Belentsov Sergei

Berthold Otto and his school of free education

Belentsov Sergei (2019) "Berthold Otto and his school of free education ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia IV : Pedagogika. Psihologiia, 2019, vol. 55, pp. 128-135 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIV201955.128-135


This article analyses the socio-pedagogical system proposed by the prominent German educationalist of the second half of the 19th — early 20th centuries Berthold Otto, the proponent of free education of the younger generation. The leading approaches to the study of this problem are historical, cultural, systemic, which allowed the author to establish the essential characteristics, the features of the process of free education in Germany of the period in question. The theory of free education is studied as an objective historical and cultural component of the humanistic tradition of foreign education, as well as a subjective component of its content. The analysis of B. Otto’s works allows us to draw a conclusion as to the nature and content of his pedagogical system. It is made up of the disclosure of the foundations of education of the younger generation, didactic theory, training of teaching staff . The humanistic system of free education of B. Otto is a rather contradictory phenomenon. This being said, this historical and cultural phenomenon of philosophy of education is an important element in the system of general pedagogy, which has developed and is still developing in the context of philosophical views and psychological and pedagogical theories of the 20th century; it has its own conceptual features. The materials of the article can be useful for teachers, organisers of educational work with students to make them familiar with the life and work of the famous German educationalist and public fi gure B. Otto.


Germany, Berthold Otto, school, free education, education of younger generation, didactic theory, training of teachers


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  2. Kagarov E. (1928) Sovremennoe pedagogicheskoe dvizhenie v Zapadnoi Evrope i Amerike [Contemporary Pedagogical Movement in Western Europe and America]. Moscow (in Russian).
  3. Ketelhut K. (2015) Berthold Otto als pädagogischer Unternehmer. Eine Fallstudie zur deutschen Reformpädagogik. Köln.
  4. Weiß E. (1999) “Otto, Berthold”, in Neue Deutsche Biographie. Berlin.

Information about the author

Belentsov Sergei

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in Education;
Academic Rank: Professor;
Place of work: Kursk State University; 28–28, Maiskii Boulevard, Kursk 305038, Russian Federation;
Post: Professor, Department of Continuos Professional Education;
ORCID: 0000-0003-4844-5343;
Email: si_bel@mail.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.


The work was prepared with the support of the Russian Foundation for basic research (project № 17-06-00013).