A site for those who aspire to educate holistically

What is holistic education?

Dear visitor,

This site has been created for educators who aspire to educate the whole child. A holistic approach to education engages hearts and hands as well as heads, and considers all the developmental needs of a child: physical, emotional, moral, aesthetic, and spiritual, as well as intellectual and vocational. A holistic education should have a deep moral purpose, and raise children to be good global citizens with a broad cultural outlook. Curiosity, empathy and a willingness to learn and to serve are qualities that holistic educators attempt to foster in their students.

Many educators have aspired to a holistic approach in the past. Comenius, Pestalozzi, Froebel, Tolstoy, Steiner, Korczak, Montessori and Sukhomlinsky provide some of the most striking examples of a holistic approach to education. Because of my background in Russian language studies, I feel best equipped to throw light on the contribution of Vasily Sukhomlinksy, who is less known among English speaking educators than many of the others I have mentioned. At the same time, I consider Sukhomlinsky to be part of a greater tradition that is inspired by a desire to refine human nature, and ultimately to lead humanity to a more civilised future.

During the next few years I will attempt to translate several of Sukhomlinsky’s major works into English, in the belief that they are still relevant and thought provoking. I invite discussion from other educators on the holistic approach that he exemplifies. To date I have published three books that attempt to throw light on Sukhomlinsky’s legacy. The first, Each One Must Shine, published by Peter Lang in 1999, is a study of Sukhomlinsky’s legacy based on doctoral studies I completed at the University of Queensland. The second is a picture book for children, A World of Beauty, published by EJR Language Service Pty. Ltd. in 2013. This book contains 19 of Sukhomlinsky’s little stories for children, illustrated by students from Ukraine and Belarus. The third book, My Heart I Give to Children, published by EJR Language Service Pty. Ltd. in 2016, is a translation of a new (2012) edition of Sukhomlinsky’s best known work. It describes Sukhomlinsky’s interactions with a group of 31 children during an experimental preschool year and the subsequent four years of their primary schooling. All three publications are available from The Really Good Book Shop in Australia. Each One Must Shine is also available in a paperback edition from Amazon, and My Heart I Give to Children is available from several major online retailers.

I invite visitors to this site to subscribe to a monthly newsletter that contains new translations of Sukhomlinsky’s works, articles and information about new publications. Currently each newsletter contains a chapter from Sukhomlinsky’s Advice for Teachers, as well as some of his little stories for children.

I welcome feedback from visitors. My contact details are at the bottom of this page.

Alan Cockerill
Brisbane, Australia

Who was Sukhomlinsky?

Vasily Sukhomlinsky was one of the most influential educators of the twentieth century. His school was visited by thousands of educators from the length and breadth of the Soviet Union and beyond. His books and articles were read by millions, and have been translated into at least thirty languages. His writings are still popular in Russia, Ukraine and other countries that were under the influence of the Soviet Union, and his popularity in China has grown enormously over the past thirty years. It is hoped that this website will help to make his writings better known to educators in English speaking countries.

Vasily Sukhomlinsky

Sukhomlinsky writings are all based on his personal experience as a teacher and school principal in rural schools in central Ukraine. Of particular interest is his work at the combined primary and secondary school in the small rural settlement of Pavlysh, where he was principal from 1948 until his death in 1970. This was a laboratory where he developed a remarkably holistic system of education, that addressed students’ physical, moral, intellectual, aesthetic and vocational development. It could be truly said that he educated the whole child, and that he prepared his students for global citizenship.

EJR Language Service Pty. Ltd.

This site is sponsored by EJR Language Service Pty. Ltd., a small Australian translation and publishing company run by Alan and Hiroko Cockerill. The company works with texts in English, Japanese and Russian.

More information about Sukhomlinsky can be found at the following page:

Contact us!

The Holistic Educator
sponsored by
EJR Language Service Pty. Ltd.
181 Oxley Road,
Graceville QLD 4075
Phone: +61 7 3278 4698
Email: info@ejr.com.au
Website: http://www.ejr.com.au/