A selection of the messages on this website is published here in English, und Einige auf Deutsch.
Please take a look at my publications in (mostly) English. Let me know if you are interested in any of these publications through firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Korczak and human dignity
For the Dutch journal Tenachon – https://stichtingpardes.nl/tenachon/ – I wrote an article about ‘The human dignity of the child. The pedagogical ethos of Janusz Korczak’. I discuss in three sections: Korczak’s biography; the core concepts in his pedagogy; how he practiced human dignity. For the latter, I will discuss the performance of the play The Post Office by R. Tagore, two and a half weeks before the deportation of Korczak’s orphanage to Treblinka. Tenachon no. 52 will be published in December 2021.
*Great news about my Korczak book!
Springer, the publisher of my book Janusz Korczak. Educating for Justice (2020) told me that there will be a translation in the Korean language (to be published in 2023). Wow! That’s unexpected but very nice to hear.
*A great review of my book Janusz Korczak. Educating for Justice!
The Dutch developmental psychologist Gerrit Breeuwsma from Groningen University wrote a great review of my book, first in Dutch and now translated to English. You can read it here:
*A new book on Hannah Arendt (in Dutch)
On July 16, 2021 my new book on Hannah Arendt was published (in Dutch). The title is: De werelden van Hannah Arendt. Lange lijnen in leven en werk. [Hannah Arendt’s Worlds. Long lines in life and work] In it, I present and analyse almost all of Arendt’s works, some of which have become very famous, such as The Human Condition, The Origins of Totalitarianism, Eichmann in Jerusalem, Thinking, and Crises of the Republic. I also present the biographical, intellectual and political contexts of the works. Lastly I describe what I call the ‘long lines’ (or threads) in her work, such as Saint Augustine’s notion of ‘beginning’.
In print, the book is 338 pages, so it’s something for the holidays… (if you like reading, about Arendt, in the holidays, of course…)
*UPDATED: my list of publications on Janusz Korczak
Now that the new book is out, see below, I updated my list of publications and lectures etc. on Janusz Korczak.
You may find it here. If you are interested in any of these items, please let me know.
*Standing on the shoulders of Janusz Korczak – article
In December 2020 the Dutch journal De wereld van het jonge kind/HJK published my article, 5 pp, on Korczak, in their great series ‘Standing on the shoulders of…’. I translated my text to English, and you can read it here.
*NEW BOOK PUBLISHED: Janusz Korczak – a key thinker in education
On the 24th of December 2019 I undersigned a contract with publisher Springer Nature to write a book on Janusz Korczak.
The title is: Janusz Korczak. Educating for Justice. ISBN 978-3-030-59249-3 (soft cover) & ISBN 978-3-030-59250-9 (eBook)
Would you like more information? Check this! Also to order!
– on June 3, 2020, I submitted my manuscript to the editors of Springer. Now wait for the verdict of the reviewers…
– on August 3, 2020, I received the remarks of the reviewers. Very good! And only ‘minor changes’!
– on August 4, 2020, I mailed the revised manuscript to the publisher again. GREEN LIGHT! Now waiting for the first proof!
– August 18, 2020: online anouncement on Springer.com, see above.
– on September 30, 2020 I received the proofs, to check.
– on October 10, 2020 Springer put eight wonderful endorsements on their website, check advance reviews.
Mentions, reviews etc of the book
* Directly upon its publication the book was mentioned on the German website Korczak-Forum, check here.
* Mr Daniel Berek from the USA, who posts regularly on pedagogical matters, wrote a wonderful review about the book on weblog.
* Ms Malgorzata Kmita from the UK, a fore-person of the international Korczak movement, wrote a great review, which you van read below ( A small part of this review is on the Springer website.)
* A wonderful and extended review of the book was published in April 2021 on the Dutch website didactiefonline.nl (for subscribers only… in July I have permission to publish it here). Also, subscribers were invited to take part in a winning contest with a copy of my book as the one-and-only prize!
