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History of youth work in Estonia

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  1. History of youth work in Estonia Marti Taru

  2. History • Theareawhichtodayisknown Estonia hasbeenundertheruleof: • Germans, since 12th century; spreadofChristianity • Poles, Swedes, Danes, since 16th century; Lutheranism , peasant education and publicationofreligiousbooksinEstoniansince 17th century (‘goodoldSwedishtimes’) • AcademiaGustaviana / Tartu University 1632, literature and musiccenteredin Tallinn • First grammars of Estonian language in 17th century • RussianEmpire, beginningof 18th century; TheGreatNorthernWar • The Baltic Landestaat: Baltic German local government, privilegesof 324 noble families / the knighthoods of Estonia, Livonia and Saaremaa

  3. History • 18th to 19th century Estonia incorporatedintoRussianEmpire and under German localgovernment, agriculture and industryunder German capital • Number of Estoniansrosefrom 170 000 inthebeginningof 18th century (after GNW and Famine) to 750 000 in 1860 • Agrariansociety- 93% ofEstoinanslivedinruralareas; 95% ofEstonianswere peasants, mostofthemserfs; 4% townspeople, 1% other • Germanslivedintowns; intowns: Estonians - 60%, Germans - 40% Estonians, 10% - othernations

  4. National awakening • 19th century- nationalawakening and Estonianidentityformation • ‘Estonians’ first used in 1857 • The leading force were primarily the emerging intellectuals aspiring to better their social position, the middle layer consisting of civil servants, merchants and artisans and the ethnic Estonian clergy • Oppostion or altenative to German and Russian domiation • Birthofcivicorganisations • Political, ethnicsocietiesnotallowed • Temperance, church and educational-artisticsocieties • Schools and teachers as centers of associational life • Newspapers

  5. Youth and national awakening • Ruralyouth, participation in societies: • reading societies and libraries, discussion groups, drama, singing, playing instruments, temperance societies, sports groups, home-keeping, farming etc. • Often the societies were started and lead by young people (minors); adult and youth activism was mixed • Urbanyouth, illegal groupings in gymnasiums: • Discussing social, historical and cultural themes, related to (imagined) history of Estonia and becoming an independent nation in Europe; high cultural aims • Support to socialist ideas, employee/worker VS employer/capitalist conflict

  6. Youth and national awakening • Church attempted to organize and mobilise youth around Christian values using a range of methods: • Sunday schools, Christian homes and boarding schools, special church services for youth, separate societies for boys and girls. • the attempts were rather unsuccessful because of • economic development • development of science and secular worldview among people • the image of church carried a strong element of violence and oppression so that it did not enjoy high popularity among Estonian people. • Therole of churchdiminished as the national awakening movement gained momentum.

  7. Youth activities • Civic (and) youth grassroots movements in rural areas • activities supported personal development: • particular skills and knowledge (reading, singing, playing an instrument), • developing national identity and respective attitudes, • Networking and contacts, local community development, • promoting temperance and healthier lifestyle. • the groups were lead by teachers, more educated and active local people and young people themselves. • Volunteers • Pedagogical training and experience; • not an integrated group with professional self-consciousness; • no professional organisation • Participation and target group • involved young people already from age 13 year olds • finished schooling and had free time • There were separate societies for men and women, for boys and girls.

  8. Youth instructors • Participation and target group • involved young people already from very early age – education then constituted only a 4 year so that 13 year olds already had finished their schooling and had free time to spend it on other things. • There were separate societies for men and women, for boys and girls.

  9. Youth in towns • Illegal groups in schools in towns • Activities were educating and supported personal development : • the young learn and discuss historical and social situations and developments • ‘let out the steam’ • developing national identity and respective attitudes • Related skills and knowledge • Lead by more active fellow pupils • No training, no professional organisation • Memberships and target groups • aged 15-17, • mainly boys but not exclusively. • Being formed in secondary schools and gymnasiums, they were reachable only to a small ‘educational elite’. • Membership in those informal groups was limited and entrance to them very tightly controlled. Pupils who were caught, were often expelled from school.

