The paper analyses the problem of self- -education in the historical context, especially with regard to the present time and the socialist society, and in connection with the inner dynamic of the personality and its self-realization. The author of this paper confronts the concepts of self- -education in various authors and criticizes especially voluntarist views and the theory of social adaptation. She shows how the requirement of self-education naturally resulted also from the development of the labour movement. In the pedagogical analysis the author conceives self-education as the result of the dialectical relationship of the individual to his external environment, as a manifestation of one’s activity aimed at getting to know, re-shaping and humanizing the world and oneself. Self-education requires a certain maturity of the personality; from this viewpoint three stages distinguished in the paper. The stimulus for the development of self-education is provided by many varied forms of the contradiction between the state that has been attained and the higher demands, both in relation to oneself and to the external world. In self-education one and the same person becomes simultaneously the educator (more mature, conscious, programming, actuating and regulating) and the educated. Self-education is stimulated by inner factors — especially by the need for activity and independence — as well as by the incentives of the social environment and education. Collective self-education is a special form of it. An individual learns the art of self-education in a complex manner. An important task of education is to encourage him in it and help him to form the necessary inner mechanisms. An elaboration of methods of self-education will require special researches, they will concern especially the question of activating and motivating the individual; the development of his self-confidence, volition qualities and active self-control; the elaboration of a style of life, the plan of self-education and its correction according to partial failures; getting to know oneself, analysing one’s own experiences and drawing maximal profit from them.