„Istorija“. Mokslo darbai. 91 tomas
Ilze ŠENBERGA. Training of Elementary School Teachers in Latvia (1918–1940)
Spausdinti

Ilzė Šenberga – socialinių mokslų daktarė, Daugpilio universiteto Humanitarinių mokslų fakulteto Istorijos katedros docentė; adresas: Vienības iela 13, Daugavpils, Latvija, LV-5400; el paštas: Šis el.pašto adresas yra apsaugotas nuo Spam'o, jums reikia įjungti Javaskriptą, kad matytumėte tai ; interesų kryptis – istorijos edukacija I Latvijos respublikoje (1918–1940).

Abstract. Based on the reports of the General Directorate (later – Department) for School Affairs of the Ministry of Education and the material from the Latvian State Historical Archives, the article discusses the topics of teachers and their in-service training in the 1920s and 1930s, including the forms and stages of training of elementary school history teachers and the improvement of their qualifications. The courses offered to teachers have been analysed and the purpose of these courses at different stages during the period of establishment of the education system has been demonstrated.

Key words: educational system, history teachers, elementary school, teacher training, professional qualifications.

Anotacija. Remiantis Švietimo ministerijos Mokyklos reikalų generalinio direktorato (vėliau – departamento) ataskaitomis bei Latvijos valstybės istorijos archyvo medžiaga, straipsnyje aptariami mokytojų ir jų kvalifikacijos kėlimo klausimai XX a. 3–4 dešimtmetyje, įskaitant pradinės mokyklos istorijos mokytojų rengimo formas ir etapus bei jų kvalifikacijos kėlimą. Straipsnyje analizuojami mokytojams rengti skirti kursai ir atskleidžiami šių kursų paskirties skirtumai skirtingais švietimo sistemos kūrimo etapais.

Prasminiai žodžiai: švietimo sistema, istorijos mokytojai, pradinė mokykla, mokytojų rengimas, profesinės kvalifikacijos.

Introduction

On 18 November 1918 the independence of Latvia was declared and the development of a new state, a democratic parliamentary republic, began. Among the first significant tasks to solve were the ones linked to education. The work was about to begin in two directions. Firstly, it was necessary to terminate the repercussion of military activities on the territory of Latvia, which included the restoration of school buildings many of which were destroyed or abandoned, to conduct a census of school-age children [15], to restore the corpus of teachers, to start publishing school books, etc. Secondly, the state school policy had to be established and implemented [16].

The planned activity aimed at the formation of a new system of education started after the adoption of the Law on Educational Establishment in 1919, which was based on democratic principles: mandatory general education for children of age 6–16 in their native language and free of charge. The core of the system of education was elementary school (the first stage in education) with a six-year programme. The second step was secondary school, which was not mandatory. A variety of regulations were created and funding was discussed. As a result, 1,265 elementary schools were opened in the 1919/20 academic year, yet there was a lack of teachers, with only half of the necessary number of teachers in the first semester [10, 725]; many teachers died at war and many of them joined refugees in Russia. Under such circumstances, the preparation and training of teachers became a vital factor for the successful work of schools in Latvia.

The choice of the issue raised in the article was determined by the perceived incompleteness of the study of various aspects of history teaching in Latvian schools, particularly training teachers of history, their educational levels and qualification, in the 1920s–1930s. All this led to setting up the aim of this research, which is to analyze the activities of state institutions in the Republic of Latvia (1918–1940) in the sphere of formation of the corpus of basic school teachers, as well as to evaluate the results achieved.

