The example of Europe and the pedagogical ideas of the Bulgarian writers during the Bulgarian National Revival (XVIII – the first half of the XIX century

Milka Nikolova Terziyska-Stefanova

Abstract


This article aims to explore and analyze the essence and nature of the pedagogical thought in Bulgaria during the Bulgarian National Revival as a basis for educational reform. Objectivity requires pedagogical ideas to be considered in the context of overall socio-political and cultural life in the country on the one hand, and amid universal spiritual revival in Europe on the other. These tasks could be undertaken by a major international study, which is why we consider some of the questions highlighting this topic – the positive example of Europe on educational thought in the country presented by Bulgarian writers in the 18th century through the first half of the 19th century.

The achievements of free European nations developing in all spheres of life were perceived by Bulgarian Renaissance writers as an incentive to overcome the age-old material and spiritual backwardness of the Bulgarians by the power of knowledge. In their activity they proceeded from a clearly motivated purpose: to contribute by educating citizens about spiritual awakening and rise of the Bulgarian nation. According to them, mass secular education in their native language was the road that would take the Bulgarians from their present slavery and provide them with material and spiritual well-being, like in other European nations.

The need for secular books and secular schools to be taught in the mother tongue was one of the main ideas of Bulgarian writers during the Renaissance. Their mouthpieces were mainly clergymen, who perceived their role as national leaders and educators. Alongside the emerging secular intelligentsia, they actively contributed to the spiritual and cultural advancement of the Bulgarian nation and its integration into European civilization.

An enlightened, free and independent Bulgaria was the ideal of our Renaissance leaders P. Hilendarski, G. S. Rakovski and Hr. Botev. While the revolutionary figures from the late 19th century thought that this could be achieved through armed struggle, the writers from the 18th and early 19th centuries were convinced that the power of knowledge would transform the Bulgarian nation, which would equal or surpass other Balkan, Slavic and European nations in terms of education and incorporate them. The Bulgarian writers of the 18th and early 19th centuries vocalised the general aspiration for national awakening through education. Through their literary and educational activities, the Bulgarian National Revival was rooted in and approved a new educational ideal, subject to the struggle for national self-determination.


Keywords


Bulgarian National Revival; 18th and early 19th centuries; Bulgarian writers; example of Europe; education; pedagogical ideas; educational thought

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14516/ete.122

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