Stepan Balei

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Stepan (Stephan-Maxim) Balei was born in the village of Velyki Borky, Ternopil province, to a teacher. Following graduation from the Lviv University’s Faculty of Philosophy (1908), he studied medicine at the Universities of Berlin and Paris. Back in Ukraine, he taught at secondary schools in Peremyshl, Ternopil and Lviv, presented lectures on logic at Lviv Underground University, and worked for the University of Vienna and Kamianets-Podilsky Ukrainian University. Since 1927, he permanently resided in Poland.

The scholar’s major professional focuses included educational and social philosophy, children’s psychology and medicine. He studied processes of physical, emotional, mental, aesthetic and moral development of adolescents, being especially concerned about male and female psychology formation that, according to his theory, started at the adolescent age. Having acquired a doctorate and being appointed a professor, he from 1928 to his death chaired the Warsaw University’s Department of Children’s and Pedagogical Psychology using its framework as a basis for extensive research and educational activities. In parallel, he ran the same University’s College of Educational Psychology, State Teachers’ Training Institute, and Warsaw Pedagogical Institute of the Teachers’ Union. Since 1940, S. Balei worked for underground universities of Warsaw and Krakow, and was a member of Warsaw Philosophic and Scientific Societies. Continuous creative quest urged the scholar towards the excessive publishing activities. His works were printed in numerous Polish and Ukrainian periodicals, including Lvivsky Visnyk; Nauka i Pysmenstvo, etc.

A resident of Poland, the scientist was never forgetting his roots. His Essay on Psychology (1922) and Essay on Logic (1923) were Galicia’s first textbooks on the named subjects in Ukrainian. The gifted psychologist’s writings included Pavlovian Science and Psychology; Introduction to Social Psychology; Psychology of Youth; Essay on Educational Psychology, as well as numerous surveys on logic and theoretical works in philosophy and ethics. He studied history of world philosophy, creative psychology of T. Shevchenko (falling under the distinct influence of Freudian theories), Yu. Slovatsky and S. Zheromsky. Accomplishments of Stepan Balei, the educator and psychologist, enriched the domestic and Polish sciences with innovations in teaching theory and psychology and strengthened academic relations between the two neighbour-nations.