*Zwei Texte über Janusz Korczak und John Dewey auf Deutsch
1. Korczak: Vortrag. Janusz Korczak und demokratische Erziehung heute. Differenz, Partizipation, Gerechtigkeit (Erfurt 2013)
2. Dewey: Vortrag. War Dewey ein Herbartianer? (St. Niklaas, Belgien 2005)
Ein Zitat Janusz Korczaks: ‘Sehen, Fragen stellen und auf Fragen antworten – das ist der Inhalt unseres Lebens, das ist der Inhalt unserer neuen Pädagogik…’
Aus: Janusz Korczak, ‘Eine Schule für das Leben’, in Begegnungen und Erfahrungen, 1982 (Or. Polnisch 1908), S. 30.
*Hannah Arendt – update of my publications
I updated my overview of publications, lectures etc. (both in Dutch and English) on Hannah Arendt. You can take a look at it below.
*Published: Re-instituting education. Janusz Korczak and John Dewey on living together in educational institutions
I have written a chapter for the book Nurture, Care, Respect, and Trust. Transformative Pedagogy Inspired by Janusz Korczak, edited by Tatyana Tsyrlina-Spady and Pete Renn. My chapter is a parallel ‘reading’ of the educational and anthropological ideas of two of the 20th century’s greatest pedagogues and educationalists: Janusz Korczak and John Dewey. Despite (obvious) differences there are striking similarities with regard to their views of the child as an active participant in and of culture. Both argue against empiricism, and objectivism when dealing with children. Hopeful perspectives! The book was published January 30, 2020 by Myers Press, see Myers Press.
*Lecture on Korczak as a patient and impatient educator
On November 28 2019, I presented a paper on the International Korczak Conference in Tel Aviv, on the topic of Korczak’s patience and impatience. There is an idealistic image of Korczak who had all the patience in the world, but this is not quite correct. Korczak could be a very impatient man, towards children, towards adults and towards society. In my lecture I showed examples of both his patience and impatience, and concluded that, because he knew not only patience, but also impatience, he becomes more human, and therefor more relevant for our own time.
It is my intention to rework the lecture for an article or chapter in a book.
*Patience in education and upbringing
On May 27th, 2019, I finished writing the manuscript of my new book, in Dutch, on patience and impatience in the education and upbringing of (young) children and pupils. Translated the title would be something like ‘Upbringing and education between patience and impatience’. The ‘between’ is important, for, as I have found in theology, philosophy, pedagogy, ánd learned in interviews with eight educators (parents, teachers): it is not a matter of ‘either-or’, it is a matter of a tension between patience and impatience that people in general and educators in particular regularly experience in themselves and between them and their children/pupils. This is not something to bemoan, but to reflect upon – and that is what I do in the book.
In the book I look at the etymological roots of patience (geduld, Geduld), and to the way in which in three important religions/world-views (christianity, buddhism, and islam) (im)patience is looked at. I explore philosophy (mainly Dutch authors) for stimulating thoughts about the phenomenon (and have found many!). The core of the book is my presentation of four case-studies, starting from everyday experiences with (im)patience (by myself a.o.), and then interpreting these from a multitude of pedagogical/educational viewpoints. The next chapter is devoted to the eight interviews mentioned above, which in a way brings new meanings to the foreground. The book closes with some conclusions about the importance of the virtue of patience, without forgetting that sometimes impatience can also be a virtue.
The book was published by Garant Publishing House in Antwerp/Apeldoorn on November 14, 2019.
*Hannah Arendt on Education
The Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College (USA) invited me to write a reflection / short essay on a quote by Hannah Arendt, chosen by myself. I took a quote from her highly original view on education, and then discuss the insights we may learn from it. The piece was published on 14 december 2018 on medium.com: please take a look at medium.com.
