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The School of Life in the 21st Century - Trends, Challenges and Initiatives in Educating for a Culture of Rights in light of Janusz Korczak’s Humanistic Thoughts (no)

Organization: Tel Aviv University
Event: no
Categories: Pedagogy
Event Date: 2019-11-26 to 2019-11-28 Abstract Due: 2019-07-31

Call for Papers

We are pleased to announce

The 9th International Conference

On the Educational Legacy of Janusz Korczak

Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child


 “The child has a right to want, to speak up, to demand – he has a right to grow and mature and, having matured, to bear fruit. And the aim of education: don’t make noise, don’t wear out your shoes, listen to and carry out orders, don’t criticize, but believe that all things aim exclusively toward your best interest. Harmony, an easy tempo, freedom – this is a commandment: love thy neighbor. Have a look at the world – smile.”

Korczak J (1920), How to Love a Child, Volume I, Valentine Mitchell (2018), pg. 109


November 26-28, 2019

Tel Aviv University


Conference Topics

The conference seeks the participation of academics and researchers, educators from all educational spheres, students and pupils, and local and international decision and influence makers. We seek to develop a humanistic pedagogical thinking, “out of the box”, to share break-through ideas on new educational frameworks for “The School of Life” in the spirit of Korczak, alongside theories and applications in the implementation of the Convention on Rights of the Child with the intention of educating the child towards human dignity, to his unique personality and adopting it to his special needs, to responsibility, to participation, to involvement and civic consideration.

Theme 1: Trends in research and in practice that are concerned with the implementation of a culture of rights in educational systems, in light of the “Child’s Rights” discourse of which Korczak was a part of, and took roots during the 30 years since the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Paris 1989).

In these sessions, we wish to place the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child as a value basis for participation. for civic involvement of children and youth, for promoting their influence in application and implementation of their rights in their surroundings, and for the shaping of the society in which they live. We would like to examine the trends for updating the subjects and the issues by which the Convention on the Rights of the Child deals in the 21st century. Likewise, we would like to check how formal and informal and public and private educational systems – family, school, youth movement, voluntary frameworks - can respond in a befitting and pedagogical manner to applicable processes in the education for rights of children and youth. In addition, we would we would like to examine to what extent these educational systems create opportunities for them to be able to actively implement their rights, develop personal and civil responsibility for the realization of the rights of others in the changing reality of the 21st century.      


The Conference Committee will consider lectures on the following topics:

·       Rights for Children and Youth in the 21st Century - reality and future perspective.

·       Youth leaders as civil and social role-models.

·       Children and youth – active partners of the community and the country.

·       Children carrying rights in the adult society – ways of implementing social and cultural rights.

·       The children’s society in light of Korczak’s legacy as an example for a democratic children’s society.

·       Innovative educational models for the implementation of a culture of rights.

·       Educating to rights in a multi-cultural multi-identity's society.

·       Civic responsibility in Rights' Education.

·       The Right for Participation and the Convention as keys for a meaningful participation of children and youth in the community and in society.

·       Children Rights in communication, in social networks, in the legal field and at work.

·       The attribution of children's rights in urban vision (education, welfare, urban planning, access to information, municipal services and so on).

We will also consider proposals derived from a discourse on children’s rights from the beginning of the 20th century till the present time.




Theme 2: “The School of Life” – Pedagogical utopian horizons, innovations and opportunities in light of Janusz Korczak’s humanistic thoughts. Theories, pedagogical and educational practices in the vision of multi-dimensional rights in school and community fabrics.

Janusz Korczak began writing the book “The school of Life” in 1907 which started out as an ongoing story in a newspaper. The story describes the establishment of an institute named “The School of Life” and as understood by its name, he wants to break the artificial and old limits surrounding the institute to open and contain many aspects of life. Korczak follows the difficulties of its establishment and the educational dilemmas that are involved in opening the gates of the institute to life, ideas he continued to develop in his pedagogical book “How to Love Children”. 

