Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/88

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had expressly engaged from Germany. Tolstoy opened several schools, published an educational review, Yasnaya Polyana, in which he expounded his theories upon instruction, gave accounts of his own work as a teacher in elementary schools, attracted the teachers of neighbouring schools to collaborate in his paper, and published their essays and reports. As supplements to his review, he gave model, popular reading-books, under the general title, "From Yasnaya Polyana"; they contained a whole series of masterly, popular sketches from history, geography, biography, and general literature, written by the teachers and even by the pupils, under his supervision. The quintessence of his theory on education Tolstoy developed in four articles in his review. In the first of these articles, "On Popular Instruction," he explained that the greatest impediments to the development of popular instruction are preconceived theories and their arbitrary imposition on the people without examining the people's needs or the suitability of the theories to those needs. In conclusion of his argument he states that the sole educational method must be experience freed from preconceived ideas, whilst the only guide must be liberty, as without it no experiment of any value can be accomplished.