The current research took into account the existing works on the history of school in Latvia. The creation and further development of education in Latvia in the years from 1918 to 1940 are discussed in a range of publications focusing on the system of school education in this period at large (see, for example, History of Latvia. 20th Century. Independent State (1918–1940) 20. gadsimta Latvijas vēsture. Neatkarīga valsts (1918–1940) [10]. It considerably limited the analysis of the entire history of teaching in Latvian schools. In Development of Education and Pedagogical Science in Latvia during in the First Republic (Izglītības un pedagoģijas zinātnes attīstība Latvijā pirmās republikas laikā) [12] Alfrēds Staris and Vladimirs Ūsiņš offer an overview of all the components of school education in their development against the general background of the period. However, the authors do not aim at investigating such specific issues as teaching individual subjects and training teachers required for them. In turn, Leonards Žukovs and Anna Kopelovica in Pedagogical Thought in Latvia (Pedagoģiskā doma Latvijā) [14] determine the place of the education system in Latvia as a whole in the processes of pedagogy in different periods and its interconnection with them. The history of formation of the corpus of basic school teachers in Latvia in the 1920s–1930s is only considered by Leonards Žukovs and Anna Kopelovica in Education of Teachers and Pedagogical Thought in Latvia (Skolotāju izglītība un pedagoģiskā doma Latvijā) [13] where they address the process of teacher training in pedagogical institutes but do not focus on the training of teachers of history.

The absence of research on specific issues of teaching history in school determined the choice of sources and methods (hermeneutical, qualitative and quantitative). The current research is based on documents from the State Historical Archive of Latvia, namely those of the Ministry of Education (lists of employees, information about teacher conferences and activities of the Association of Teachers of History, some publications about teaching history) [1]. As far as published sources are concerned, Government Bulletin (Valdības Vēstnesis) [2; 6] (a weekly bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia published from 1919) is worth mentioning as it published laws, normative acts, etc., reports of the General Directorate (later – Department) for School Affairs of the Ministry of Education [4; 5; 7; 8; 9] on its activities. These reports contain general information about schools, degrees, review of events aimed at professional development of teachers, material of teacher conferences, which took place at that time, etc.

Creation of the corpus of teachers (1919–1926): teacher-training courses

During the first years after Word War I, school buildings had to be restored and the problem of recruiting academic staff needed to be solved. Due to the lack of teachers, unqualified staff with no pedagogical education was involved in the teaching process. This factor did not contribute to the quality of teaching and adequate standards were not met in the school subject, specifically in history. The problem remained unresolved even two years later, after the Education Law was enacted in 1919. It becomes evident from the agenda of Teacher Meetings, which took place in all towns of Latvia in the summer of 1921. The urgency of improving the educational level of the teaching staff was in the centre of their attention [7, 50].

The solution was found in organising short-term, one-to-two week long courses, which appeared to be an emergency action in the crisis and could not improve teachers’ qualifications in the existing situation since the majority of them had no qualification at all. The purpose of such courses was to provide people working in schools with the basic skills required for a job. Thus, the Principal Department of Schools (Skolu virsvalde) first organised the courses for the main schools in the state; in 1919 they were organised in different parts of Latvia. The courses provided training in sixteen different subjects. Training was free of charge and participants received bursaries [10, 727]. However, due to a large number of subjects included in the course syllabuses and not enough time allocated to classes, the trainees failed to study properly and the knowledge they gained was rather poor [14, 158].

Another type of the courses is mentioned in the report produced by the General Department of Schools. These courses were called "running courses" and they mainly focused on individual study subjects for the teachers of elementary schools. For example, the courses in teaching the history of Latvia were organised in Riga during that period and the attendance was high. These Running courses were attended by more than two hundred participants in the first year [9, 476].

