Alan Cockerill is an Australian school teacher and an adjunct research fellow at Monash University. He received his Ph.D. for a study of Sukhomlinsky at the University of Queensland, where he taught Russian language from 1994 to 1996. He has also translated a new edition of Sukhomlinsky's most famous work, My Heart I Give to Children, and published articles on Sukhomlinsky in refereed journals.
Alan Cockerill's book on Ukrainian educator, Vasily Sukhomlinsky, is a must read for any teacher interested in the humanist tradition in education. Dr. Cockerill offers a multi-faceted look at this educator and his philosophy. He provides critical biographical information as well as an insightful historical perspective to enable the reader to gain a better grasp of this outstanding educator. Dr. Cockerill portrays Sukhomlinsky as a teacher, who understood the complexities and variables in the educational process; Sukhomlinsky was a major innovator in recognizing the role of neuroscience, health, field trips, parental guidance, and working together in each child's development. Dr. Cockerill's book is a major contribution to international education, and brings to light the teachings of a unique educator. I cannot recommend this book too highly. Robert M. Weiss, translator of an adapted version of Sukhomlinsky's I Give my Heart to Children.
This book is a revelation to all those of us who saw the
communist period in Russia as all about the repression of political
freedom and independent thought. It shows that there were
progressive thinkers who were more idealistic and willing to take
action to model a different way of educating children.
Sukhomlinsky is brought to life by Alan Cockerill who has produced a very readable but thorough study of this neglected progressive educator from Russia. He writes about the importance of an education based on positive values including the idea of service to the community.