Volume:8, Issue: 2

Dec. 15, 2016

In This Issue
A letter to the Readers
Tsyrlina-Spady, Tatyana [about]
I am very happy to share with you the news about a recent event, an incredibly inspiring conference conducted in the spirit of one of the greatest humanists of the 20th century, Janusz Korczak (1878-1942). The conference was organized by the talented educators, social workers, and psychologists from the Dutch Korczak Association, and brought together representatives from over fifteen countries that share Korczak’s ideas. You can find more information through this link to the conference Facebook page: http://bit.ly/JKconference2016. Although nicely done, the cover photo of everyone – participants and attendants – cannot fully capture the positive emotions and the uplifting spirit of this wonderful event!
Anticipating the 25th anniversary of Nash Dom Korczak’s Camp in Russia. The 2016 camp results in Tambov Region: new challenges, new problems, new joys, and new hopes.
Demakova, Irina D. [about]
This year was the 24th Korczak’s camp. The analysis of the camp’s history (the camp is loved so much by its campers and counselors) brought us to a number of conclusions. First, the camp mission has become very clear through all these years. It is Korczak’s understanding of every child’s value, rights of all children, psychological and pedagogical principles of humanism in the camp’s educational environment. The camp’s concept has also been preserved: we keep our traditions, develop the system of celebrations, and make a wide use of Korczak’s forms and methods of pedagogical work with children. 24 years have passed… We are looking back and asking ourselves: what are we to expect in the future? Of course, we should find new forms of work because life changes rapidly, and modern children live in a more virtual space. We are increasingly facing the situation when our children are unable to build relationships in real life: they are unable to be friends, play, or fantasize. Informational space, which is engulfing us, is packed with ready-to-use prescriptions. Children are not given an opportunity to invent things – they just copy and imitate.
Janusz Korczak’s concept of ‘reasonable education’ in the context of European humanistic education
Valeeva, Rosa A. [about]
The 21st century has reconfirmed the ancient truth, “a man is the measure of everything”. The consequences of the scientific-technical progress and the development of the civilization have proved to be contradictory: the potential created by a human being has suddenly turned out against its creator. A famous Russian researcher Grigory Kornetov states:
“World wars and mass genocide, nuclear threat and environmental disasters, the deadlocks of scientism and an educational crisis – these are just very few features of the 21st century civilization that is so proud of its democracy achievements, sci-ence-technical progress, and unprecedented level of material production. In these really complicated circumstances a human being becomes a measure of all things, the highest uncontested value, alpha and omega of social progress, its purpose, meaning, criterion, driving force, and an ultimate result”
These new conditions could not but affect fundamental concepts of the theory of education, especially the very term “education” and the determination of its nature.
Respect for the child
Shustova, Inna Yu. [about]
This paper is about the need for Korczak who defines social education from the point of view of the child. This definition is based on the right of the child to a serious attitude to himself or herself, the right to trust and respect. This paper is an attempt to reveal the role of the family in the child’s upbringing in accordance with Korczak’s ideas. The kind of respect that adults should pay to children is understood as trust in their ability to act independently and purposefully. The paper emphasizes the support of the child-adult unity where children acquire universal human values and strengthen their personalities. The paper contains many children’s statements as well as an interview with the author’s daughter who, after reading the book King Matt the First, wrote her own version of the Children’s Manifesto.
