Russian Education Historical Timeline


Catherine II

1762 - 1796

Founded first Russian state schools in 1775 (Gutek, 1995, p. 422).

Alexander I

1801 - 1825

Established outlines of an educational system consisting of parish schools, secondary schools, and universities (Gutek, 1995, p. 421).

Nicholas I

1825 - 1855

Russian Emperor know for his "Nicholas System" used to stop the Growth of Russian liberalism (Gutek, 1995, p. 420).

Count Benkendorf

1826 - 1844

Directed Nicholas's Secret Police that where used to scrutinize teachers (Gutek, 1995, p. 421).

Konstantin Pobedonostev

1827 - 1907

Chief adviser to Alexander III and believed schools needed to be brought under greater supervision in order to purge anarchist teachers (Gutek, 1995, p. 432, 434).

Count Leo Tolstoy

1828 - 1910

Writer of the book War and Peace, and questioned the government’s emphasis on industrialization when most people where illiterate (Gutek, 1995, p. 432).

Count S. S. Uvarov

1833 - 1849

Minister of education under Nicholas I that did very little to progress education (Gutek, 1995, p. 421).

Alexander II

1855 - 1881

Son of Nicholas I, and the most tolerant of tsars in educational matters. He established zemstovs schools providing basic literacy to children in the villages and competed with the parish schools. He was assassinated by terrorists (Gutek, 1995, p. 423, 424, 428).

Nikolai Lenin

1870 - 1924

Marxist revolutionary that led the Bolshevik Revolution and became the first Communist leader of the new Soviet Union. He established co-ed working-class schools emphasizing practical and socially productive labor for all people (Gutek, 1995, p. 436).

Joseph Stalin

1879 - 1953

Became Communist leader of the Soviet Union after Lenin and introduced his Five-Year Plan to industrialize the Soviet Union by using systematic teacher-directed education to instruct basic skills, science, and discipline, along with a firm foundation in the basic and applied sciences for technicians and engineers. He also asserted history into the school curriculum to support Russian nationalism in the youth (Gutek, 1995, p. 440).

Alexander III

1881 - 1894

Regressed back to the suppressive autocracy system used by his grandfather because of the murder of his father, Alexander II (Gutek, 1995, p. 433).

Nicholas II

1894 - 1917

Weakest and last tsar that was forced to relinquish his position due to the revolt that occurred in response to "Bloody Sunday" (Gutek, 1995, p. 435).

State Duma Speech


Emperor Nicholas II gave a speech at the State Duma that included public education among the state’s basic priorities, requiring collaboration between the top rulers and “selected individuals from among the people” (Andreev, 2013, p. 5).

Bloody Sunday

January 25, 1905

Orthodox priest, Father George Gapon, and his group of 500 peaceful demonstrators were gunned down, turning tsar supporters against Nicholas II (Gutek, 1995, p. 435).

Universal Education Plan


The Ministry of Public Education sketched out a plan to convert autocracy education to universal education with in ten years (Andreev, 2013, p. 6).

Bolshevik Revolution


The Bolsheviks led by Nikolai Lenin overthrew the provisional government that was established after Nicolas II to establish the first Communist dictatorship of Russia and the Soviet Union Government (Gutek, 1995, p. 435).

Decline of the Soviet Union

1964 - 1985

The Soviet economy became stagnant and leadership was lost its robustness among supporters under the rule of Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, and Konstantin Chernenko (Gutek, 1995, p. 448-449).

Mikhail Gorbachev

1985 - 1991

Soviet president that sought to reinvigorate the Soviet Union by introducing perestroika and glasnost and removing low quality standards, social passivity, and bureaucratization that afflicted schools (Gutek, 1995, p. 449).

End of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

December 22, 1991

Conception of the Modernization of Education

2001 - 2010

The purpose was to create a strategy capable of turning education into an instrument for the country’s modernization (Andreev, 2013, p. 20).

Adoption of Unified State Exam


Russia implemented the Unified State Exam for admissions to all universities to combat corruption (Denisova-Schmidt & Leontyeva, 2014, p. 22).