Eventually, the organisation of training courses was improved and systemised. They took place more often, syllabuses were developed for them, and more time was required of teachers to complete the course. The short-term courses were replaced by the ones that required three or four months and even two years to be completed at the University of Latvia [14, 158]. Some of the first courses of this kind took place in Ventspils in 1920; the participants attended 193 lectures in twenty-four days. A wide range of training courses was organised in Riga for the teachers from Latgale, the eastern part of Latvia, on 26 July – 20 August 1920. Their extensive syllabuses included a lot of lectures in a variety of subjects: Latvian Language and Literature (33 lectures), Mathematics (28), Gymnastics (30), History of Latvia (15), Singing (13), Drawing (10), and Ethics (14 hours) [9, 477]. However, the distribution of hours for each subject in the programme, just like in the programme of the summer courses organised in Ventspils for the teachers from Kurzeme, eastern part of Latvia, is not clear at all. Specifically, it is unclear why 'secondary’ subjects, such as Drawing (allocated 15 hours of training during the course) and Physical Education (14 hours), or Singing (which was taught for almost as many hours as history) were given priority over such strictly academic disciplines as Mathematics (6 hours), History and other subjects, while the education of teachers did not meet the standards expected in secondary school. This question has not been answered to this day. In terms of History as a subject, the explanation could be found in the lack of teaching material to offer to the participants since professional historians were still required to write or, in other words, to document the history of Latvia. On the other hand, it is difficult to explain the lack of lectures in World History; doubts appear as to whether newly-trained teachers were sufficiently knowledgeable in the subject.

The situation slightly changed during the term-time of 1921/22 when 19 subjects were offered at various teacher training courses. History and Methodology of Teaching History were in the third position by the hour count of the course (364 hours were allocated to it). The first two positions in the rating belong to Science and Mathematics (661 hours) and the Methodology of Teaching Mathematics (543 hours). Yet History took the lead over Latvian Language (332 hours), Pedagogy (347 hours) and Handicraft (343). The information about these courses is provided in the Review of Schools’ Activities [9, 525–526] but the document fails to explain whether 'hours’ is a term used in the context of a single course or it represents the overall time spent on teaching history at multiple courses. Unfortunately, the available data do not give an answer to this question. It is assumed that the fact of such a significant amount of time spent on teaching the history of Latvia demonstrates a notable growth of attention towards the teaching of history in elementary school comparing to the previous academic year. Lectures in the history course were given by P. Dreimanis, who became an author of various school books on both the history of Latvia and world history afterwards.

Thus, despite the difficulties in the after-war period, there was a significant increase in the number of schools and teachers in the first post-reform years in Latvia by virtue of activities undertaken by relevant governmental institutions. Yet only 25 % of these teachers were certified as competent [7, 158] because of the requirement to be assessed by a special commission and to be awarded with a relevant qualification category of either a "full-right" or a candidate teacher in order to be entitled to work in a school. The number of well-educated people who could work in schools was still insufficient. The situation was made even more complicated by obvious imperfections in the Law on Educational Establishment [6] of 1919, namely, the unsolved issues related to the instruction of young teachers, their wages as well as their pensions. Herewith, the 1920 Verbatim report of Ministry indicates that teachers sometimes did not receive their salaries from three to five months while the government kept shifting the responsibility of finding a solution to this problem onto the local administration [7, 157]. The combination of the factors described above did not contribute to generating interest in teaching as a profession [17].

Despite all the problems relating to the training and education of teachers, the training courses were the only source for the renewal of teaching staff and the revival of schools. Starting from 1923 candidates could apply for a training course only if they had previously completed secondary education. It is important to note that this factor did not guarantee a good preparation for teaching in schools because the knowledge gained by the participants of the courses was still quite poor [12, 111]. Irrespective of the high number of applicants to the course in 1923, which accounted for 425 people [9, 478], there was still a lot of work to be done. Trained in such a manner, teachers did not always meet the requirements of a new school. An important fact to mention is that according to the Teaching Plan, elementary school teacher, with the work-load of twenty-four hours per week [9, 478] in the 1920s, taught a whole spectrum of subjects for a single class of pupils. The preparation for classes required a considerable amount of time, which did not contribute to teachers’ attention and interest in some individual disciplines. Whereas History was only one out of many subjects and it was positioned after the cycle of language and science (Physics and Mathematics), it was unreasonable to expect much knowledge and high quality of teaching from teachers when the first problem to be solved was the overall literacy.

