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Spiru Haret

Page history last edited by Muhittin CAVUSOGLU 8 years, 3 months ago

Birth Date - Death Date


Personal Data

  • Born: February 15, 1851 in Iasi, Romania 
  • Died: December 17, 1912 in Bucharest, Romania 
  • Parents: Costache and Smaranda Haret
  • Life: Came from a poor family and was very gifted intellectually 



  • Primary studies in Dorohoi and the last two classes in Iasi, Romania
  • Secondary School at "Saint Sava" in Bucharest, 1862-1869
  • Bachelors at Faculty of Bucharest University, a degree in mathematics, 1869-1874 and a degree in Physical Sciences in 1876
  • Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Paris, in Sorbonne on January 30, 1878
  • Thesis entitled: "About Invariability Major Axes of Planetary Orbits"



  • In 1878, professor of rational mechanics, algebra and analytic geometry at the Faculty of Science, Department of Physics and Mathematics
  • In 1881, invited to teach rational mechanics at the School of Artillery and Engineering
  • In 1885, professor at the School of Bridges and Roads, taught trigonometry, analytic geometry and descriptive geometry
  • Along with teaching, involved in political life, where as a member of the Liberal Party was concerned about education
  • Worked as Inspector General, Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture and Public Education, then Liberal minister in the government three times: March 31, 1897 - March 30, 1899; February 14, 1901 - December 20, 1904; March, 1907 – December, 1910
  • In 1910, withdrew both from teaching and from policymaking


Awards and Honors

  • Obtained a competitive scholarship to study in Paris in 1875
  • The first Romanian to earn a doctorate in mathematics from Paris


Membership-Professional Organizations

  • Corresponding member of the Romanian Academy in 1879
  • Member of the Board of Standing Instruction in 1882
  • Member of the Romanian Academy on March 31, 1892



  • Published only two articles:
    • The Secular Acceleration of the Moon in 1880
    • Jupiter’s Great Red Spot in 1912


Professional Interest Areas

  •  Mathematics, physics, astronomy, education, politics, sociology, mechanical and hydraulic engineering, and pedagogy


Major Contributions to Adult Education

  • Created a continual process and the transformational role for adult education
  • Created the institutional framework for the development of adult education in Romania
  • Organized the schools for adults according to the level of instruction of the population:
    • Schools at the primary level, free courses designed to advance knowledge about general culture
    • Schools for adults who worked as apprentices in factories, shops, and workhouses
  • Authored two fundamental laws for organizing the activities of Romanian schools:
    • The law of secondary and superior educational system (related to adult education)
    • The law of the professional educational system
  • Adopted the curriculum for secondary schools, devised regulations for all levels in the educational system, established the three sections of classes V-VIII, classic, modern and real
  • Founded thousands of schools for adults in rural areas (built 2343 schools and established over 1700 stations teachers (about 200 per year), mostly in rural areas)
  • For the purpose of enlightening peasants and workers, founded magazines to be housed in rural libraries, which became an efficient means for educating the population in the countryside
  • Led and organized extracurricular activities for rural teachers by increasing the cultural and economic education level of the adult peasants through literacy courses, spreading of general knowledge, disseminating agricultural information, and organizing the rural societies, banks, and cooperatives
  • Created a pedagogical library collection for teachers, including translations from universal pedagogies, and supported the publication of pedagogical magazines featuring articles about schools for adults 


Additional Resources

Photo Gallery



  • Published two mathematics texts while he was a high school student:
    • One on algebra and
    • One on trigonometry
  • Haret, S. C. (1910). Mécanique sociale (Social mechanics)


Interesting Facts

  • Founder of modern Romanian education
  • Reformed Romanian schools and, implicitly, Romanian society
  • Founded school canteens (cafeterias) for poor pupils
  • Increased the rate of literacy and the number of pupils enrolled in primary schools (doubled from 300 000 to 600 000, so that the percentage alfabetizaţilor in Romania increased from 22% to 39%) between 1897 and 1910
  • Created a mission to train pupils with the skills specific to a professional life rather than traditional agrarian fields
  • In Europe, the thinking and practice generated by his work resulted in the philosophical and pedagogical movement named Haretism, according to which the improvement of the rural and urban population is achieved only through education
  • Founded the Academy of Architecture and Historical Monuments Commission in 1904, and Romania's Historical Commission, which has the primary role editing historical documents in 1910



Buble, I (n.d.). Spiru Haret (1851 - 1912) Academician, mathematician, educator Romanian, Romanian education reformer. Retrieved from http://www.fsespiruharet.ro/Despre-Spiru-Haret

Dumitrache. M. (2014). Spiru Haret, mathematician, astronomer and politician. Retrieved from http://jurnaluldedrajna.ro/spiru-haret-matematician-astronom-si-om-politic/

Enciclopedia Romaniei. (n.d.). Spiru Haret. Retrieved fromhttp://enciclopediaromaniei.ro/wiki/Spiru_Haret

Famous Why. (2011). Spiru Haret. Retrieved fromhttp://biografii.famouswhy.ro/spiru_haret/

Hall of Fame. (2014). Spiru Haret. Retrieved from http://www.halloffame.outreach.ou.edu/2014/Haret.html

Mincan, M. (2013). Spiru Haret, omul care a adus primul cartea. Retrieved fromhttp://adevarul.ro/educatie/scoala/spiru-haret-omulcare-adus-cartea-fost-salvati-romanii-analfabetism-1_52a1a661c7b855ff567e8deb/index.html

O'Connor, J. J. & Robertson, E. F. (2007). Spiru Haret. Retrieved from http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Haret.html 

Schifirnet, C. (2014). Spiru Haret, education and school legislation reform. Revista Romana de Sociologie, 25(3/4), 311.

Zub, A. (2011). Spiru Haret (1851-1912). II. ideas Haretiene - about education and culture. Retrieved from http://www.luceafarul.net/spiru-haret-1851-%E2%80%93-1912-ii-idei-haretiene-despre-educatie-si-cultura








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