Anton Semyonovich Makarenko

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Anton Semyonovich Makarenko

Anton Makarenko ( Russian Антон Семёнович Макаренко , scientific. Transliteration Anton Semenovic Makarenko ; born March 1 . Jul / 13. March  1888 greg. In Belopolje , Russian Empire ; † 1. April 1939 in golitsyno , Soviet Union ) was a Soviet educator and Writer. He is considered the most important pedagogue in the Soviet Union.


Makarenko's parents were Semyon Grigoryevich, a civil servant railway worker, and Tatiana Mikhailovna, a soldier's daughter of noble origin. In 1904 Makarenko graduated from the Kremenchuk City School with honors. He completed a one-year pedagogical course and from 1905 worked as a teacher for elementary schools. He taught Russian language, drawing and technical drawing at the two-class railway primary school in Krjukow and from 1911 at the school for railway children in Dolinskaya. From 1912 to 1917 Makarenko studied at the Pedagogical Teacher Training Institute in Poltava . From there he returned to Krjukow, where he worked as headmaster from 1918.


In 1920 Makarenko participated in the reorganization of schools as labor schools in the Poltava governorate . In November of that year - in an area that had been destroyed by the Russian Civil War and plagued by famine and marauding gangs - he began building a work home for juveniles who had committed criminal offenses, the later Gorky Colony , named after the Russian writer Maxim Gorky . In place of an earlier military-run juvenile penal colony, the first co- educational educational institution of its kind in the Soviet Union was established under his leadership . The first pupils were orphaned, neglected children - young thieves, gang members, child soldiers, child prostitutes. In 1927, Makarenko also founded the FE Dzerzhinsky colony near Kharkiv , which later became the factory that (to this day) produces the well-known FED camera brand . The colony was an institution of the Soviet secret police Cheka founded by Felix Dzerzhinsky and developed into a cadre forge for them. Therefore (and perhaps also because he stayed away from the party and its struggles) Makarenko probably survived the Stalinist purges without harm.

From 1935 Makarenko was the deputy administrative director of the NKVD labor colonies in Kiev and from 1937 until his death he lived as a freelance writer in Moscow . In 1939 he received the Order of the Red Banner of Labor of the Soviet Union. In the same year he joined the CPSU and died shortly afterwards on April 1, 1939 while traveling by train. His grave is in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.

Pedagogical work

Makarenko was best known for his educational work as a home educator and head of the Gorky Colony from 1920 to 1928, the Dzerzhinsky Commune from 1927 to 1935, and as an author of books and articles about this work. The novel A Pedagogical Poem about the two homes is considered Makarenko's main work. The first part was started in 1925 and finished in 1933, the second in 1934 and the third in 1935. Later the novel got the secondary title Der Weg ins Leben , originally the name of the first full-length Soviet sound film ( Der Weg ins Leben (Putjowka w schisn) ), which was directed by Nikolai Ekk in 1931 based on a screenplay by Makarenko and with former pupils as actors in the Dzerzhinsky Commune was filmed.

Makarenko developed a form of collective education with the aim of educating an all-round personality based on the theories of Jean-Jacques Rousseau , Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and other humanistic thinkers. He intended an education without the violence of corporal punishment and without hierarchical authority on the part of teachers. Education was based on a unity of internalized discipline, self-management and useful work. The authority of the educator was based on his respect for the child, his absolute sincerity towards the pupils and on firm trust in the people. Makarenko was less a theorist than a pragmatist and realist. His actions were based primarily on the situation, the intention of his counterpart as captured by him and common sense .

