"Ushinsky is our national teacher, just like Pushkin is our national poet, Lomonosov is the first national scientist, Glinka is a national composer, and Suvorov is a national commander."
Lev Nikolaevich Modzalevsky
Lev Nikolaevich Modzalevsky
It is difficult to name another teacher of pre-revolutionary Russia who enjoyed the same authority, the same love of teachers, children and their parents, like Konstantin Dmitrievich Ushinsky. This man made a real revolution in the domestic pedagogical practice, becoming the founder of a new science, which did not previously exist in Russia. For emerging national schools, Ushinsky developed textbooks that were brilliant in their simplicity and accessibility, and for their teachers — a number of excellent manuals. More than fifty years, right up to the revolution itself, entire generations of Russian children and teachers were brought up on books written by Ushinsky.
Konstantin Dmitrievich was born in the noble family of March 2 of the year 1824. His father, Dmitry, graduated from the Moscow noble board and was a very educated man. For a long time he was in military service, participated in the 1812 war of the year. Coming out of the remains, a donkey in Tula, he lived a peaceful life and married the daughter of a local landowner. Some time after the birth of Konstantin, their family had to move, - his father was appointed to the position of judge in the small, ancient town of Novgorod-Seversky, located in Chernihiv region. All childhood and adolescence of the future teacher were held in the estate on the bank of the Gum, surrounded by the most beautiful places full of legends of deep antiquity. The first eleven years of life of Konstantin Dmitrievich were cloudless. He knew neither the need nor the domestic squabbles, nor the exact penalties. Mother, Lyubov Stepanovna, herself supervised her son's studies, managing to awaken in him the inquisitiveness of the mind, curiosity and a great love of reading. In the 1835 year, when Constantine went to the twelfth year, his mother died. Ushinsky preserved the most tender memories of her all his life.
Soon the father got married for the second time, his choice fell on the sister of General Gerbel, the manager of the Shosensky powder factory. No matter how great was the change in the family of little Constantine, it, fortunately, had no effect on him with disastrous consequences. Some time after the death of his mother, Ushinsky enrolled in a local gymnasium, thanks to his homework, he was immediately enrolled in third grade. In the class prevailed over-age students from among non-noble. However, this did not prevent Ushinsky from getting closer to them. He often visited the home of the poor classmates, observed the situation in their families, lifestyle, attitudes and habits. These "lessons" were very useful to him in the future.
In training, however, the young Ushinsky did not differ in particular diligence. Possessing tremendous abilities, he rarely did his homework, being content with repeating what he went through right before class. The boy preferred to devote all his free time to walking and reading. By the way, the gymnasium and the father’s estate were located at opposite ends of the city, the distance between them was about four kilometers. From the moment of admission and until the end of his studies there, Ushinsky, enchanted by the beauty of these places, and especially by the banks of the Desna, preferred to overcome this path on foot, walking a total of at least eight kilometers daily. Wanting to expand the areas of accessible reading, Konstantin Dmitrievich, without any help, perfectly learned German and could read Schiller freely. However, independent work brought him too far - despite his remarkable talents, he could not stand the final exam and, as a result, was left without a certificate.
Having received the first click on the threshold of release, Ushinsky did not lose his head at all. On the contrary, he eagerly began to prepare for the entrance exam to the metropolitan university. In 1840, he successfully passed all the checks and ended up in law school students. During this period, Moscow University experienced times of unprecedented growth. Most of the professors were young people, recently returned from abroad with a huge stock of knowledge, ardent devotion to science and a strong faith in it. The stars of the first magnitude in the brilliant composition of teachers were Professor of State Law and Law, Peter Redkin and Professor stories Timofey Granovsky. At the lecture of these luminaries, students of all faculties, including mathematics and medicine, flocked. Redkin and Granovsky wonderful complement each other. The first did not differ in special lecturing talent, however, he fascinated his listeners with inexorable logic, depth and vastness of erudition. His speeches always provoked hard work of thought. The second, on the contrary, possessed an amazing reading skill, acting primarily on the feelings of the listeners, arousing an interest in history, however, without arousing enhanced intellectual work.
Ushinsky studied the subjects of his chosen faculty freely, without difficulty. Possessing an excellent memory, he memorized not only the main idea of the material presented, but also all the particulars. At lectures he rarely remained in the role of a passive listener, inserted good remarks, asked questions. Often, after lessons in any subject, he happened to explain to his friends thoughts that they could not understand in their professorial presentation. However, Ushinsky enjoyed the love of his classmates not only because of the direct and open nature, intelligence and acuteness of statements. He knew how to be a really good friend, willingly shared his last ruble, the last pipe of tobacco with friends. It should be noted that in his student years Ushinsky had to be very difficult. The condition of his family every year all decreased, the money came rarely from home, they were not enough even for the most modest life. During the entire period of study at the university, Konstantin Dmitrievich had to give private lessons.
