The History of Estonia and Education
Oleg is a student at St. Cloud State University. Upon meeting him we became friends and he became an informant of his country Estonia. Four years ago he made a decision to leave Estonia in order to study abroad in the United States. Oleg chose the US because of the educational opportunities America has to offer. Throughout the interviewing process, I asked Oleg about the differences between America’s schooling system and that of Estonia. This allowed me to look at Estonia’s educational system at a personal level. My experience as an interviewer has led me to issues relating to the history and education of Estonia.
II. Introduce Estonia and facts about people
In questioning Oleg, I got a personal view of the Estonian culture and lifestyle. Through my experience with him I have looked further into Estonia’s history and present. Estonia, located in the eastern part of Europe, borders the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland between what was Soviet Russia and Latvia. Estonia has a current population of approximately 1,408,556 citizens. The country is made up of a flat terrain with a few hilly regions. Most of the landscape is either farm land or woodland. The climate in Estonia is similar to Minnesota’s seasonal weather. It has four seasons where temperatures are cooler in the summer and milder in the winter than in related coordinates of Eastern Europe. Estonia also has a long coast line bordering most of the North and North West regions. There are more than 1,500 islands off Estonia’s shoreline (“Physical Environment”).
a. A short history on Estonia and their fight for independence
Estonia is located near the Baltic Sea and are, “…the oldest known inhabitants of the northeastern shores of the Baltic” (Roos 10). Archaeological evidence shows that by 1000 A.D. Estonians had successfully created eight countries loosely independent of each other. As a whole the country would gather to defend their land but there is no evidence of an established government system at that time. The early 1200’s posed a problem for this loose defense. German crusading campaigns wrestled Estonia’s land away as means for forcing Christianity on its citizens. The lack of a central government and defense system led to Estonia’s fall in the mid 1200’s. Estonians progressed into roles as peasants for the Germans and Danes who helped take control of the northern region of Estonia.
After the peasant uprising was crushed Estonia remained, by large, a peaceful country for two centuries. In 1561 the Swedes blocked the advances of the Russians and took over. Under Swedish rule Estonia was split into two parts, northern and southern Estonia. Northern Estonia was called the Duchy of Estland and southern Estonia included the northern part of Latvia. The Swedish government tried to improve the Estonian lifestyle and further their education in the Protestant religion. During this Swedish...