Thus, the inclusion of History in the secondary school curriculum programme as well as the level of education of teachers and the over-load of subjects they faced did not generate teachers’ interest in history nor did it motivate teachers to undertake an independent study in this subject. This, accordingly, led to the evaluation of the level of history teaching in secondary school as unsatisfactory in the Performance Review of Schools in Latvia published in 1924 [9, 470]. It was the time when the revision reports of school pedagogical councils and some articles in the press raising the issue of a large amount of students being incapable to follow the activities and the material in class started to appear. It was concluded that the causes behind such a situation were the irrational actions of teachers in classrooms, their incapability of meeting the requirements of the new curriculum and using adequate teaching methods. As noted above, the problem lied in the subjects, which had never been taught in schools before; teachers seemed to be under-qualified to teach disciplines, such as ... History of Latvia, Geography, even Latvian Language, etc. [9, 19].

At the time when the courses mentioned above were being run, the General Department of Schools provided teachers in employment with an opportunity to undertake summer courses, resulting in the improvement of qualification of 2,230 people in 1923 [9, 18]. Apart from the courses organised under the governmental supervision and funding, an important role in teacher training was played by the Fellowship of Latvian Teachers [9, 474], which organised "pedagogical weeks" as well as training courses, and 1922 is considered a very successful year for that matter.

In 1924 the General Department of Schools developed a new training programme for elementary school teachers [3] with 20 hours dedicated to the History of Latvia. The amount of hours of training in this subject was smaller than the amount of hours allocated to many other subjects, yet the same as for Geography, Psychology, and Logic. It should be noted that there were no lectures planned for World History. Once again favour towards such subjects as Music and Singing, Drawing, Gymnastics and Handicraft was demonstrated, with 50 hours given to each of them. In comparison to previous courses, new subjects were added, for example, 60 hours were dedicated to Social Sciences, which could be explained by the novelty of this subject in the historically new environment. A large amount of hours was spent on pedagogical subjects, i.e. 30 hours on Pedagogical Psychology, the total of 100 hours on History of Pedagogy, Practical Pedagogy, General Didactics, and 280 hours on Methodology of Teaching Subjects of School Programme. The above figures testify to the changes in education; the existing situation stabilised and the issue of quality in education was paid the necessary attention, i.e. more time could be spent for the improvement of the teaching of school subjects in school programmes.

Considering that these courses were developed in order to train new teachers and this assumption is based on their programme, such an amount of subjects of pedagogical cycle, which is allocated 380 out of the total one thousand hours, is natural. It is important to note that according to the amount of hours within the course, Methodology of Teaching History was in the fourth position among all the subjects related to the methodology of teaching, where the leading three were Mathematics, Latvian Language, and Gymnastics. When analysing the course programmes mentioned above, it becomes clear that they served a different purpose compared to the previously organised training courses. Even though the target audience remained the same, i.e. teachers without relevant qualifications and work experience in schools, these courses were designed to provide better qualifications to their participants. In addition to general subjects, trainees received more professionally oriented knowledge.

Unfortunately, many questions remain unanswered due to the lack of generalised information about teacher training in various types of reports. It is a known fact that the largest proportion of middle school teachers (26 %) had less than five years of work experience; 18 % of teachers had lived in occupied territories for six to ten years, and only 13 % had been teaching for eleven to fifteen years [4]. The degree of training of the first group of teachers (with work experience of less than five years) could be evaluated thanks to the available information about the training courses as described above. Yet there are many uncertainties in the reports of institutions responsible for school affairs in the 1920s–1930s regarding the professional qualifications of teachers who had more than five years of beforehand work experience because such teachers could have been educated during the times of Tsarist Russia. As stated in The Government Gazette (Valdības Vēstnesis), a lot of teachers could have been "licensed" as qualified according to the registers of formal educational institutions of Russia [5, 20], which equalled to a higher education institution of Latvia. However, it could be assumed that those with a notable work experience had an opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and grow professionally at training courses as a result of desire or necessity.