Studying brilliantly, Ushinsky did not abandon his acquaintance with fiction. He preferred to read Russian in Pushkin, Gogol and Lermontov, in French - Rousseau, Descartes, Holbach and Diderot, in English - Mill and Bacon, in German - Kant and Hegel. Along with this, the future teacher was passionately fond of theater, visits to which he considered obligatory for himself. He allocated a certain amount from his modest budget every month for which he bought the highest, cheapest places.
In 1844, Konstantin Ushinsky graduated from law school with the “second candidate” of rights. For two more years he continued his internship at the university, after which Count Stroganov, who was a trustee of the Moscow school district, invited him to the Demidov Juridical Lyceum located in Yaroslavl. Despite his young age, Konstantin Dmitrievich was appointed to the post of Acting Professor of cameral sciences at the Department of State Law, Law and Finance. Acquainted with the students of the institution, Ushinsky wrote: “In each of them a specialist is more or less felt, but very little of a“ person. ” In the meantime, everything should be the other way around: education should formalize a “person” - and only then from him, from a developed person, an appropriate specialist will surely develop who loves his job, studies him, loyal to him, able to benefit in his chosen field of activity. according to the size of their natural talents. "
The young professor quickly won the favor of high school students. He brilliantly mastered the subject, was able to clearly and interestingly explain the most difficult moments from the theory of knowledge and the history of philosophy, and his terrific erudition, simplicity in communication, non-indifference to the problems of others, and the humane attitude towards his students made him a universal favorite. Popularity also contributed to the famous speech, delivered by Konstantin Dmitrievich at the solemn meeting 18 September 1848. In the era of blind imitation of the domestic science of foreign science, mainly German, Ushinsky sharply criticized the German methods of cameral education. In his speech, he was able to prove that foreign camers unsuccessfully combined art and science, and their textbooks on the subject are only collections of tips and instructions in various fields of industry. However, Ushinsky did not confine himself to criticism, rejecting the German system, he proposed his own. At his suggestion, the cameral education should be based on a detailed study of the life and needs of the people of our country in close connection with local conditions. Of course, these views did not meet with support among the leaders of the educational institution, who considered them harmful for students, inciting to protest against the existing order. The trustee of the Lyceum wrote several denunciations to the young teacher, and secret surveillance was organized over Konstantin Dmitrievich.
In 1850, a new requirement was announced on the board of teachers of the Lyceum - to provide all teachers with complete and detailed programs of their courses, arranged by day and time. It was even prescribed to indicate from which particular essay and what the teachers intended to quote. This caused new clashes between Ushinsky and the leadership. He ardently argued that every teacher, first of all, must reckon with his students and that breaking up the course into hours "will kill the living teaching matter." However, he was called not to reason, but to execute without question. True to his principles, with the words "no honorable teacher would dare at such a thing," Ushinsky submitted his resignation. Some teachers also followed his example.
Having lost his job, Konstantin Dmitrievich was interrupted by literary woman for some time - he wrote translations, reviews and reviews in small provincial journals. The attempt to settle in any district school immediately aroused suspicion, because it was not clear why the young professor decided to change a prestigious, well-paid post in the Demidov Lyceum to a beggarly place in the backwater. A year and a half after suffering in the provinces, he moved to Petersburg. He had no connections and acquaintances, bypassing many schools, colleges and gymnasiums, the former professor managed with great difficulty to get a job as an official of the department of foreign religions.
The departmental service could not provide a teacher, at that time already married to Nadezhda Semenovna Doroshenko, who was descended from an ancient Cossack family. But not burdensome work did not hinder the search for other activities. Still fascinated by the study of foreign languages and philosophy, Ushinsky gained access to journal work in a variety of its forms - as a translator, compiler, critic. Pretty soon, his reputation as an educated and talented writer became stronger. However, this activity was paid very poorly, taking a lot of time and effort. His health, never distinguished by a special strength, was shaken. Knowing perfectly well the danger of continuing such studies, Ushinsky began to actively seek a way out.
