Our School in Pavlysh: A Holistic Approach to Education (Paperback)
Our School in Pavlysh describes the inspirational work carried out at Pavlysh Secondary School in central Ukraine during the 1960s. For Sukhomlinsky's readership of teachers and school principals, the word 'Pavlysh' stood for creative thought, inspiration, and the hope of finding answers to troubling questions. Raising his school from the ashes of World War II, Sukhomlinsky created a system of education that was deeply embedded in the natural environment and that fostered the qualities of curiosity, empathy and creativity. One of the thousands of visitors to Pavlysh, a school principal from Armenia, wrote:
'I have spent only one day in this remarkable school where so much is happening, but I have gained as much as I did in four years at the institute.'
Another visiting principal wrote:
'Pavlysh Secondary School should be renamed a university We say this quite responsibly: here a feeling of wonder and admiration comes over anyone with the slightest love for children and schools.'
Students enrolling in Sukhomlinsky's school became part of a vibrant learning community in which teachers, parents, community members, and the students themselves all played a role in educating each other. Dozens of clubs operated after school, most attended by children of varying ages, and the older children played a significant role in educating younger children. These informal, extracurricular activities were extremely important in developing children's talents, building their self-esteem, and providing an experiential background for formal studies. In this environment students became autonomous, lifelong learners.