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Chapter 17 - Peasant Schools and Education

from Part III - Literature, the Arts, and Intellectual Life

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2023

Anna A. Berman
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

Tolstoy occupies an important but often overlooked place in the development of educational thought, situated between the German pedagogical revolution of the eighteenth century and the proliferation of alternative education movements in the twentieth. Although initially inspired by the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Tolstoy’s educational experiments heralded a novel turn by rejecting educational theory as a foundation for the curriculum altogether. For applying any philosophy of education from above would unjustly impose and interfere with the lives of the Russian people. Instead, Tolstoy set out to facilitate the creation of the peasants’ own approach to schooling through dialogue with his pupils. This radical method has a close relationship with the development of Tolstoy’s literature and philosophy. His educational thought was well ahead of his time, and many of the ethical concerns he raised about mass education are still of pressing import.

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Tolstoy in Context , pp. 136 - 143
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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