Everything was changed by a chance meeting at the end of 1853 of the year with a former colleague in the Demidov Lyceum P.V. Golokhvastov. This man knew and appreciated the talents of Constantine and helped him find a new place. Already 1 January 1854 Ushinsky resigned from the Department of Foreign Confessions and went to the Gatchina Orphan Institute as a teacher of Russian literature. Within the walls of this institution more than six hundred orphans were brought up. The Institute was known for its harsh practices, regular drill and the strictest discipline. For the slightest offense, orphans were deprived of food, put in a punishment cell. In theory, such orders should have made them people loyal to the "King and Fatherland." Ushinsky described the new place of work in the following way: “Upstairs economy and office, in the middle of the administration, teaching under my feet, and education behind the doors”.
He spent five years in Gatchina and managed to change a lot during this time. The basis of the new education system Ushinsky laid the development of a sincere partnership. According to an unwritten law, he managed to eradicate the Fiscal, everyone who committed a harmful offense had to find the courage to admit it. Also, the teacher was able to completely get rid of theft. The institute was considered the prowess to protect and support the weak. Some of the traditions laid down by Konstantin Dmitrievich were firmly rooted in orphans and passed from one generation to another up to the 1917 year.
A year later, Ushinsky was promoted, appointing a class inspector. During one of the checks, he drew attention to the two sealed cabinets. Having broken the locks, he found in them that which gave him the last impetus in the search for both himself and his place in the world. In them were the papers of the former inspector Egor Osipovich Gugel. All he remembered was that he was a “dreamer, dreamer, a man out of his mind,” who ended up in an insane asylum. Ushinsky wrote about him: “It was an extraordinary person. Almost the first teacher who seriously looked at the upbringing and was fascinated by it. Bitterly, he paid for this hobby ... ". The unique, best for those times and useless works on Gugel's pedagogy that had not been destroyed only because of laziness that had lain for more than twenty years fell into the hands of Ushinsky. Having studied the papers of the deceased inspector, Konstantin Dmitrievich, finally, clearly realized his way.
In 1857-1858, the first printed publications for teachers appeared in Russia. The famous Russian teacher Alexander Chumikov invited Konstantin Dmitrievich to work in the “Journal for Education” founded by him. One of the first works of Ushinsky was the article “On the Benefits of Pedagogical Literature,” in which he dressed in clear formulations thoughts and ideas he had thought over for many years. The article was a great success. After that, Konstantin Dmitrievich became a regular contributor to the journal Chumikova. Each of his work developed new views on the methods of education in the country, denounced the officials from education, who saw the expression of free-thinking in every innovative undertaking. His articles were read to the holes, in a flash the teacher became famous, and his opinion was authoritative. Contemporaries talked about him: “The whole appearance of Ushinsky helped his words to sink deep into the soul. Extremely nervous, thin, above average height. From under thick, black eyebrows feverishly sparkle dark brown eyes. An expressive face with delicate features, a high well-defined forehead, indicating a remarkable mind, pitch-black hair and black buoys around the cheeks and chin, resembling a thick, short beard. Bloodless and thin lips, penetrating gaze, which seemed to see through a man .... Everything spoke eloquently of the presence of stubborn will and strong character .... The one who saw Ushinsky at least once, remembered forever this man, strikingly distinguished from the crowd with his appearance. ”
In 1859, Ushinsky was invited to the post of inspector at the Smolny Institute. Turning to the “institute of noble maidens”, he first of all contributed to inviting there new talented teachers - Semevsky, Modzolevsky, Vodovozova. The formal teaching process, soon formalized, was soon given a systematic and serious character. Then, based on the principles of the democratization of public education, Konstantin Dmitrievich destroyed the division into noble and ignoble (petty-bourgeois) girls that existed at the institute by introducing co-education for all. In addition, pupils were allowed to spend holidays and vacations with their parents. The directions of natural science, geography, Russian history and rhetoric were developed. Pupils got acquainted with the works of Lermontov, Gogol and many other authors, about whom they had never heard anything before. The dull teaching of mathematics, recognized by tradition as a subject incomprehensible to female minds, was first posed as one of the best means for the development of logical thinking. A special pedagogical class appeared in which female students received special training for work as educators. Ushinsky also advocated teaching the teachers themselves, introducing a new form for this - seminars.
After his two years of work, the “institution of noble maidens,” who had not previously been interested in metropolitan society because of its routine and isolation, suddenly became the subject of attention from all of St. Petersburg. The press was talking about the reforms taking place there, representatives of various departments, pupils' parents and ordinary teachers tried to get there and listen to lectures. What they saw and heard at the institute astonished them. Pupils of all classes of both departments are no longer burdened with the teachings, on the contrary, they were clearly seized by the exercises, revealing great abilities. From dolls and muslin maidens, they turned into sensible, developed girls with sound concepts and judgments. There was a simple and natural relationship between the teachers of Ushinsky and the students, based on mutual trust, respect and benevolence. At the same time, the authority of teachers in the eyes of students was very great.
