Death and childhood Cover Image

Śmierć i dzieciństwo
Death and childhood

Author(s): Astrid Męczkowska-Christiansen
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Polskie Towarzystwo Pedagogiczne
Keywords: death; taming death; tanatology; children’s concepts of death; discussing death with children

Summary/Abstract: This article focuses on death as a cultural taboo in terms of its presence within child-adult relationships. The framework for this state of affairs is discussed in reference to the historical and cultural changes in modern societies. My purpose is not only to object to the “tabooisation” of death within the childadult relationship but also to put forward arguments against the paternalistic attitude of adults when discussing issues of death with children. Furthermore, I criticize the practices of over-verbalizing death. Instead, informal educational forms of „taming death” through incidental learning within natural frameworks of family and community connections, as well as experiential learning mediated by art and literature are appraised. Finally, I provide an example of both the dramatic and exceptional practices of „taming death” as given by Janusz korczak and his way of being with children.

  • Issue Year: IX/2013
  • Issue No: 2 (21)
  • Page Range: 17-29
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Polish