  10. Youth work in church • Church congregations • Activities • aimed at propagating Christianity and submissiveness to foreign rulers, • social care and assistance • Lead by church teachers • Pedagogical training and experience • Memberships and target groups • Relatively unpopular, and diminshing popularity

  11. Youth as social actor • Active participation in rural societies, taking lead in those societies • FormationofliterarymovementNoor Eesti in 1905 – youngwriters and poets, programmaticdesiretomovetoward ‘Europe’ • Estonian WarofIndependence (againstSovietRussiaFeb 1928-Feb 1920) + Landeswehrbattles summer 1919 + WhiteRussianbattlesOctober 1919 – significantroleplayedbyvolunteertroopsformedofsecondaryschoolboys

  12. Summary of pre-history • Framework: national awakening • The mobilising idea was strive for independent nationhood, integrated into European cultural space • Grassroots non-political societies • Youth activism inside this framework • Activities supporting personal growth and formation of national identity • Non-professional but pedagogical and experiental background • Youth as significant social actor, leading the way to independence

  13. Youth and youth work 1918-1940 • Independent Republic of Estonia was declared on 24 February 1918 • Building independent state, formation of public administration system • Legislative framework • Legalisation of already existing youth organisations and movements

  14. Legislativeframework & developments • Year 1922 • Act of Public Gymnasiums • pupils (up to 22 years of age) have the right to establish societies and grouping which must be registered by school pedagogical management board. • Pupils may participate in all other organisations outside the school but need to get permission from management; the board had the right to ban pupil’s participation in other organisations.

  15. Legislativeframework & developments • Year 1922 • Ministry issued circular letters specifying non-academic activities in secondary schools. • Ministry stressed the importance of non-curricular pedagogical activities. • the need to establish rings which would provide opportunities for non-curricular activities • significance of sports and music rings were emphasized since these support development of healthy lifestyle, will-power and patriotism among pupils

  16. Legislativeframework & developments • Year 1937 • Act of OrganizingYouthCamps, YouthEvents and Meetings • these can be organized only by youth organisations which have been registered at the Ministry of Education (and werein accord with the Act of OrganisingYouth) or by other organisations, named by the Minister of education • Youth Committee Act • A local committee tosupport youth organisations and youth • local school inspectors, • representative of Ministry of Education, Unit of Youth, • elders or leaders of local chapters of Defence League youth organisations, • Scouts and Guides, • representative of every registered national youth organization

  17. Legislativeframework & developments • Year 1938 • Actsof Secondary Schools, Gymnasium Act and Vocational School Act whichdid not mention pupils right to establish rings at school • YouthAct • Definitionofyouth – all individuals below 20 • defined goals of youth work: healthy and active citizens who contribute to building of Estonian state and Estonian nation. • The Act foresaw that all national youth organisationsweresubordinated to Chief Commander, who was also Army General Commander. • OperationalcontroloveryouthorganisationsgiventoMinistry of Education, Unit of Youth and Free Education

  18. Legislativeframework & developments • Year1938 • YouthAct • how youth organisations could be established at schools • defined establishing and activitiesof all other youth organisations. • Youth organizationwithmembers below18 years had to beregistered at the Ministry of Education. • the Minister of Education had the right to ban participation in the organization and the Minister of Internal Affairs had the right to dismiss organization which did not follow guidelines fromthe Ministry of Education. • Pupils could partake only in these youth organisations which were allowed by the Minister of Education. • Youth organisations which did receive financial support from state, had to get approval to their activity plans, budgets and reports from the Ministry.

  19. Legislativeframework & developments • Adoptionoftheactsin 1930s signifiedchangeinconceptionofyouth: • Youthissues are noteducationalissuesonly (1922 GymnasiumAct) • Neverthelessschoolremainedthecentralstructureforyouthwork • Orcivicactivismonly (youthmovementsinearlyindependence) • Extracurricularactivitiesgivenspecificdevelopmentalrole: • Upbringingofactivecitizens, membersofEstoniansociety • Youthas a resourceforbuildingEstonianstate • Method: statecontrolled and supportedyouthorganisations

  20. Educational reforms • Formaleducationsystem reform 1934: skillsin labor market morevaluedthangeneraleducation • Increasein number ofvocationalschools • Decreasein number ofgeneralgymnasiums • Non-FormalLearningSocietyestablishedin 1923 • Umbrellaorganisationoflocaleducation/non-formallearningsocieties • Centralcoordinatingbodyofnon-formallearning

