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Uno Cygnaeus. The Finnish Visionary Who Changed Education Forever William E. Dugger, Jr. Uno Cygnaeus 200 th Anniversary Symposium University of Jyväskylä October 12-13, 2010. We are here to celebrate the 200 th Anniversary of Uno Cygnaeus. About Uno Cygnaeus:.

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uno cygnaeus

Uno Cygnaeus

The Finnish Visionary Who


Education Forever

William E. Dugger, Jr.

Uno Cygnaeus 200th Anniversary Symposium

University of Jyväskylä

October 12-13, 2010


We are here to celebrate

the 200th Anniversary


Uno Cygnaeus

about uno cygnaeus
About Uno Cygnaeus:
  • Born in Hämeenlinna, Finland in 1810.
  • Father was responsible for teaching him different folk processes such as woodworking and handicraft skills.
  • From his father Cygnaeus gained a respect and love for working with his hands.
  • His father (who was treasurer of the province) died when Cygnaeus was 8 years old.
about uno cygnaeus continued
About Uno Cygnaeus (continued):
  • Cignaeus attended the University of Turku and later the University of Helsinki majoring in natural sciences and theology.
  • He received a masters degree in 1836.
  • His formal working career began 1837 when he was ordained as a priest and served in Viipuri as an assistant pastor, prison chaplain, and teacher until 1839.
  • This experience here and his study of educational philosophers such as Pestalozzi and Frobel helped him to form his own educational philosophy and ideas.
about uno cygnaeus continued5
About Uno Cygnaeus (continued):
  • From 1839 to 1845, Cygnaeus was priest at the Lutheran parrish of New Archangel in Sitka, Alaska (Russia).
  • He next served (1846-1858) as priest and director of a Finnish school in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • In 1858, Cygnaeus returned to Finland. He then was granted a traveling grant by the Finnish Senate to study educational systems in other countries in Europe.
  • During his travels, he took many notes and compiled a detailed report to the Senate in 1860.
about uno cygnaeus continued6
About Uno Cygnaeus (continued):
  • He was asked by the Senate to write a plan on a new general educational system for Finland. This plan was approved in 1861 and it included a “Folk School” as a basic school. The plan was approved as “law”in 1866 by the Russian Czar.
  • Additionally in 1861, Cygnaeus was appointed as Chief Inspector of Schools in Finland (a position that he held for 26 years until 1887)
uno cygnaeus7
Uno Cygnaeus
  • He was one of the most influental educators of his time
  • Recognized as the “Father of the Finnish Folk School”
  • Founder of the Jyväskylä Seminar (to prepare teachers)
  • First to use the term “technology” as it relates to education
uno cygnaeus continued
Uno Cygnaeus (continued)
  • Advocated separation of church and state with education
  • Promoted a general educational system for boys and girls
  • Perceived everyone needing education for work (not as a vocational subject but as general education)
  • Viewed work as a “moral responsibility” and believed it to be an honor for man to accomplish it

Cygnaeus had a passion about education and work and itsbenefit to children. He not only had dreams about what could be but he also had the means and ability to carry out his dreams. Cygnaeus achieved greatness during and after his life.

  • This brings to mind a quote about the greatness of a person like Cygnaeus:
      • “So when a great man dies for years beyond our kin, the light he leaves behind him lies upon the paths of men.” (Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi)

Thank You!

William E. Dugger, Jr.

Senior Fellow and Former Director

Technology for All Americans Project

International Technology and Engineering Educators Association

[email protected]


Emeritus Professor, Virginia Tech

[email protected]

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