Addressing professional development of elementary school teachers. Forms of instruction

As described in The Review of General Department of Schools [9, 504], problems linked to the scarcity of teachers were solved by the summer of 1926 and it was no longer necessary to increase their number at a fast pace. Therefore, the programmes of summer courses were no longer used for teacher training. Yet teacher training courses were not cancelled after teacher places in schools were filled; they gained a new meaning and purpose. Previously, the courses were meant to educate teachers on a very basic level, which allowed them to obtain their qualifications and to receive permission to teach in schools. The new purpose of the courses was for teachers to refresh their knowledge and to try out methodological questions in practice [4]. Such courses were offered to history teachers in 1928 [2].

In addition to the courses covering a full spectrum of school curriculum as well as pedagogical subjects, four-year seminars for teachers were introduced in the beginning of the 1920s [5, 20]; they were available to individuals with basic education. In 1922 the Ministry of Education issued an order to gradually reorganise seminars for teachers into Teachers’ Institutes with a five-year study programme. The institutes provided an opportunity to receive pedagogical as well as secondary education since applicants had to have undertaken at least six years of school, which means that they had to be the graduates of elementary school. Students of such Teachers’ Institutes were required to undertake general subjects of the secondary school programme in line with a course of pedagogical subjects, such as Pedagogy, Psychology, Basics of Philosophy, and Methodology modules for each subject of the school programme. Since such changes in the system required a long time for results to appear, one-year pedagogical classes preparing the graduates with basic education for school work were established in secondary schools in the same year of 1922 [18]. These courses were cancelled in 1927. As a result, the process of teacher preparation for work in the field of education was taken to a new level, and the required qualifications were being obtained only at Teachers’ Institutes and the University, as well as the Conservatory. The institutes provided with secondary special education, which means that the secondary school programme was expanded on account of teaching methodology of some individual teaching subjects and pedagogical subjects [12, 114].

By virtue of a systematic work of teacher training courses and, mainly, Teachers’ Institutes and the University, the first actual results in this sector were received by 1927, which allowed creating more rigid requirements for teacher education and qualifications in the form of a precept of mandatory secondary education for teachers. The rise in the level of teacher education and the generally stabilised situation in the education system brought up the idea of improving the quality of education in elementary school. It was the period when the discussion about the possibility of some subjects being taught by specialist-teachers, i.e. experts in a specific field, was launched at different levels of pedagogical community. However, as noted above, the question of specialist subject teachers in elementary schools was not the simplest one to realise [19]. Conditions in elementary schools, especially in rural areas, excluded the option of specialists teaching individual subjects. Teachers had to cover almost all subjects listed in the curriculum and this required broad and more generalised knowledge. The Decree about mandatory secondary education for middle school teachers [4] did not actually guarantee a boost of teachers’ educational level. It is assumed that the personnel of the department responsible for education felt a contradiction when formulating the Decree and realised real-time capabilities of schools in the country, and only city schools, where specialist teachers could actually teach their subjects, were mentioned in the document.

Therefore, with this information as a base, it is assumed that specialist subject teachers could be elementary school staff too, but only under the conditions of a high number of students and in the city environment. Unfortunately, there is no single support to this statement – the analysed archival material [1], journal articles, official reports by Ministry of Education and General Department of Schools, as well as research on the history of schools in Latvia covering the period discussed in this paper do not clarify the situation.

Regarding this matter, a special decree dated 11 November 1925 proved to be an interesting document. This decree of the mandatory certification for teachers [8] demonstrates special attention to teachers of such specialisations as Handiwork, Sports, and Modern Languages. It was noted that these disciplines required special preparation and starting from 1 April 1927 they could be taught only by teachers who had obtained the required qualifications.