*Janusz Korczak and Hannah Arendt on humanity, appearance and education
I am very proud indeed to have a chapter – a comparative study on the pedagogical-anthropological tenets of Janusz Korczak’s and Hannah Arendt’s views on education and upbringing in a beautiful collection of essays, published by the Children’s Ombudsman of Poland. Here is the reference:
Berding, J. (2018). Janusz Korczak and Hannah Arendt on what it means to become a subject. Humanity, appearance and education. In Michalak, M. (Ed.). The rights of the child yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The Korczak perspective. Part II (pp. 432-449). Warsaw: Office of the Ombudsman for Children. (bi-langual ed., English & Polish)
Digital (pdf) version can be read here (scroll to page 432).
*Hannah Arendt on Education
In July 2018 a chapter on the impact and meaning of Hannah Arendt’s ideas on human existence and ‘world’ was published by my fellow-philosopher of education Wouter Pols (also from Holland) and me in the new and comprehensive International Handbook of Philosophy of Education. Reference:
Pols, W. & Berding, J. (2018). “This is our world.” Hannah Arendt on education. In Smeyers, P. (Ed.) International Handbook of Philosophy of Education (pp. 39-48). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. Abstract DOI can be read: here.
*Arendt and Mulisch on the Eichmann Trial
My lecture on this subject (see below) was published in an edited and extended version in: Back to the Core (Cohen de Lara & Drop, Eds.), see Vernon Press.
*At work with Hannah Arendt. Essays on professionalism in education, care and welfare
On 2 November 2017 this collection of essays in Dutch was published, edited by me, in which the practice of professionalism is analysed and debated from the viewpoint of Arendt’s distinctions between labor, work and action, her theorizations on thinking and her provocative reconstruction of evil (Eichmann trial; totalitarianism). The collection is in Dutch and was published by publishing house ISVW in The Netherlands.
News: in May 2018, so within a half year, the second edition was published!
*Unfolding Human Potential
On February 8-9, 2017 I participated in the international invitational conference Unfolding Human Potential, organized by a.o. Nivoz, Driebergen, the Netherlands.
*Janusz Korczak, an introduction
Berding, J. (2016). Janusz Korczak, an introduction.
This is a concise essay (5 pp) about Korczak’s life, work and main pedagogical ideas and their application. It was written for the International Conference ‘Trust, the foundation of emotional safety’, Lage Vuursche, Holland, 12-16 October 2016.
You can read the essay below.
A slightly edited version of this paper will be published on the website of the Korczak Association of the USA: http://korczakusa.com/
*New book on Korczak, Dewey and Arendt on education
In February 2016 a new book by me was published in Dutch, it’s called: “Ik ben ook een mens.” Opvoeding en onderwijs aan de hand van Korczak, Dewey en Arendt. Literally translated this would be something like: “I am [a] human too.” Upbringing and education in the spirit of Korczak, Dewey and Arendt.
It is a collection of essays, inspired by the ideas, works and lives of these protagonists, who over a time-span of 25 years have become very important and inspirational for myself and many others. I write about the child being and becoming [a] human, about the role of schooling and the function of curriculum, about childrens’ rights and living together in superdiverse communities, and about the role of politics with regard to education. Also I reflect on the role of authority in education, and in what way in our time authority is desirable, and possible for teachers.
Publisher: Phronese in Culemborg/the Netherlands
On February 4, 2016 the book was presented officially during a symposium in Rotterdam.
News: in May 2018 a second slightly reworked edition was published in paperback format.
*Lecture on Arendt and Mulisch
On September 12 2015 I gave a lecture on Arendt’s book Eichmann in Jerusalem and Mulisch’s book Criminal case 40/61. Both deal with the (in)famous trial in 1961 in Jerusalem of the war criminal Adolf Eichmann. My lecture focused on the literary style of these works. The conference was the LAS in Amsterdam (more on http://www.auc.nl/news-events/events-and-lectures/upcoming-events-and-lectures/item/liberal-arts-sciences-education-core-texts-european-context.html).