  21. Scouting • Therewere 3 youthorganisationsin Estonia • Scouts and Guides (membersofWorldOrganisationoftheScoutMovement) • Estonian ‘version’ ofscouting Noored Sepad (YoungBlacksmiths) in Tallinn • DefenceLeagueyouthcorps (becameScoutsafterjoiningwithoriginalScouts) • The first group of 12-17 year old boys in Pärnuin 1912 • New start in1916-17 inseveral places in Estonia, • The movement was started in schools, in Tallinn. • Guides –girlscouts– movement emerged in 1920-1921 • Scouting did not enjoy high popularity in Estonia, its membership figures remained below 4 000. • In 1920 the number of scout-boys in Estonia counted 1 000, • in 1921: 6 000, • 1922-1926 and also in the end of 1920s:between 1300-2000 • In study year 1937-1938 the number of boy scouts was 3 528 and girl scouts2 189.

  22. Scouting / Young Blacksmiths • In 1920 nationally minded scoutingmovement emergedin Tallinn which accepted only Estonians as their members • Noored Sepad / Young Blacksmiths • Themainmotivationsforsplittingwere • dissatisfactionwith ‘cosmopolitanist’ natureofscouting • wishtopromote patriotism and love forhomeland • All membersof NS werealsoactivemembersofyouthtemperancemovement • The number of girlsaround500 in the end of 1920s • Theorganisationwasreformedin 1930, renamedto Noored Kotkad / YoungEagles • Estonian DefenceLeaguestarteditsyouthorganisation

  23. Scouting / Young Blacksmiths • Activitiesingroupsof: • Foreignlanguages • Photography • Maritimetraining (1 sailingship and 6 boats) • Theatre and drama • Choir • Sportsgroups • International contacts, Czech ‘Sokol’ • Partying • Theorganisationwasreformedin 1930, renamedto Noored Kotkad / YoungEagles • Estonian DefenceLeaguestarteditsyouthorganisation

  24. Estonian DefenceLeagueyouthorganisations • Plansto start affiliatedyouthorganisationsannouncedin 1928 • YouthorganisationsofEstonianDefenceLeagueestablished: • DefenceLeagueBoysCorps 1930 • DefenceLeagueGirlsCorps 1932 • Aimsoftheorganisationsoverlappedto a largedegreewithScouts • Scoutlaw, scoutingskills • Patriotism and readinesstodomilitaryservice

  25. Scouts and DefenceLeagueyouthcorps • … joined in 1936 into Union of Scouts • The new organisation was accepted into WOSM • DLYCs were organisations based on principles of scouting • In 1936 close cooperation with Ministry of Education, Unit of Youth and Free Education started • New Youth Act 1936

  26. Activities • Games, folk traditions • Musicgroups • Maritime, communication, shooting • Sportsactivities and competitions • Agriculture and farming, skilldevelopment • Summer camps, sports • Countrywidecompetitioninscoutingskills • Journalsfordifferentagegroups • Handbooksforyouthinstructors

  27. Youth work in scouting • Youthinstructorsgrewfromamongstmembersoftheorganisation • Program/systemfortrainingofyouthinstructors • Instructorofyoungeagles • Instructorofeagles • Youthmaster • Theinstituteofyouthmaster • Passed theexamofyoungeagle • Beenyouthleaderfor at leastoneyear • Defendeddissertationofyouthmaster • The number ofyouthmasters and instructorsofeagles ~200  • CenterofYouthMasterscreatedin 1934, reformedintoUnionofYouthMastersin 1939 • involvedintrainingofyouthinstructors • alsoingeneralmanagement

  28. Youth work in scouting • DLYC youthinstructors: • Volunteeryouthinstructors • Paid youthinstructorssince 1935, part- and fulltime • DefenceLeagueinstructors • Schoolteachers • Professional organisation and identity • Clearinternalstructure and standards • Purposivelytrainedyouthinstructors • Experiental and pedagogicalbackground • Qualitymanagement/insurancesystem • Internal – UnionofYouthMasters • External – MinistryofEducation • A seriesofhandbooks

  29. Estonian Youth • The YouthAct was followed by President’s decree on creation of Estonian Youthin 1938. The organization joinedintoone: • Defence League Boys’ Corps, • Defence League Girls’ Corps • Scouts, • Guides, • Young Blacksmiths, • Other scouting organization of Baltic or German background • Birthofnational, statecontrolledyouthorganisation • Totalmembership 55880; 28385 boys and 27495 girls

  30. Secondary School Pupils’ Societies • Secondary School Pupils’ Societies 1919-1929 • legalisation and developmentofformerlyillegal pupils’ societies • Activitygroupsinschools, dividedintobranches: • Humanitarian (themesofsocial development, nation, religion, ethics, values) • Music (choirs, brass groups, even symphony orchestras) • Sports • Temperance • Natural science • Drama • Arts • Chess • Libraries • debates and meetings, preparation and discussion of literature reviews, working groups • Youth (Holi)Days in several localities in 1920 and 1921, • alumni societies, • boarding houses for pupils, • summer camps projects were startedbutnot realized.