In such way, the foundations were laid for the beginning of generalised specialisation of elementary school teachers. By 1 August 1927, elementary school teachers received 6,756 certificates giving the right to teach specialised subjects. This process took place in conformity to the developed programme of annulments of the previously existing system of categorising elementary school teachers (by gradation) and an absolute shift to the system of specialised subject teachers in 1930, which implied the "over-licensing" [20] of all relevant teachers. Despite all innovations, it is difficult to perceive a middle school teacher of the 1920s and even the early 1930s as competent in history and the school subject of History itself as an important and independent discipline with a significant role in the school curriculum. The same could be said about the quality of history teaching in the elementary school; therefore, it is still impossible to make any assumptions regarding the knowledge of elementary school students in this particular subject.

After the coup of 1934, the teaching of history in schools acquired a new role due to its importance for the state ideology. Special attention was paid to the "education" of history teachers: history courses for history teachers were organised in July 1934 and in 1935. In July 1936, Kārlis Ulmanis (President of Latvia) paid a visit to the courses organised by the order of the Ministry of Education. Two ideas dominated in the course: the subject of history as a means of education for pupils and the most up-to-date "research of Latvian history". In turn, the courses organised by the Society of History Teachers in 1930 focused on the practical activities of teachers during the lesson (i.e. the methodology of subject instruction). The goal of historical education was understood as "the formation of every aspect of personality and the development of pupil’s imagination and critical thinking".

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be stated that even with an immense growth of the number of schools in the first ten years (58 % by 1928/29), the Ministry of Education managed to organise the work of schools as much as it was possible under the conditions of those years: the number of elementary school teachers increased by 103 % within that period. The changes in the situation caused by teachers receiving education made an impact on the regulations because since 1927 elementary school teachers were required to receive qualifications in order to teach specialist subjects, which reflected the increase of the requirements for the level of teacher education. A diploma from a teacher institute or secondary school with an additional pedagogical class became a mandatory requirement for those who received their education before 1927.