An essential aspect of Makarenko's work was the rehabilitation of the neglected young people. In the 1930s his upbringing was strongly influenced by the socialist pedagogy of Stalin. Over time, the Komsomol youth association played a central role. The discipline was additionally secured by a hierarchical system in which the newcomer initially had no personal freedom, but was looked after by a full member of the municipality who was personally responsible for him. Every full member could be downgraded to the unlawful status of the newcomer at any time by collective resolution in the event of misconduct. The real say in the colony had the Komsomol group, in which to become a member was a special honor that one had to earn through good behavior and special achievements. Makarenko held back from the collective judgments and only intervened moderately and always in favor of the delinquent when it seemed necessary to him. The young people received regular school lessons, worked in the workshops and in the fields and managed the colony independently. The educators all lived in the colony, but in separate rooms from the bedrooms for the young people. They ate the same food with the young people in the common dining room, worked on the construction of the houses and in the economy, and together with the young people they organized the evenings through games, readings, theater performances and discussions. Makarenko's educational principle was: "I challenge you because I respect you"

Makarenko's camp education system is characterized by the fact that it does not recognize any inalienable rights of the individual when entering the education collective and a first status as a person without rights is granted. A hierarchical ascent and the acquisition of rights within the camp society is only possible through conforming behavior. Rights could be obtained through compliant behavior, but these could be revoked at any time.

Reception in the west

Since 1968, during the Cold War , a university professor's working group at the University of Marburg in the Research Center for Comparative Education has dealt with questions of Makarenko's pedagogy.

Works (selection)

  • The way to life. An educational poem , (full text under Педагогическая поэма , 1933–1935). Construction of Berlin in 1950
  • Book for parents , novel, (Книга для родителей, 1937)
  • Flags on the towers , (Флаги на башне, 1938) construction, Berlin 1973
  • Lectures on raising children, people and knowledge. Berlin 1970
  • A selection . Publishing the European book. Berlin (West) 1974
  • AS Makarenko Werke (5 vol.) People and Knowledge, Berlin 1970–1974
  • Götz Hillig and Siegfried Weitz, (Eds.): Makarenko - Works (20 vol.) University of Marburg

See also


  • JS Balabanowitsch: Anton Semjonowitsch Makarenko. An outline of his life and work . New life publishing house. Berlin. 1953.
  • Valentin Bejlinson: AS Makarenko in Moscow. The last two years of life, in: Year Book for Research on the History of the Labor Movement , Volume II / 2007.
  • Götz Hillig, Siegfried Weitz (ed.): Makarenko . Scientific Book Society Darmstadt 1979.
  • Götz Hillig: "They couldn't come together ..." How the Makarenko brothers tried to overcome their forced separation in the 1930s, in: Yearbook for Research on the History of the Labor Movement, Volume III / 2008.
  • Franz Hofmann: Anton Semjonowitsch Makarenko , Pahl-Rugenstein Verlag, Cologne 1980.
  • Manfred Franz: AS Makarenko, the house teacher of the Soviet State Security Service, and his concept of communist collective education . In: Mothes et al. (Ed.): Damaged Souls: GDR Youth and State Security . Ed. Temmen 1996.
  • Isabella Rüttenauer: AS Makarenko. An educator and writer in Soviet society . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1965.
On Makarenko's work
  • IA Kairow, LJ Gordin, PT Frolow: Makarenko's ideas in schools and the present , people and knowledge, Berlin 1980.
  • Johannes-Martin Kamp: Children's Republics. History, practice and theory of radical self-government in children's and youth homes. Leske + Budrich, Opladen 1995, ISBN 3-8100-1357-9 Chapter 20: Makarenko u. a. in Russia and Ukraine (pp. 467–544).
  • Götz Hillig: The OGPU's labor community in Bolševo. Genesis and pedagogical conception, in: Yearbook for Research on the History of the Labor Movement , Issue III / 2006.
  • Friedemann Lüpke: Educational provinces for neglected children and young people. A systematic comparative study on problem structures of the open beginning of education. The examples of Stans, Junior Republic and Gorky Colony . Würzburg: Ergon 2004, ISBN 3-89913-350-1 .
  • Alexander Bolz, Edgar Günther: Makarenko today . People and Knowledge Berlin 1973.

Web links

Commons : Anton Makarenko  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Carola Kuhlmann: Socialist pedagogy . In: Carola Kuhlmann (Hrsg.): Education and training. Introduction to the history and topicality of pedagogical theories . Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2013, p. 143 .
  2. Valentin Bejlinson: AS Makarenko in Moscow. The last two years of life, in: Yearbook for Research on the History of the Labor Movement , Volume II / 2007.
  3. ^ Texts of the Makarenko report