Unfortunately, the Smolny Institute repeated the same story as in Yaroslavl. The fresh stream of air, bursting into the musty atmosphere of the classy ladies, was not liked by everyone. Persistent and energetic in attaining goals, never letting go of his principles, who are not able to get along with the self-lovers and hypocrites, Ushinsky has amassed a whole host of enemies by 1862. The main conflict broke out between him and the head of the institute - Leontyeva, who accused the teacher of godlessness, free-thinking, immorality and disrespect towards the authorities. However, it was simply impossible to dismiss Ushinsky just like that. His name has become too popular in Russia. And then the “specious” excuse was used - Konstantin Dmitrievich’s state of health. For the treatment and at the same time studying the school business, the talented teacher was sent abroad. In fact, it was an exile, stretching for five years.
Full of plans, under the influx of scientific ideas, Ushinsky visited Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, France, and Germany. Idle amusement and recreation were alien to him, everywhere he attended schools - kindergartens, shelters, schools. In Nice, the famous teacher repeatedly talked with Empress Maria Alexandrovna about the problems of education. It is known that she even commissioned Ushinsky to develop a system for educating the heir to the Russian throne.
Abroad Konstantin Dmitrievich managed to write unique works - educational books "Children's World" and "Native Word". Their success after publication in Russia was overwhelming. And this is not striking, rather - naturally. Firstly, Ushinsky's books were the first textbooks in the country for primary education. Secondly, they were distributed at a generally accessible price. Third, the textbooks were understandable to the child's mind. Before that, there were no books for children available to children. For the first time, children from a deaf province were offered not cramming unintelligible words, but clear and interesting stories about the world they know well — about nature and about animals. This world was home to the common people, and the people knew everything about it - its customs, his habits and his language. Even in his youth, Ushinsky wrote: “Call me a barbarian in pedagogy, but I am deeply convinced that the beautiful landscape has a great educational influence on the development of the young soul ... A day spent in the midst of groves and fields is worth the weeks spent on the training bench ...”. However, Ushinsky did not stop there. Following two books, he published a “Book for Students” - a special guide for parents and teachers to his “Native Word”. This tutorial on teaching native language before 1917 has sustained more than 140 editions.
An interesting fact - when he was Minister of Education A.V. Golovnina, "Children's World" Ushinsky deserved praise for the pragmatism, diversity and richness of articles on natural science, which help the children to get acquainted with the objects of nature. In the 1866 year, just five years later, Konstantin Dmitrievich was struck by the news that his book was not approved by a committee of the Ministry of Public Education, headed by Count D.A. Tolstoy. The same scientific committee that gave the first review of the Children's World, this time interpreted the articles as developing materialism and nihilism in children. Only in the early eighties of the nineteenth century, "Children's World" was again recommended in all educational institutions, although, of course, there were no changes in the book.
Living abroad, Ushinsky set out to write a public anthropological book containing an orderly collection of all the information about human nature. To do this, he had to reread a lot of essays by famous natural scientists and thinkers from Aristotle to Darwin, Kant and Schopenhauer and make proper extracts of them in order to connect them with a common idea, getting a single idea of what science was already known about human nature. Only on the preparatory work it took him five years. With a whole baggage of raw material, Ushinsky again returned to the northern capital in 1867. At the end of the same year, he published the first volume of his main life work, which he called “Man as an object of education. The experience of educational anthropology. In 1869, the second and final volume appeared. This work is the only anthropological encyclopedia in the world pedagogical literature. It presents important information for anyone interested in the properties of the physical and spiritual nature of man. Konstantin Dmitrievich planned to write the third volume, but this work remained unfinished.
No matter how varied the educational activities of Ushinsky — journalistic, cabinet, in personal and written communication with other teachers — she did not absorb all his powers. The vein of the scientist has not yet died in him, and he was very fond of going to university debates. Konstantin Dmitrievich was keenly interested in history, philosophy, histology, anatomy and human physiology, law and political economy. In 1867, he published in “Golos” a wonderful essay “On Hunger in Russia”, in which he appeared as an outstanding economist who is well aware of the basics of the country's economic well-being. In addition, Ushinsky was a brilliant polemicist. Resourceful and witty, logical and precise in his statements and conclusions, he fully justified the name of the “learned fighter”. Being present at university disputes, Ushinsky, who highly values science, never hesitated to call a spade a spade and to speak plainly the bitter truth. Because of this, he often had fierce disputes with patented scientists, many of whom looked askance at Ushinsky's intervention in their academic field.
