Teacher Dialogue in the Spirit of Janusz Korzak


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Avi Tsur
The Polish Jewish pedagogue Janusz Korczak wrote about the importance of dialogue between student and teacher nearly 100 years ago. His ideas and legacy are as realistic today for educators as they were then for Korczak. Teacher-student dialogue is one of the important ways to ensure success in reaching out to our students so as to enable learning and teaching to take place. My talk will focus on Teacher/Student Dialogue in today's classroom.

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Teacher Dialogue in the Spirit of Janusz Korzak

  1. 1. Teacher/Student Dialogue in the Spirit of Janusz Korczak Presented by Dr. Avi Tsur
  2. 3. - Krochamalna 92 - The Orphanage
  3. 4. <ul><li>Brainstorming Activity </li></ul><ul><li>1. Each person is allowed to make 1 contribution </li></ul><ul><li>in each round </li></ul><ul><li>2. No raising of hands. Be patient and attentive to </li></ul><ul><li>your surrounding </li></ul><ul><li>3. Clarifications as to disagreement will be dealt </li></ul><ul><li>with at the end </li></ul>
  4. 5. How would you define class or lesson climate?
  5. 6. Krochamalna - a homely atmosphere ~ harmony, trust, warmth, non threatening, …
  6. 7. Lesson Climate Positive lesson climate is associated with well-managed lessons that have clearly stated expectations, where the student feels safe & where teachers consistently acknowledge all students addressing their behavior in a fair manner.
  7. 8. Korczak’s belief ~ Years of work have confirmed for me more and more clearly that children deserve respect, trust and kindness, that it is pleasant to be with them in a cheerful atmosphere of gentle feelings, an atmosphere of strenuous first efforts and surprises, of pure, clear and heart-warming joys, that working with children in such an atmosphere is exhilarating, fruitful and attractive. Korczak J . The Child's Right to Respect , E.P. Kulawiec, p. 171
  8. 9. Memorizing Names How does one go about memorizing thirty names that are sometimes difficult to remember and sounding much alike, and linking them to thirty faces? Korczak J. Selected Works of Janusz Korczak, Summer Camps, p.333
  9. 11. A child finds it easier to address a teacher who knows him, whether it be with a request or a question, and the teacher will listen more willingly to him if he had heard, remembered, recognized. Korczak J. Selected Works of Janusz Korczak, Summer Camps, p.333
  10. 12. Building a Relationship Twenty new children to read, to decipher, like twenty books written in a barely comprehensible hand, like second-hand books with missing pages. Korczak J . (August 1939), Mortkowicz-Olczak H. (1965), Mister Doctor, p.183
  11. 13. An educator who does not enforce but sets free, does not drag but uplifts, does not crush but shapes, does not demand but requests, will experience inspired moments with the child. Korczak Janusz , How to love a Child , number 83
  12. 14. Two Children, Three Worlds One child – a full and comprehensive world. Two children – three worlds: the world of each individual and that of both of them together. Three children are not only one, a second and a third. In addition to the three – first and second together, first and third together, second and third together is also the world of them all. Presently we have seven worlds. Lacking in determination, friendship, a quarrel, joy, depression, … - think of how many worlds are to be found in ten, twenty, thirty kids. Alone, without the assistance of the children you will never get to know these worlds and your educational tasks will never succeed. Korczak J., The Child’s Religion , Kibbutz Hameuchad Publication 1978, p302, translated by Dr.Avi Tsur
  13. 15. The Sensitive Educator What a fever, a cough or nausea is for a physician, so a smile, a tear, or a blush should be for an educator. Not a single symptom lacks significance. It is essential to record and think over every detail, discard all that is incidental, bring together all that is akin, and seek out the gu idi ng laws .
  14. 16. … seek out the guiding laws. Why will one pupil, when he comes to the classroom, look into all the corners, say a word to everyone and be driven to his bench by the sound of the school bell only with difficulty? Why does another take his seat at once, reluctant to leave it even during the break? What sort of individuals are these, what can the school offer them and what can it demand in exchange? Korczak J. (1919), How to Love Children
  15. 17. Speaking with the Children In the forest, for the very first time, I spoke, not to the children but with the children, and not about what I wanted them to be but about what they wanted to be and about what they were capable of being. Janusz Korczak, The Summer Camp
  16. 18. The School Newspaper What is the benefit from a school newspaper? Immense! It teaches work in a planned manner, based on the combined effort of various people. It teaches courage in voicing one’s opinion. It is the conscience of the community. The newspaper is a link, which binds the class or school. Through it complete strangers come to know each other. It puts a spotlight on those quiet and thoughtful ones who in solitary silence can express themselves on paper but whose voice is lost in a vocal dispute.
  17. 19. I firmly believe in the need for newspapers for children and youth, meaning papers in which they themselves are the contributors, and which tackle subjects salient and interesting to them.  The children and youth must themselves say in their school newspapers what they find important.   The Little Review
  18. 20. School creates for the child the rhythm of hours, days and years. School officials are supposed to provide for the needs of today's young citizens. Needed is not a despotic order, imposed discipline, or distrustful control, but tactful understanding; faith in experience, cooperation and co-existence is the real basis of child-care. Korczak J. The Child's Right to Respect, E.P. Kulawiec, page 176
  19. 21. Henryk Goldszmit Janusz Korczak July 22, 1878 August 5, 1942 There are stars whose light reaches the earth long after they have disintegrated and are no more. And there are men whose scintillating memory lights the world long after they have passed from it. These lights which shine in the darkest night are those which illuminate for us the path…” חנה סנש Hannah Senesh
  20. 23. The Educational Legacy of Janusz Korczak I caress these children with my gaze as I ask myself: “ Who are you, you wonderful secret and what do you bring with you? How will I be able to help you?” Korczak J. (1918), How to Love Children