Volume:4, Issue: 3

Dec. 15, 2012

In This Category
Konstantin Nikolayevich Ventsel: Advocate for the rights of free children
Boguslavsky, Mikhail V. [about]
The intrinsic part of the Russian national spirit has always been aspiration for perfection, a strong desire to waive good and real for the sake of perfect (though abstract), which quite often resulted in something completely opposite to what was originally expected. The best example of such Russian type in education was Konstantin Nikolayevich Ventsel (1857-1947, recorded in the parish register as Konstantin Romeo Alexander), the second after Leo Tolstoy, most outstanding Russian theoretician and practitioner of liberal education. During his almost century-long life, Ventsel experienced, together with Russia, both the country’s rare days of happiness and decades of trials and tribulations. Ventsel’s life represents the immense depth and magnitude of ideas he developed. Through many years, the pedagogue and humanist was ardent in his struggle against all types of spiritual oppression, striving for complete liberation of human personality, so that any individual could achieve highest dignity and happiness. Konstantin Ventsel’s contemporaries wrote that he was constantly busy: he kept speaking, acting, and writing not exactly what was up to date or expected of him – as if he was not of this world. But in reality, those were his contemporaries who were not up to date. Indeed, with his profound, long endured and unbending truth Konstantin Ventsel outshined senseless cruelty and opportunism of traditional pedagogy; he tore off all kinds of masks.

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