Janusz Korczak: Sculptor of Children’s Souls
By Marcia Talmage Schneider
Janusz Korczak was a Polish-Jewish educator, children’s author, and pediatrician who spent many years working as director of an orphanage in Warsaw. He is most famously remembered for refusing freedom and staying with his orphans when the orphanage was sent from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp.
However, Marcia Talmage Schneider refuses to allow Korczak’s tragic end to overshadow his creative approach to serving children and the impact that it had on the lives of the children he helped. She sought out and interviewed ten individuals who had lived in Korczak’s orphanage prior to 1942.
The recollections emphasize Korczak’s innovative methods and the lasting influence he had on the lives of “his” children. Perhaps most instructive is the repeated statements of survivors who went on to careers in education and tried to implement the lessons they had learned firsthand into their professional lives. Korczak’s educational theories live on through them.
Talmage Schneider writes, “It is my hope and belief that we all must learn from this magical humanist and fulfill his dreams of making a better world.” Indeed, these interviews make enriching readings for professional educators and parents alike. Educational theory comes alive in the words of grateful students.
The book can be ordered from Mahryuma@verizon.net.