*My Arendtian Library
The Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College asked me in december 2014: what does your Arendt library look like? Here you can find the answer:
*John Dewey on childrens’ play
On October 13, 2015 Routledge (UK) published a completely new International Handbook of Philosophies and Theories of Early Childhood Education and Care. I have written a chapter on John Dewey’s philosophy and theory of young children’s play.
More on http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781138022812/.
*Hannah Arendt on ‘interprofessional work’
In June 2014 an article on the relevance of Arendt’s concepts labour, work and acting for interprofessional wortk in care and health – by Johannes Midskard and myself – was published by the Journal of Social intervention. The URL is: JSI.
*Janusz Korczak: A Bibliography
The Korczak Association of Canada published an updated bibliography on secundary sources in English on Korczak, 1939-2012 (Ed. Olga Medvedeva-Nathoo & Galina Saneva). It is divided in a number of chapters, a.o. posthumous works of Korczak himself, books and book chapters, lectures and on-line sources. Also there is attention for exhibitions and films. I found a number of references to works of myself, which is an honour.
Info about this splendid source for Korczak research via the following email-address: email@example.com.
*Looking back to the International Korczak Year 2012
At the end of 2013 under the auspices of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs a commemorative edition of texts from the Korczak Year 2012 was published. It contains text of lectures that were held in Warsaw, Geneva, New York, Being and a number of other places. There are texts by a.o. BAtia Gilad, Waltraut Kerber-Ganse, Marek Michalak, Tomas Hammarberg and myself.
In June 2012 I delivered a speech at the international conference on Korczak and children’s rights in Geneva. The subject of my talk was the then brand-new children’s righst monitor by the newley appointed children’s ombudsman in Holland. I presented a number of facts and figurtes from this report and reflected on it from a Korczakian point of view.
Gegevens: 2012 Janusz Korczak Year. An international perspective on children’s rights and pedagogy, edited by P. Jaros, http://www.msz.gov.pl.
Those interested I can mail a copy of the original text.
*Korczak in Ghent (Flanders/Belgium)
From 13 to December 15, 2013 Korczak Flanders organized in collaboration with the International Korczak Association ( IKA ) in Ghent a conference on socially vulnerable children and adults . Friday began with a meeting in the district library in the Brugsepoort , a multicultural / diverse neighborhood. Saturday was devoted to various lectures and presentations include the Flemish children’s ombudsman Bruno Vanobbergen who signaled that we are increasingly going to ” prepression ” in the social domain ( a term by Willem Schinkel ) : prevention but thought from repressive frameworks . There were musical performances , including a Roma band from Ghent . Sunday we took a morning children’s walk led by a guide who does so with lots of school classes. In the afternoon was the annual meeting of the IKA where country representatives were present, including Israel , Germany , Switzerland , Dutch and even Ukraine , and spoke about their work in 2013 . A great base for further expansion. The many meetings and discussions created a great atmosphere.
*Korczak in Erfurt and a chapter in a new book on Korczak
From 15 to 17 November 2013 the German Korczak-Gesellschaft had their yearly meeting, this time in Erfurt (BRD). I was invited to open the conference as key-note speaker, and did so by speaking about the importance of Korczak’s ideas for citizenship education.
Those who master the German language can read my text below.
Also I made a power-point presentation. This can be downloaded as .pdf below.
In the same weekend the edited book Facettenreich im Fokus. Janusz Korczak (Rosemarie Godel-Gassner & Sabine Krehl, Eds) was published by Garamond Verlag in Jena. I wrote a chapter in English on education and citizenship from Korczak’s perspective. More information on Garamond Verlag.
*Korczak in Leiden – Holland
* On Saturday October 6 2012 we celebrated the 30th anniversary of our Korczak Association in Holland, and also the official Korczak Year. It was a great Festival with presentations, music, plays, many children’s activities, round-table discussions etc. Over 120 people from all quarters attended and were actively involved. The Kinderechtenhuis (Children’s Rights House) in Leiden hosted the event, and the Polish embassy inhe Netherlands was very supportive. After 15 years of being the chair-person of the JKA Theo Cappon stepped down, and as a reward for all his activities he was awarded a knighthood. This was presented to him by the Mayor of Leiden. A great honor for Theo, and also a recognition of the value of the ever topical ideas of the great pedagogue Janusz Korczak. More will be reported on www.korczak.nl.