Anatoly Mudrik’s inconvenient pedagogy
Voropayev, Mikhail V. [about]
In the past decades the name of Anatoly Viktorovich Mudrik has become a canonical symbol for each, even not a very well educated graduate of Russian teacher training universities. Hundreds of PhD candidates and graduates automatically type A.V. Mudrik in their “theoretical foundations” sections. All this is an undeniable proof of Mudrik’s successful career as a key scholar in his field. Few people may boast such achievements in education (and especially in the area of social education). Before we undertake to compare Mudrik’s approach to other modern pedagogical theories, let us look at some aspects that might be of less conceptual weight but which still distinguish his works. First, it is his being in opposition to traditional theory. Paradoxically enough but Mudrik’s texts have always been in opposition, first, to Marx and Lenin’s ideology and, later on, to newfangled trends of Russian contemporary pedagogy. Today, the flow of papers about spiritual substances in the Russian pedagogy may be compared only to publications devoted to communication some forty years ago. Anatoly Mudrik was not favored by the communist regime in the Soviet Union where his works were not unduly regarded as “infected by bourgeois influence.” He refused to participate either in the 1990s criminal bacchanalia in Russia, which penetrated education and pedagogy, or in the sweeping grotesque and ugly parody-like more recent neoliberal education reforms coming from the West. Mudrik’s pedagogy is persistently ignored by the official political elite.
Korczak, Camp, Nash Dom, Korczak’s Pedagogy...
Nikonorova, Alsu S. [about]
The non-scientific paper about Nash Dom (Our Home) camp illustrates how Korczak’s pedagogy works in practice and integrates itself in various countries. The paper talks about love, and this comes from Korczak as he considered love to the child as his key principle; this love offers wings for people to create themselves and the world around them. There are many names here that the reader won’t be able to find in textbooks, and each name is critical for the Camp’s foundation – so it is impossible to provide a generalized description. The Camp has its own face or, rather, many faces – and each of them is equally important. Korczak’s pedagogy is well known far beyond Poland. There are currently 22 Janusz Korczak’s societies all over the world, and each of them has its own way in promoting Korczak’s ideas. For example, Kazan Korczak’s Society (in Russia) provides patronage for two orphanages while the Dutch one publishes books and organizes conferences for people who work with children; summer integration camps prepare volunteers for work with children in Ghana, etc.
Korczak-inspired teacher training
Brouwers, Helma [about]
In this paper I search for Korczak’s ideas about educating children and their implications for training future and current teachers. Before I turn the attention of the reader to the implications, I first need to clarify what I mean by education or educating.2 The educational question, says the Dutch educational philosopher Gert Biesta, is not about effectiveness of learning and developmental processes, but about what are desirable educational outcomes and why we should strive to reach those goals? Biesta himself thinks the ultimate educational goal should be helping children to be in the world as ‘grown-up’ human beings, who can take responsibility for themselves, for others, and for the planet. Educating children certainly is more than rewarding good and punishing bad behavior. This so called behavioristic approach keeps children dependent of adults’ approval and inhibits them to gradually develop ‘grown-up’ responsibilities, to make their own mature decisions and independent moral judgments.
Dewey, Tolstoy, and Korczak
Deurbrouck, James [about]
I chose to write about John Dewey, Leo Tolstoy, and Janusz Korczak because they inspire me as an educator. Korczak’s amazing empathy and compassion for children blow me away. All three of these educators focused on the child, and on the importance of education being relevant to the child. I think this is just as necessary in today’s world as it was when they first wrote these ideas. All the other research-based best practices, such as formative assessment, teacher clarity, timely feedback, and classroom discussion are pointless, in my opinion, if the teacher does not care for the child. The teacher can have 30 iPads loaded with educational software, but it will not amount to much if the student is not the focus. I think with all of our exciting tools nowadays, it is very important to remind ourselves that the best thing teachers can do is to care for their students and put their needs first. In that spirit, I will set about examining the similarities, and then differences, between these three incredible educators.
