Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/89

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



To these free experiments Tolstoy devoted himself in his own school at Yasnaya Polyana, as well as in the other schools created by him, whilst his review remained the organ of his theories. Though the review existed only a year, it contained a most interesting account of Tolstoy's experiences.

In the second article Tolstoy asserted that reading and writing are not the first step, and consequently not the most important step, in education. There are many illiterate people with experience, and much useful, and even technical, knowledge; whilst on the other hand there are literate men who do not possess any of those qualities. The schools created by the Government and the intellectual classes are not meant to serve the immediate needs of popular life, and not adapted to them. The elementary schools are created for the purpose of preparing the pupils for a secondary school. The latter prepares the pupils for the high school, which existed before either of the first two. The high schools are the continuation of the former monastic schools, serving a Church and State purpose. Liberated now from the Church, and in Russia simply divided into clerical and lay schools, the high, secondary and elementary schools continue to serve the State ends, but not the people.