Pancic's educational work

It is neither easy nor simple to understand Josif Pancic's educational work and much more difficult to estimate its significance particularly from today's perspective of technologically developed society, in the era of electron communication, abundance of information, easily accessible data bases and intensive data exchange. However, it is indisputable fact that Pancic greatly contributed to founding and further development not only of Belgrade University but also of entire school system. As a man of considerable culture, polyglot, and great expert in Serbian language, he created the Serbian scientific terminology for a number of disciplines. He founded the Institutes of Mineralogy and Geology, Zoological and Botanical Cabinets and Testing Botanical Garden. Pancic's professional, scientific and educational career in Serbia has started when prince Alexander Karadjordjevic issued a decree on his appointment as a contractual professor at the Chair of Natural History and Agronomy of Belgrade Lycée, in September 1953. At the beginning he has been teaching Botany, Zoology, Mineralogy with Geology and Agronomy and later he has been also teaching Meteorology and Physical Geography. After gaining the Serbian citizenship on April 16th, 1854 he was elected a full-time professor of Natural History and Agriculture, as decreed by the Ministry of Education on October 7th. When the Lycée was transformed into “Great” School, Pancic was appointed the first rector, being conferred this title and position six times in a row. Once the Faculty of Philosophy was split into two departments: Historical-philological and Natural-mathematical, professors of the latter elected Pancic to be their rector. Burdened with obligations, Pancic sent a request to the Academic Council to be relieved of teaching Agronomy so that from 1988 he has been heading only the Chair of Botany and Botanical Garden. During his fruitful university career Pancic wrote the first textbook of zoology  “Natural History for Great School Students. Part I: Zoology, Zoology after Miln-Edvards, Agasic and Lajnis", published in 1864. Then in 1867 he published its Part III: Mineralogy and Geology. Mineralogy and Geology after Nauman and Bedant" and in 1868 its Part II Botany. Botany after Šlajden. Expanded edition of Zoology was published in 1872 and the second edition of Botany in 1873. Pedagogical study "Natural History in Elementary School"-in which he explains his belief that elementary school curriculum should indispensably encompass Natural History - appeared in 1876.