(200 Years the Birth of Teacher Ivan Nikolov Momchilov. The Creator of a Generation of Educated Bulgarians and Talented Bulgarian Teachers)
Authors: Veselina Petrova
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The author dedicates the article to an important anniversary – 200 years since the birth of the teacher Ivan Nikolov Momchilov (1819–1869). He is among the most highly educated Bulgarians. He had encyclopedic knowledge as well as native-language and foreign-language gifting. He writes and speaks Bulgarian, Turkish, Greek, Latin, German, Russian. His merits to the development of Slavicism are exceptional. Historical contributions of Momchilov to the Bulgarian education are also in use in present-day professional and practical training of students in pedagogical specialties. The young reformer created the first Bulgarian class school in Elena in 1843. It replaces the mutual learning method with a class-less system. He distributes pupils by class, creates a curriculum, introduces courses, conducts weekly lessons. He also furnishes the classrooms with desks, teacher’s table, blackboard. Momchilov equips the yard of the school with facilities for physical education. Following his ideas pupils organize themselves and obey the requirements of the chief duty teacher and his assistants – students on duty. He forbids corporal punishment and implements a humane, democratic approach in the relationship between teachers and pupils. He strengthens the psychological atmosphere: every class starts and ends with a bell; there is a break between classes; after the end of the classes, students leave school in order; supervisors monitor the behaviour of each student; students show their respect to Elena’s citizens and are obliged to congratulate others. Ivan Momchilov and Nikola Mihaylovski, the first Bulgarian scholar who defended a doctorate in Moscow, founded the first Bulgarian higher education institution for teachers – Elena Daskalolivnica. Teacher Momchilov has written textbooks and teaching aids on Bulgarian language, history, geography, arithmetic and others. He has created a generation of educated Bulgarians and talented Bulgarian teachers. Ivan Momchilov’s pupils founded Bulgarian schools in many towns and villages. They set the foundations of the school network on the Bulgarian lands.