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Erziehung und Bildung zur Verantwortung - Demokratie und Achtung in der Pädagogik Janusz Korczaks
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

On January 1st 2012 the “Bundeskinderschutzgesetz” has become legally effective. This law describes children's rights to participation and complaint explicitly. The bases for the implementation of these rights in practice are democratic structures in kindergarten. Moreover, the establishment of democratic structures in terms of dealing with cultural, religious and ethnic diversity is becoming increasingly important. Hundred years before the “Bundeskinderschutzgesetz” was enacted, the Jewish pedagogue Janusz Korczak took over the management of an orphanage in Warsaw in 1912 and advocated that children can live according to democratic rules in a high self-administrated environment. That means, there was already a Children's Parliament, an orphanage newspaper and a children's court, whose goal it was to obtain a fair conflict resolution among children and also among children and adults. Long time before in 1959 the UN Declaration and in 1989 the UN Convention confirmed children’s rights as international law, Korczak called for fundamental rights for children: The child's right to the present day. The child’s right to be like he wants to be. The child's right to his own death.This project will introduce the great pedagogue Korczak to pedagogic professionals and consultants of kindergarten and focus on his ideas of democratic structures for children. The key objective of the project is: Respect and appreciation prior to the uniqueness of each person, whether large or small and regardless of skin color or religion. To give people this respect and appreciation, it is necessary to establish attitudes and structures in the educational workaday life that make this possible. With this project, pedagogic professionals should be encouraged, to win these attitudes and to establish democratic structures in everyday life on the basis of Korczak's pedagogy. Project participants are leading staff of kindergarten and consultants of kindergarten in the facility of “Diakonie Mitteldeutschland”. In Poland the following activities are planned: preparatory meetings prior to departure, arrival and welcome evening, visit of the Korczakianum, meeting with Polish professionals in the child welfare and an intensive internships in selected facilities, visit to the Jewish Ghetto, the synagogue and an excursion to Treblinka, an evaluation of the week and departure. When the project is finished pedagogic professionals and consultants for kindergarten should establish a stimulation and stabilization of democratic structures in their own field of work. The association staff of “Diakonie Mitteldeutschland” will support them.They are able to reflect on their own attitudes towards children and their families and to rethink.Another aim of the project is to promote the participants interest and tolerance regarding other religions. The participants learn that democratic structures are essential to prevent dictatorial structures and are able to transfer this knowledge to their work in the kindergarten. They will practice with children and parents to respect other beliefs and will encourage them stand up for their own convictions. The participants will report on the outcome and the learnings of the project during pedagogic conferences, in parent-teacher conferences, team meetings, in consultations with political representatives and in an exchange with other welfare associations. The lessons learned will be incorporated into structured procedures of complain and grievance management and become part of the quality manual for kindergarten within the “Diakonie Mitteldeutschland”.
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