Eliminating Segregation in Our Schools Today
Berger, Alissa [about]
With the tracking of students today, the separation of regular and honors courses can illuminate the difference in students’ races and socioeconomic status. In effect, tracking can create segregated classrooms, which only magnify the ethnic achievement gap. For teachers to minimize this gap, and end segregation, it’s necessary for schools to begin the detracking process, where students are not given the option of regular, honors, or advance placement courses, but are instead all enrolled in the same course. Much research has proven that detracking can minimize the achievement gap while providing other benefits like teaching students of collaboration and compassion, encouraging students to be more accepting of others, and holding everyone to high expectations. Of course, this does come with its own drawbacks, like shifting the responsibility of differentiation from a student’s choice of enrollment to the teacher. When students can pick and choose their own classes, it allows students to enroll in a course of the same relative ability, making it easier for a teacher to differentiate. If they were to all enroll in the same course, it can hugely increase the amount of differentiation required, putting more responsibility and time constraints on the teacher. Over all, it depends on one’s perspective on which approach preferred, tracking or detracking, although in the author’s opinion, in order to desegregate modern American classrooms, detracking still remains as the best available option.
The King of Children in Brazil
Novinsky Haberkorn, Tania [about]
The Janusz Korczak Association of Brazil was founded in São Paulo on April 10, 1984. The idea of creating the Association in Brazil came from Professor Josette Balsa, a founder of the Janusz Korczak Association in Geneva, Switzerland. The Association was very active until the year 2000. Due to various reasons, it had very little activities for the next decade. Then, in 2013, Ana Szpiczkowski, a professor from University of São Paulo, wrote a book The Orphans of Korczak (our translation), about her interviews with some of the ‘children’ from Korczak´s orphanage who were willing to share their memories. Suddenly there was a group of people who became interested in reactivating the Association under Ana´s presidency. A movement of a sort began, and new ideas and partnerships followed. In this article I would like to share some of the amazing work that we have been doing since then in Brazil to continue spreading the ideas of love, determination, and respect to children and educators that we learned from Korczak and the people who worked close with him.
Anticipating the 25th anniversary of Nash Dom Korczak’s Camp in Russia. The 2016 camp results in Tambov Region: new challenges, new problems, new joys, and new hopes.
Denisova, Varvara V. [about]
This year was the 24th Korczak’s camp. The analysis of the camp’s history (the camp is loved so much by its campers and counselors) brought us to a number of conclusions. First, the camp mission has become very clear through all these years. It is Korczak’s understanding of every child’s value, rights of all children, psychological and pedagogical principles of humanism in the camp’s educational environment. The camp’s concept has also been preserved: we keep our traditions, develop the system of celebrations, and make a wide use of Korczak’s forms and methods of pedagogical work with children. 24 years have passed… We are looking back and asking ourselves: what are we to expect in the future? Of course, we should find new forms of work because life changes rapidly, and modern children live in a more virtual space. We are increasingly facing the situation when our children are unable to build relationships in real life: they are unable to be friends, play, or fantasize. Informational space, which is engulfing us, is packed with ready-to-use prescriptions. Children are not given an opportunity to invent things – they just copy and imitate.
Respect for the child
Shustova, Daria [about]
This paper is about the need for Korczak who defines social education from the point of view of the child. This definition is based on the right of the child to a serious attitude to himself or herself, the right to trust and respect. This paper is an attempt to reveal the role of the family in the child’s upbringing in accordance with Korczak’s ideas. The kind of respect that adults should pay to children is understood as trust in their ability to act independently and purposefully. The paper emphasizes the support of the child-adult unity where children acquire universal human values and strengthen their personalities. The paper contains many children’s statements as well as an interview with the author’s daughter who, after reading the book King Matt the First, wrote her own version of the Children’s Manifesto.
Recommendations for Meeting the Educational and Preparatory Needs of Preservice and First-Year Teachers in Washington State
Clark, Michael C. [about]
All 50 states and the District of Columbia require teacher preparation programs to address state and national standards, including the foundational standards authored by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, or inTASC (Webb & Metha, 2017). While the standards address the substrative areas of instruction, assessment, and professional responsibilities, the learning and developmental needs of students are fluid, and additional supports for teachers to meet these needs may be necessary based on demographic location, student experience, and grade level. The present paper considers both general recommendations for teacher preparation programs serving pre-service teachers in Washington State, as well as a recommendation for district-level service delivery to address the needs of new teachers.

Home | Copyright © 2017, Russian-American Education Forum