“Is it allowed to destroy an anthill?” Nature Classes in Jewish School Organization Schools (1921-1939). Theory and Practice. Cover Image
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„Czy można zniszczyć kopiec mrówek?” Nauka przyrody w szkołach Centralnej Żydowskiej Organizacji Szkolnej (1921–1939). Teoria i praktyka
“Is it allowed to destroy an anthill?” Nature Classes in Jewish School Organization Schools (1921-1939). Theory and Practice.

Author(s): Anna Szyba
Subject(s): Social history, Jewish Thought and Philosophy, History of Judaism
Published by: Żydowski Instytut Historyczny
Keywords: CIShO; Jewish school; new upbringing; teaching about nature

Summary/Abstract: The Central Jewish School Organization (CIShO), established in 1921, ran private schools teaching in Yiddish and promoting lay and socialist upbringing. This type of schools flourished in the interwar period, although many obstacles had to be overcome to ensure their success. One stumbling block was the lack of terminology, handbooks, curricula and methods of teaching of a wide range of lay subjects in Yiddish. The activists campaigning for lay Jewish schools set out to fill these gaps, capitalizing in doing so on the riches of the new upbringing model making headway in the world. The author mentioned the discussions related to the program and methods of teaching nature and the goals ascribed to this subject in the context of the new upbringing. Based on the records of teachers’ conferences, articles in pedagogical journals and reminiscences it was demonstrated that CIShO schools sought to reach for the latest teaching methods, adjusting the individual curricula to the needs of the Jewish children. The proponents of the new upbringing criticized the old Jewish school as a backward one, which produced people who were isolated from the mundane realities. The new school was expected to teach the child to discover the laws governing the world and in this manner prepare it for the role of an active and responsible citizen. An important role in that process, according to the active proponents of this “new school,” was played by the teaching about nature, involving the independent discovery and learning of it by the pupils, rather than just assimilating the knowledge found in the handbooks.

  • Issue Year: 268/2018
  • Issue No: 04
  • Page Range: 743-761
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Polish