Sources and literature

  1. Ministrijas un tai pakļauto darbinieku saraksti. Latvian State Historical Archives ((hereinafter referred to as LSHA/ LVVA), f. 1632, apr. 5 N. 715; f. 1632, apr. 5 N. 714, N. 713.
  2. Augstskolu saraksti. Valdības Vēstnesis, 1925, N. 239; Augstskolu saraksti. Valdības Vēstnesis, 1926, N. 67.
  3. Dēķens Kārlis. Latvijas skolotāju savienība 1917–1927. 10 darbības gadu atcerei. Rīga: Latvijas skolotāju savienība, 1927.
  4. Izglītības Ministrijas Skolu departamenta un bij. Skolu virsvaldes darbības pārskats: 1924/25 un 1925/26 mācību g. Rīga: Skolu departaments, 1927, lpp. 360.
  5. Izglītības Ministrijas Skolu departamenta un bij. Skolu virsvaldes darbības pārskats: III. Posms: no 1926. g. beigām līdz 1930. g. 1. janvārim. Rīga: Skolu departaments, 1930, lpp. 552.
  6. Likums par Latvijas izglītības iestādēm. Valdības Vēstnesis, 1919., 17. dec.
  7. Neatkarīgās Latvijas skolu desmit gadu darbības atcere. 1919–1929. Rīga: Skolu departaments, 1930, lpp. 81.
  8. 1925. g. 11. nov. Nr. P. 4436. Rīkojums par obligatorisko skolotāju liecību izsniegšanu. In: Izglītības Ministrijas Skolu departamenta un bij. Skolu virsvaldes darbības pārskats: 1924/25 un 1925/26 mācību g. Rīga: Skolu departaments, 1927.
  9. Pārskats par Skolu departamenta darbību, 23. VII 1919.–7. VIII 1924. Rīga: Skolu departaments, 1924, lpp. 504.
  10. 20. gadsimta Latvijas vēsture. Neatkarīga valsts (1918–1940). Rīga: Latvijas vēstures institūta apgāds, 2003, lpp. 727.
  11. SALENIECE Irēna. Latvijas republikas skolu politika (1918–1940). Rīga: Latvijas vēstures institūta apgāds, 2003, 723. lpp.
  12. STARIS Alfrēds, ŪSIŅŠ Vladimirs. Izglītības un pedagoģijas zinātnes attīstība Latvijā pirmās brīvvalsts laikā. Rīga: Zinātne, 2000. lpp. 114.
  13. ŽUKOVS Leonards, KOPELOVIČA Anna. Skolotāju izglītība un pedagoģiskā doma Latvijā. Rīga, 1995, lpp.160.–180.
  14. ŽUKOVS Leonards, KOPELOVIČA Anna. Pedagoģiskā doma Latvijā. Rīga: RaKa,1997, lpp. 158.
  15. Comments
  16. In 1922 there were 90,000 children, who were orphaned and suffering from war. Even superficial medical examinations determined that 90 % of these children suffered from anaemia.
  17. The topic of school policies is discussed in a book by Saleniece Irēna. Latvijas republikas skolu politika (1918–1940). Rīga: Latvijas vēstures institūta apgāds, 2003, 723. lpp.
  18. The majority of teachers worked in elementary schools. The number of elementary schools and the number of students attending them was notably higher compared to secondary schools after the Law...1919 was enacted: during the term-time 1922/23 there were 4,346 teachers in elementary schools and only 857 in secondary schools. [Pārskats par Skolu departamenta darbību, 23. VII 1919. –7. VIII 1924. Rīga: Skolu departaments, 1924, lpp. 81.]
  19. Teachers seminars opened in Jelgava and Berzaine in 1920 and in Daugavpils in 1921.
  20. The topic of teachers’ institutes preparing teachers for work in elementary schools is discussed in the book by Leonards Zhukovs and Anna Kopelovich [Žukovs Leonards, Kopeloviča Anna. Skolotāju izglītība un pedagoģiskā doma Latvijā. Rīga, 1995, lpp. 160.–180.]
  21. Teachers had to be qualified by a special commission and receive a special category.

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Santrauka

Pradinės mokyklos mokytojų rengimas Latvijoje (1918–1940 m.)

Straipsnyje siekiama atskleisti naujos švietimo sistemos kūrimą nuo Latvijos valstybės susikūrimo ir Švietimo įstaigų įstatymo (1919 m.) bei Švietimo įstatymo (1934 m.) priėmimo. Istorijos mokymo mokyklose klausimai aptariami to meto kontekste. Straipsnyje atsižvelgiama į socialinius procesus, pagrindines pedagogikos idėjas ir tautinės ideologijos plėtrą. Tyrimui naudotas chronologinis metodas, kadangi mokyklinio ugdymo klausimai aptariami dviejų Latvijos istorijos laikotarpių, parlamentinio ir autoritarinio, kontekste, t. y. prieš 1934 m. gegužės 15 d. perversmą ir po jo. Pastarasis laikotarpis perėmė dalį ankstesnio laikotarpio tradicijų, tačiau šiam laikotarpiui taip pat būdingi struktūriniai skirtumai skirtingose mokyklinio ugdymo pakopose.

Siekiant pagerinti supratimą apie švietimo sistemos funkcionavimą, skyriuje „Valstybės politika dėl mokyklos personalo formavimo“ aptariami mokytojų (šiuo atveju istorijos mokytojų) rengimo klausimai bei jų išsilavinimo ir profesinio pasirengimo lygis. Jie analizuojami diachroniškai (nuo 1919 iki 1940 m.) ir dviem lygmenimis – vertikaliu, atkreipiančiu dėmesį į personalo formavimo politiką pradinėje mokykloje, ir horizontaliu, akcentuojančiu mokytojų rengimo organizavimą ir jų profesinės kvalifikacijos kėlimo metodus.