Since then, during the decades of the 20th Century till the present day, new chapters have been written and are still being written about school – its goals, its character, its suitability to our time and its necessity, in the theories and pedagogical, educational practices that stemmed from the modern and post-modern thoughts on education during the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century.

In this section we wish to present research and practical trends in the Korczak school by examining the mainstream and the various alternatives to the conventional school, while discussing the educational implications of conceptual pluralism through a systematic examination of Korczak's discourse of rights in Israeli and general perspectives. The rights of the child and the rights of the student (as derived from the Convention on the Rights of the Child), which are reflected in Korczak's educational philosophy: the right of the child and the student to dignity, "the right to be what you are", the right not to know, the right to information, participation in decision making, the right to property, The rights to education, the right to a mother tongue, the right to protection and the integrity of the body, the right to equality, the right to organize, the right to be heard, the right to be forgotten, the right to live without exploitation and abuse, the right to create, the right to be in nature, the rights of multiculturalism, the rights of the child to justice in disciplinary processes, special rights for minors in criminal proceedings. We will examine the challenges faced by the adult society to help children and youth realize these rights, and to help find appropriate solutions to conflicts between rights.


The Conference Committee will consider lectures on the following topics:

·       Critiques of educational systems in the spirit of Korczak's children's rights discourse and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

·       Education for life – viewing education as a challenge and as an ongoing adventure.

·       Pedagogical utopias.

·       The relevance of Korczak's thought to education systems in the twenty-first century.

·       Realization of the right to education and knowledge - innovative educational systems and policies.

·       Innovative methodologies in interdisciplinary, intercultural and inter-class education.

·       Innovative methodologies in interdisciplinary research and the creation of "open source"       knowledge.

Proposals will also be considered on other fundamental issues arising from reading Korczak's writings. We also seek to present innovative research and practical trends in education, research and creating knowledge in the 21st century in the spirit of Korczak. We will examine the question - are we closer or far to implement the "school of life" idea? And how it is possible to continue to pursue Korczak's vision, from the level of rights of the child in the educational environment to radical research and education methodologies, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and inter-societal relations.


Speaker Guidelines:

The working languages of the conference are Hebrew and English (simultaneous translation will be available).

Abstracts can be submitted in Hebrew and in English, 200-300 words long. The abstract will include the subject, 2-4 keywords, and will indicate the link of the subject to one of the conference topics. It must also include a biography of up to 60 words.

The lectures and/or workshops will deal with original research, innovative programs, professional applications and theoretical insights on matters regarding the practical and theoretical application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child or to the philosophy, literature, methodology and the legacy of Korczak.


Important Dates:

Deadline for submission: 31st July, 2019

Notification of acceptance: 15th August, 2019

Deadline for final paper submission: 15th October, 2019

For abstract submission and any enquiries regarding the Conference, please contact:


A website including all information on the conference will be made available soon:



Organizing committee:

Dr. Aviv Livnat, Korczak Forum, Tel Aviv University

Tova Ben Ari, Chief Supervisor for Implementation of Student's Rights Law, Ministry of Education

Batia Gilad, International Korczak Association and Enhancing the Educational Spirit of Janusz Korczak

Dr. Dalit Atrakchi, Senior Director of Department for External Relations, Ministry of Education

Daniela Friedman, Head of Civic Education and Shared Life Department, Ministry of Education

Dr. Avi Tsur, International Korczak Association and Enhancing the Educational Spirit of Janusz Korczak

Yossi Michal, State Counselor and Advisor for Implementation of Students' Rights

Michal Nimni, State Counselor of Civic Education and Shared Life Department, Ministry of Education


Academic committee:

Prof. Ron Margolin / Tel Aviv University

Prof.  Dan Gibton/ Tel-Aviv University, UCL

Dr. Moshe Shner / Oranim Academic College

Dr. Aviv Livnat / Tel Aviv University

Dr. Avi Tsur / Korczak Educational Institute

Dr. Edan Raviv / New York University

Prof. Barbara Smoli?ska–Theiss / Maria Grzegorzewska (APS) University, Warsaw 



Aviv Livnat