Stanislaw Staszic

 

From STANISLAS KONARSKI, 1929 by William John Rose

By way of concluding this very inadequate account of Konarski's views on education, attention should be drawn to one criticism, partly justified but not altogether relevant. Already in his own time the Reformer was charged with overloading the school programme, with too much supervision. Judged by twentieth-century standards, the critics were right, though they themselves may not have known why. Nevertheless things were not as bad as they looked, and a sample of the sort of relief given, as well as a proof of the up-to-datedness of the institution itself, is furnished by the 1755 chronicle of the Lubieszoff College, attended for a time by Kosciuszko. We read that with the coming of spring the whole institution livened up in view of the daily excursions of the three senior classes to the open country beyond he town, where they were given thorough instruction in surveying and the drawing of maps.

`It is a notable fact,' says Professor Koneczny, `that while the school itself was only one story, the building which housed the apparatus for physics, chemistry and mathematics, together with the library, was a two-story one. The school had its own botanical garden equipped with a conservatory and hot-houses, and on the river-bank was an orchard known as "Venice," as it was shot up with canals socked with fish. One of the canals led straight to the stream, where a dock served for anchoring boats. T the school here also belonged a joiner-shop, with turning lathes, a smithy, a grist mill, a tread mill, as well as baths and other needed equipment. One thus sees that the sentiments uttered much later by Staszic were already realized here : "that in all the sciences theory should be linked up with experiment, and that all exact truth should be set forth in its relation to everyday living !"'60   ( pp. 217-8 )

60 Cf. Konieczny, Polskie Logos i Ethos, Vol. I, pp. 149-50.

STANISLAS KONARSKI : REFORMER OF EDUCATION IN XVIIIth CENTURY POLAND
London : Jonathan Cape 1929, pp. 206 ff.

 

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