The position of Konstantin Dmitrievich in these years could be called enviable. Although there was no talk of any teaching work (the Minister of Public Education did not even accept his petition), the financial situation of the famous teacher was in the most flourishing state due to the extraordinary demand for all his printed works. Without taking any official post, he was heard throughout Russia, - of course, for those interested in pedagogical problems. Independent at the disposal of his time and in the choice of classes, not dependent on anyone, Ushinsky could rightly consider himself happy, but for this, unfortunately, he lacked the most important thing - health.
Inspired by a thirst for activity, the ingenious teacher made a mistake by staying in Petersburg until the spring of 1870. His sick chest with difficulty endured the damp Petersburg spring and autumn. Finally, having fallen ill, Ushinsky was forced to go abroad, to Italy. However, in Vienna, he came down and lain in the hospital for two weeks. Local medical luminaries recommended him to return to Russia and go to the Crimea. Konstantin Dmitrievich did so, settling not far from Bakhchisarai. For a month, he became so strong that he took a trip along the southern coast of Crimea and visited the city of Simferopol, in which he took part in the congress of national teachers. Ushinsky left these places in the middle of summer 1870. Cheerful in spirit and body, full of the best hopes, he left for his estate in the Chernigov province in the hope of returning here with the whole family.
There was another circumstance that hastened Ushinsky. His eldest son, Pavel, graduated from a military school and was sent to one of the country's highest military institutions. He decided to spend the summer holidays with his family. The young man was superbly developed, both physically and mentally, and showed great promise. Konstantin Dmitrievich doted on him soul. However, the teacher returned to his estate in time for the funeral of his son, who accidentally fatally injured himself during a hunt ...
It was a terrible blow, finally breaking Ushinsky's mental and physical strength. Staying outwardly calm, he locked himself, avoided talking even with his relatives. In the autumn of the same year, Konstantin Dmitrievich together with his whole family moved to Kiev, where he arranged for two daughters at the institute. However, life here is terrible for him: “Choking the wilderness, nothing close to the heart. But I suppose it will be better for the family than anywhere else. I don’t think about myself - it seems my song has already been sung completely. ” At the same time, doctors tried to persuade him to return to the Crimea for treatment, but the teacher himself rushed to St. Petersburg. He wrote: “Is it bad, whether Petersburg is good, but I lived with it in my heart ... there I wandered without a piece of bread, I made a fortune there; there he unsuccessfully sought the position of a county teacher and talked with the Kings; there was not a single soul known and deserved a name for itself there. ”
Ushinsky went to the Crimea extremely reluctantly. Together with him went two younger sons. On the way, the teacher caught a cold, and on arrival in Odessa, he had pneumonia. Realizing that his end was nearing, he promptly summoned the rest of the family from Kiev. On the night from 2 to 3, January 1871, Konstantin Dmitrievich died. He was only 46 years old. After the death of a teacher, his daughter Vera opened a male school in Kiev at her own expense. Another daughter, Nadezhda, in the village of Bogdanka, where the Ushinsky estate was, founded a primary school with money received from the sale of his father’s manuscripts.
Ushinsky loved to repeat that for proper upbringing there is not enough only love and patience for children, it is still necessary to study and know their nature. The process of education, he considered the greatest, holy thing, demanding to be treated with all seriousness. He said: “Improper upbringing is difficult for the whole life of a person; this is the main cause of evil among the people. Responsibility for this falls on educators ... The culprit, the one who is engaged in education, not knowing him. ” Despite the prohibitions of the great Teacher’s writings, they continued to print, thousands of teachers in all parts of Russia used them. In total, Ushinsky's books were distributed in different layers and classes of the Russian population in tens of millions of copies.
Almost two centuries after the birth of Konstantin Ushinsky, many of his phrases still do not lose relevance. He said: “Is it in fast movement on ships and steam locomotives, in instant transmission News about the price of goods or about the weather through electric telegraphs, in the wear of as many thickest tights and the finest velvet as possible, in the extermination of stinking cheeses and fragrant cigars, will man finally discover the purpose of his earthly life? Of course not. Surround us with these benefits, and you will see that we will not only not become better, but will not even be happier. We will either be burdened by life itself or begin to decline to the level of an animal. This is a moral axiom from which man cannot escape. ”
According to the materials of the biographical sketch M.L. Peskovsky "Konstantin Ushinsky. His life and educational activities "