  31. Secondary School Pupils’ Societies • Localringsinschools+ nationalcentralorganisation • Annualnationalcongresses • Severalreformationsoforganisationalstructure • 1921-1922 wastheheydayofthemovement, societies active in many towns • membership in larger societies reached 700 pupils (in Tallinn), 435 in Viljandi, 400 in Tartu, 300 in Pärnu. • Totalmembershipseveralthousands

  32. Secondary School Pupils’ Societies • After 1922 startedto loose momentum • MinistryofEducationadopted ‘normalconstitutions’ foryouthsocietieswhichlimitedYO’sautonomy • Conflictwiththeministry • Manylocalclubsturnedintohobbyrings and lostmembershipin SSPS • PublicGymnasiumActadopted 1922 stipulatedthatseparatewrittenpermissionfromschoolneededtobeobtainedtoparticipateinexternalyouthorganisations • Conflictbetweensomelocalchapters • EstablishingofindependentPupil’sSportsSociety 1923 • EstablishingYouthTemperanceSocietyin 1923 • YTS took overnotable part ofSSPS’sactivities • Closureoftheorganisationin 1929

  33. Hobby rings in schools • In1922 the Ministry issued circular letters emphasizingthe importance of non-curricular pedagogical activities in shaping young personality. • The need to establish various clubs and rings which would provide opportunities for non-curricular activities for pupils was stressed. • Significanceof sports and music rings were emphasized since these support development of healthy lifestyle, will-power and patriotism among pupils. • Participation in rings and clubs organized in schools was strongly recommended byschoolmanagement +schoolmaster could ban pupils’ participation in organisations outside school (1922 Act). • Pupils participation in any legal youth club or organization was made conditional on their academic success and conduct. The measures were tofighting drinking and partying among youth

  34. Hobby rings in schools

  35. Hobby rings in schools

  36. Hobby rings in schools • 1937-1938 majority of schools had operating youth organisations • in towns77,7% of schoolshad operating youth organisations and 82,6% of schools had pupils who were members of some youth organisation • 52,7% of pupilsparticipated • Inrural schools, 85% and 87,9% • 49,7% of pupilsparticipated • most schools were stilloutside towns • in towns were 224 schools (elementary, vocational, secondary and gymnasiums) • in rural areas 1236 (85%) schools. • 71 different typesofhobbyactivities and hobbyrings • Totalnumber of hobbyrings was 1163 (512 in1924-1925) • total number of participants was 48 127 (27 668 in 1924-1925; whichwas ~20% ofpupils) • The number inter-schoolstudentsocietieswas 7, and 5 of them were in Tallinn. • The largest consistedof28 schools and 1523 members, • the smallest from 5 schools and 37 members.

  37. Hobby rings in schools • Hobbyrings inschoolswere lead by school teachers mostly. • In school-based activities were involved 2986 teachers and outside school based activities 800 teachers. • In addition to teachers, people outside school personnel were involved, number of additional staff 420 (10% of all youth workers) • composition of the group varied from Defence League instructors to school headmaster’s spouses and older pupils • Pedagogicaleducation, and experienced as teachers of a particular subject.

  38. Countrywide Union of Estonian Youth Societies • In 1919, Countrywide Union of Estonian Youth Societies was established. • apolitical and non-religious youth movement, which aimed at providing young people with leisure time spending opportunities • Before 1923, the CUEYS was mainly a movement of school pupils and teachers. • In1923 the GymnasiumAct (1922) prohibited participation in organisations outside school. • CUEYS moves from town to rural areas where there were relatively many young people aged 13-15 who had already finished their education and were looking for appropriate leisure time spending opportunities.

  39. Countrywide Union of Estonian Youth Societies • It focused on activities which had potential for supporting personal and cultural development of a young person: • sports, • music, • literature, • drama, • Esperanto, • chess, • libraries and reading societies, • various training courses, • temperance. • It valued patriotism, love of fatherland and general human values.