*Korczak in Geneva! For the 4th time!
On June 1 and 2, 2012 for the fourth time the international seminar on children’s rights and the educational ideas of Janusz Korczak was held in Geneva. Present were this time not only members of the UN Committee on the rights of the child and Korczakians from different countries, but also twelve children and youngsters from a number of countries: Switzerland, Poland, Germany, and a number of African countries. This gave an enormous input to the seminar, a new kind of energy and synergy. On 31st of May there was already a pre-conference meeting of Korczakians in the crèche Le cerf-volant in Genève.
The topic this time was article 3: adults, institutions and states should always look at what is in the best interest of the child. This is a complicated but very important article, in fact one of the cornerstones or ‘pillars’ of the Convention.
One the first day we explored together with the children the meanings of this article through interactive work forms, such as discussion and the production of posters. It was great to see Young and old(er) working together like this! Also the play The ten matchboxes was performed by actor Amichai Pardo, and he brought children and adults into the scenes.
The second day was devoted to lectures and presentations. I did a lecture called “A pedagogical reflection on the Annual Report and the first Children’s Rights Monitoring Report in the Netherlands”. These Reports were published in May 2012 by the Dutch Children’s Ombudsman, and give much food for thought. In general Dutch children are the luckiest in the World, but if you closer and better, you see stunning figures about poverty and mistreatment. Above you can download my presentation text (.pdf).
*Korczak in Warsaw, a study-trip
From April 28 to May 1 2012 I participated in a study trip to Warsaw Poland, in commemoration of Janusz Korczak, who on August 5/6 1942 was transported to the extermination camp Treblinka with his co-workers and 200 orphanages. The group consisted of members of the Board of the Dutch Korczak Association, sponsors and leaders from our Nash Dom camps. Also five students from Flanders (Belgium) and a colleague participated. We visited Dom Sierot, the orphanage in the Jewish quarter of Warsaw of which Korczak became director in 1912. It was impressive to enter and sit in the Great hall where in the 20s and 30s more than 100 – 150 children ate their daily bread. It is almost unbelievable that this building was rescued. We also visited the monument in the center of the city and the one in the Jewish cemetery.
*Korczak in Geneva! For the 3th time!
It is becoming a tradition: for the third time now members of the UN Committee of the Rights of the Child and members from multiple Korczak Associations across Europe gathered together on a Saturday in June to share their views on the rights of the Child. This time article 12 of the Convention was the central topic. This article states that the child has the right to express his or her own views freely, and has the right to be heard. For the experts this article is the core of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
Members of the Committee presented their views on this article and its implementation in their own countries: Tunisia, Uganda, Hungary and so on. After these presentations there was a performance of the play ‘The 10 matchboxes’ by Israeli actor Amichai Pardo. He transformed into the figure of Janusz Korczak and in a dialogical way with the public told the story of the 10 matchboxes: one is lost and found, another turns into a ‘ship’, children quarrel about it and so on. A very moving experience. After the performance Amichai told us that he performed this play over a 1000 times, in many countries and that is was always different.
The program of the afternoon consisted of talks by Korczakians on the topic. Jonathan Levy talked about global citizenship and a new initiative to develop a program on children as teachers on children’s rights. Anna Bystrzycka told a moving story about Korczak’s life in the orphanage. And Kelvin Ravenscroft from the UK philosophized in a very spiritual, yet also practical manner about the social construction of meaning. As chair of this panel I concluded that the concept of space, both in a physical and in psychological sense is prime when we want to uphold article 12 and have the child be able to express himself or herself and be heard.
