Childhood is a category which came to social awareness and scientific research relatively late. The discovery of childhood can be associated with the names of different thinkers and educators. In this article, I will undertake an attempt to reconstruct selected views about the child and childhood coming from J.J. Rousseau and J. Korczak. The first figure is said to be the discoverer of childhood in modern Europe, while the second one is the discoverer of childhood in Polish education, and a progenitor of the modern meaning of childhood. The analyzes that I conduct shows the evolution of understanding of this category.
The article includes analysis of the constructing of the concept of the child and childhood within neoliberal culture set against the background of mechanisms for exercising power and constructing subjectivity. In particular, in conducting these areas such phenomena as: population policy, investing in childhood, management of childhood are involved. Additionally, the theoretical perspective lying at the basis of the analysis refers to the concept of “governmentality” in light of Michel Foucault and his ideas.
This article looks at the key themes of Stanisław Jaworski’s memoir Którędy [Which way], published in 2018. They are embedded in a highly personal (autobiographical) idea of poetry with its recurrent motifs of return to childhood, the experience of loss of a beloved person and multifarious refl ections on the experience and poetics of oneirism.
Dynamic development in children’s research has led to surprising discoveries about the learning and thinking patterns of fetuses, infants and young children. These studies have revolutionized not only our knowledge of children, but also our understanding of the nature of the human mind and brain. Moreover, within this context, it is believed that many areas of adulthood are the result of the experiences and changes that occur during the fetal period and in childhood. These experiences, therefore, are crucial for human development and what people achieve in the following stages of their lives. The results of the research on brain development during the fetal period and during childhood presented here, reveal a new perspective for understanding the essence and nature of the learning process. These studies also strongly suggest that the first two thousand days of a child’s life are critical in developing many basic human skills. Therefore, we must take great care of the quality of environment for a child’s development.
In the text, a polemic is undertaken against the model of the child expected in Polish institutions of early childhood education, and which appropriates the rationalities producing social practices. The source of this model is in the logic of standardization whose cognitive and effects on identity are criticized by the author. Identifying the sources of validation of the practices normalizing some children and stigmatizing others, who do not meet the requirements of the cognitively rigid and morally trivialized standards, the text points to developmental psychology as a discipline which potentially triggers this form of oppression. In conclusion, the author describes briefly a number of examples of educational solutions in which an attempt has been made to move beyond the discourse of standardized quality in child education.
The paper describes the political use of symbols of childhood and orphanhood in the current policy of the Russian authorities. At the beginning of the Bolshevik regime, homeless children (bezprizorni) became a subject of interest for the security apparatus organized by F. Dzerzhinsky. At that time, A. Makarenko developed his innovative pedagogical approach. These activities were designed to create a “new Soviet man”. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia again faced the problem of homeless children. After several years, however, children and orphans are now being used as a symbol of vulnerability in the government policy of the Kremlin. As an answer to the so-called “Magnitsky Act”, the Russian authorities implemented the “DimaYakovlev law” prohibiting adoptions of Russian children to the United States. In addition to this, the child as a symbol of innocence and vulnerability is an invariant element in the policy of the Russian authorities. This combines symbolism associated with bravery, dedication and sacrifice, allowing justification of the current political course of power in Russia.
The goal of this paper is to discuss changes implemented in Danish early childhood education influenced by neoliberal ideology, and views concerning the new requirements for teachers (pedagogues) at private and self-owned kindergartens. The paper describes the historical tradition of Danish kindergartens based on children’s free play and democracy, allowing children to develop social skills and cognition through exploration and discovery, and giving practitioners a great deal of autonomy. The new trend in Danish early childhood education is towards detailed planning of work and accountability-based-assessment, which contradicts the traditional philosophy. It pushes teachers to create programs that develop children’s readiness for school and to implement teaching methods based on educational standards mandated by the government. The results of this research project, based on interviews conducted with teachers and educational experts, demonstrates the educators’ criticism of this new approach and their attempts to save democracy as a central value in education
In this text the author poses a question about the direction of the evolution of early childhood education, considering its specificity in the context of the academic nature of pedagogy itself and its historical development, and especially the modern trend for interdisciplinarity. The author associates sources of diversity of this sub-discipline with a focus on the child, emphasizing, on the one hand, the setting of the sub-discipline in the tradition, especially pedological and, on the other hand, a growing and critical phenomenological perspective of research in this area. In conclusion he emphasizes that a reorientation of the multi paradigmatic research conducted in early childhood pedagogy, its openness to differences, but also the use of the methodology of the humanities and social studies recognized by the international community of scholars, make this sub-discipline of learning begin to regain the appellation of an integral discipline.
In this text, a critical reflection is presented on assessment practices in early childhood education, which are discussed in the context of the creation by those practices of the students’ sense of agency which, according to J. Bruner, is treated as a category of school culture. The discussion is based on the results of the recent research conducted in Poland on students’ agency and an analysis of the data collected as part of the author’s own research. The picture obtained by using the triangulation of methods and sources confirms that assessment in early childhood education strips children of the opportunity to build a sense of agency, even in terms of independent control of a task situation. The surveyed students, admittedly, are capable of a relatively independent reflection on the context of school assessment, but the world of their educational experience is limited to the incapacitating culture of the school grade. It is a culture that becomes one of the sources of children’s self-restraint in the perception of themselves as agents, perpetuating their external steerability and passivity. To change this situation, external regulations will not suffice, but only the organizing of the learning environment based on the relationship between the teacher and the student, which is free from the daily pressures of assessment and the worship of formal correctness.