Scholars Discuss Children’s “Right to Dignity and the Obligation to Respect”

A book cover sketch shows an older gentleman surrounded by four children. Doctor Korczak is balding and sports a moustache and beard. He wears a suit jacket over a white shirt and tie.

In late 1998, scholars from around the world met at the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum, Jerusalem, Israel, to discuss the right to dignity and the obligation to respect according to the teachings of Janusz Korczak. In 2000, the Janusz Korczak Association in Israel published synopses of the papers in Hebrew (not English).

The conference proceedings comprise six sections.

A Sketch of Korczak’s Character. In all, 13 scholars explored the Old Doctor’s “sensitive, warm, and loving personality through the eyes of the children who had the privilege of being in his care.”

A Study of Korczak’s Legacy and Writings. A dozen scholars examined several themes in Korczak’s writings: “the right to dignity and the obligation to respect, children’s rights, the character of the orphanage, Korczak’s practical work and educational thought, child – educator relations, and the parents’ responsibility in the education of their children. How is Korczak’s legacy relevant today?

Implementation of Korczak’s Legacy. Ten papers, mostly from Israel and Poland, discussed putting Korczak’s pedagogy into practice.

Educational Questions on the Subject ‘The Right to Dignity, the Obligation to Respect. These ten scholarly papers “focus on the way in which teachers and students, parents and children, and individuals talk to each other. They ask what it means to respect.

Korczak the Author. Seven papers “give various examples of Korczak’s literary works, which reflect his character and educational work.”

Miscellaneous. A final seven authors examined aspects of the history of the Jewish people in the Holocaust, as they relate to Korczak.

This scan of the editorial page, in English, reads "The book of the sixth international academic conference. The right to dignity and the obligation to respect, according to the teachings of Janusz Korczak. The Janusz Korczak Association in Israel 2000."