The last panel was also about practice. Nelianne de Boo, head of primary school Matthijsje in the Netherlands, told us how she tries to form a community with parents and children. She showed that bringing Korczak into practice that does not mean that you can’t work towards good results; even better, because of the positive and co-operative spirit. Sven Hartman from Sweden told us about a new project with Roma children. His approach signifies the humane spirit which was so characteristic for Korczak’s approach. The UN committee member from Uganda, Awich Pollar, told us about the tension between children ’s rights and culture, as can be seen in the case of genital mutilation. On the other hand, also in African countries, the new social media give more and more opportunities for young people to express themselves.
This seminar was once again hosted by the Polish mission to the UN.
*John Dewey on ‘play’
On January 18, 2011 a new book, in Dutch, on the subject of children’s play was presented (D. van der Aalsvoort, Ed.). I wrote a chapter in this book about John Dewey’s educational views on play.
*Korczak in Tokyo
In the first week of August 2010 an international conference took place in Tokyo, Japan. The subject was Janusz Korczak and children’s rights in the 21st century. It was organized by the Japan Korczak Association (JKA) and the International Korczak Association (IKA) and was hosted by the Meiji University. There were participants from Israel, Russia, Germany, Switzerland and …. I had the honor to represent The Netherlands there, and took part with a lecture on the practical application of Korczak’s ideas in the field of early childhood education. I presented a project I conducted in my country which aimed at uplifting the pedagogical quality of the work in daycare and after-school care. As already discussed below, this led to the production of a successful brochure, the English version of which was now also presented to a Japanese audience.
There is the official conference sign in the university’s building.
*Korczak in Geneva! For the 2nd time
On June 5, 2010, the conference on childrens’ rights and the education of Janusz Korczak enjoyed a second edition! Again, in Geneva, Switzerland, a theme of mutual interest to Korczak-ians and members of the Council of Europe/UN Committee was discussed in a one-day symposium: the education and training of professionals who work with children and young people. I was honoured to be invited again as one of the lecturers. In time, I will publish my presentation on this website.
The evening before the conference many Korczak-ians gathered for an informal meeting in the children’s centre Le Cerf-Volant, a centre inspired by the educational views of Françoise Dolto, and supported by the ‘Amis of Dr. J. Korczak en Suisse’.
In Geneva I also presented a new publication in English: the 8-page full-colour brochure Janusz Korczak for workers in childcare and after-school care (Joop Berding, Inge Smit and Inge van Rijn, authors). This brochure was originally written in Dutch and published in the Netherlands in March 2010. The first edition, 750 copies, was sold out in 1,5 month! You can have a look at the brochure by clicking http://en.calameo.com/read/000261669230836b273c6
*Korczak in Geneva, a new international seminar
On June 6, 2009 I participated in a conference in Geneva, Switzerland, hosted by the Polish Mission, where people from different Korczak Associations met with representatives of the Council of Europe, and of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Among the invited addresses was that of Mr Thomas Hammarberg, High Commissioner for Human Rights of the CoE. I myself took part in one of the panels, i.e. on children’s participation from Korczak’s perspective. I reworked my statement and you can read the full text here. It will also be published in the Proceedings.
(Part of) the conference group in Geneva
In September 2008 my text on Korczak – An Introduction was republished in the Report on the Dutch Youth Conference that was held in September 2007 in Bergen aan Zee, Netherlands.
*A new book on Janusz Korczak
February 11, 2005 saw the publication of my new book on Janusz Korczak:
Obsessed by the child. Educational action in day care centers
I wrote a book in Dutch about Korczak’s educational ideas, applied to day care and after school groups. It’s about educational quality, and pedagogical practices inspired by Janusz Korczak. It tells how workers in day care centers and after school groups experiment with Korczak’s ideas about justice, respect, participation and self-reflection. These stories are illustrated by some thirty photographs of children and workers in action. The book is especially written for students and professionals, and also interesting for educational councilors and the more general audience interested in democratic education. The book is published by publishing-house Van Gorcum, Assen, The Netherlands. ISBN 9023241118. Price: Euro 18.50. Those who do not master the Dutch language can contact me for further information through e-mail.