05:06:05 AM »
Quote
There were hardly any female dentists in the US in those days, but obviously women in Russia could study.


In 1897 a Medical Institute for women was inaugurated in St. Petersburg. No doubt a dental faculty would have been included.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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Offline hikaru

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2005, 11:07:40 AM »
WHat about Smolyny Institute and others institute like this?
Education there was of high level one.

Finelly

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2005, 12:03:07 PM »
Belochka - can you pm me or post some more info on the medical school for women?  My family would like to investigate and see if there is any listing of my ggrandmother......

Offline hikaru

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2005, 12:10:04 PM »
After 70 years of equal rights between women and men, we , in Russia, now are
going back -   a lot of people prefer let their  men to work and educate themselves. :P

Finelly

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2005, 12:55:54 PM »
lol, Hikaru.

If one can afford it, that is fine.  As long as the woman has a choice.

AlexP

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2005, 11:08:08 PM »
Why is this topic so neglected?

This is an excellent topic that deserves a lot more attention from our readers.

What was the status of educaton for women in the preRevolutionary years?  It is an excellent question, and frankly, one that I have never addressed.

Hikaru is right in commenting about Smolny, but Hikarushka, there was ONE Smolny in all of Imperial Russia (yes, there were similar  institutes in Kazan and in Kiev and in Odessa, but nothing like Smolny).

How many professors at the Imperial Universities were women?  Were there any?  How many women served in ambassadorial positions overseas...None to my knowledge, but I am not sure if Alexandra Kollantai, who later served Stalin in Sweden, was also no t in the diplomatic corps in the immediate prewar years (maybe it was her husband).

Now the Dental Faculty raises a question as to what level it was : what it a "uchilistchii" or was it of the Faculty, etc.  And what about all of the "cioctri milocerdii" who worked as nurses?  Surely they were trained, albeit cursorily, somewhere?  Were there even tramway workers who were female, or did that occur after the Revolution?  And were there any well-known medical doctoresses in Petersburg before the Revolution.    Folks, I just don't know.

My own grandmother and her sisters were educated at home.  They were taught French, Italian, Russian, German, geography, dancing, "comportement", etiquette, music, history of arts, "les arts domestiques" (meaning how to arrange a proper table), religious instruction and the like.  At about the age of 18, they were sent to Paris for one year, to Florence for one year and to Berlin for one year to be "polished".  Everything had to be "tres comme il faut"...

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AlexP »

Finelly

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2005, 11:33:46 PM »
Good questions.  

I woudl have thought that for the first 10 years or so of women in higher education, the only possibility woudl have been to train to be a teacher.  Yet it seems that medicine/dentistry arrived within the first 5 years.....

The dental college must have been more than a place to train females as dental hygienists.  I know that my grandmother, when she arrived in NY, was not even required to take an examination, but was granted a license to practice dentistry based on her credentials from Russia.   If women were allowed to train but not practice a profession, this seems to be a bit odd.

That is a specific situation.  A more general one is "what caused the government to begin to allow women to enter into a profession"

(Another personal question for me is "why on EARTH did an orthodox Jewish couple in business in Romny, Ukraine allow their only daughter to move to St. Petersburg to go to DENTAL school?  While the community, unlike your family, did not routinely send their daughters to florence and paris for training to be a "lady", middle class families up until that time certainly never considered women in careers.  My great grandmother could sew, bake, train and supervise servants, read, write in french, english and russian (perhaps German, too) and yiddish.  That was "normal".  Drilling teeth was NOT.  <grin>)

So.......where can we learn more about women in higher education and how this trend developed?  

Belochka?

Offline Belochka

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2005, 06:14:32 AM »
Quote
Belochka - post some more info on the medical school for women?  My family would like to investigate and see if there is any listing of my ggrandmother......


The Medical Institute for Women underwent a couple of name changes and is now refered to as the Pavlov State Medical University of Saint Petersburg. .

It is located on:

197022 filial 1, Lev Tolstoy Ulitsa 6/8,
St. Petersburg, Russia

Perhaps your search should commence with the faculty:

e-mail: Rector@spmu.rssi.ru

Good luck with your search ... I hope it meets with some success. :)


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Offline Belochka

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2005, 07:46:18 AM »
Quote
WHat about Smolyny Institute and others institute like this?


I will address the Smolny Institute a little later. I have researched women's scientific education in Imperial Russia fairly extensively with a view to publishing.


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AlexP

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Re: Women and higher education
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2005, 08:41:26 AM »
Quote

I will address the Smolny Institute a little later. I have researched women's scientific education in Imperial Russia fairly extensively with a view to publishing.



This is wonderful, Belochka, truly "obrazovanaya".  "Maladetz".

But I wouldn't put forth too much of what you will publish.  Publish it first and then put it forward on the site.  Vot adin moi covyet.   That's all.

In any case, I look forward to this.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AlexP »