  40. Countrywide Union of Estonian Youth Societies • The CUEYS was a network / an umbrella organization of local clubs which operated as actual sites of activities. • 1919 – 7 clubs • 1923 – 37 • 1924 – 61 • 1927 – 132 • average sizein 1926 55-60 people, but varied from 20 to 500. A lotofvariationacrosslocalclubs. • Totalnumber of involved young people several thousands, close to 10 000 • Inthe end of 1937 ithad 5832 participants, around 10% oforganisedyouth • Centralorganization: a council of representatives of local clubs + executive management board. • Clubs hadthematicbranches • Clubshadsubunits with concrete function that were necessary for functioning of the chapter

  41. Countrywide Union of Estonian Youth Societies • Youthworkprofessionalism • participation in clubs most probably was an developmental experience for the participants. • Concreteskills, • new contacts, networking • Communitydevelopment • acquired new knowledge. • activities and organisation at different levels was lead by • young people themselves, • Schoolteachers, • other active adults.

  42. Countrywide Union of Rural Youth • Established in early 1930s • Umbrella organisation of rural co-operatives • Activities: • Training courses, agricultural and farming skills • Meetings • Study trips • Agricultural contests • Summer days

  43. Countrywide Union of Rural Youth • Target group – mainly rural youth below 18 years of age • 1935: 99 local chapters with 3226 registered members • 1937: 250 and 7785 • 1939: 446 and 13500 • Quick increase in membership numbers • Employed youth instructors

  44. Youth Temperance Society • establishedin 1923 • Activities: • meetings, • training courses, • essay competitions, • other similar activities • Partly umbrella organization for various organisations from other movements • scouting • ECUYS • had its own chapters • elementary and secondary schools. • In 1925 had 11 731 members in elementary and secondary schools • In 1932 had 6500 membersin ~100 localchapters

  45. Estonian Youth Red Cross • Established in 1923 • Focus on • Health • Cross-cultural integration and mutual respect • 1932 had ~11000 members

  46. Church • Anumber of congregations carriedout youth targeted activities. • social care strand • Preventproblems • Assist thoseintrouble • Religious strand • Communityforleadingreligious (Christian) life • upbringingofconservative personalities who respect authority and follow rules • Youth membership several hundreds, • age of participants could be well over 30 years, which at that times was considered to be middle-age

  47. Church • YMCA establishedin 1920 • 1935: 20 localchapterswith ~3000 participants • YWCA establishedin 1921 • 1935: 15 localchapterswith ~1500 participants • Activities: • Religiousthemes and practices • Trainingcourses • Choirs, music, drama • Sports • Camps and hikingtours

  48. Sports • Sportingas (most) popularactivityinmanyyouthorganisations • Competitive youthsports • Central Union of Sportsestablishedearly 1930s • in Tallinn TallinnSchools Sportsclubs Union • Both organized competitive sports events and preparedyouth forcompetitions. • CUS organisedwellover 100 contests and trainingcoursesin 1937, ~15000 youngpeoplepartook • CUS trainedyouthsportsinstructors • 459 peoplereceivedyouthsportsinstructorqualificationin 1937 • Amongstthemonly 171 wereschoolteacherswith prior pedagogicaleducation

  49. Political organisations • Communist youth • illegal movement thatwas the strongestorganisation • promotedMarxist-Leninist ideology, workers vs capitalists • Social-democratic youth. Few hundred members. • Young Socialist Workers • Socialist Youth • Political youth organisations were actually youth chapters of political parties, even if legally independent. • sites forpolitical socialization into particular ideology and corresponding political action. • Members mainly urban youth aged 14-25 • some participants 8 or 30 year olds. • Different age groups were approached differently; people 25+were recruited into political party.

  50. Estonian Union of Communist Youth • In late 1920, All-Estonian Union of Young Proletarians was established and registered. • AEUYP was banned in April 1921, when it had already 1000+ members. • The forced closurewas followed by birth of illegal Estonian Union of Communist Youth, with support and help from illegal Estonian Communist Party. • The EUCY had chapters in a number of places all over Estonia. Leaders of the illegal youth organization were arrested again in 1931. • The EUCY was illegal from 1921 to 1940. • The EUCY was predecessor of Estonian Communist Party Youth LeagueinSoviet era • The union united and organized active youthwho became leading figures in Communist Party inSoviet era.