Robi Kroflič. RECOGNITION OF THE CHILD AS CAPABLE BEING – THE FOUNDATION OF EDUCATION IN THE SPIRIT OF CHILDREN’S RIGHTS. Aims of lecture:.
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RECOGNITION OF THE CHILD AS CAPABLE BEING – THE FOUNDATION OF EDUCATION IN THE SPIRIT OF CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
An ethnographical note: A change of a playing corner
“Since children no longer play with dolls, we decided that we will change the babies corner it into a beauty parlour. When I told them that (‘motivation to act’), Saša reacted: ‘Leave the babies corner as it is, Marija plays there every day. She loves babies, she loves them so much she’ll have nine of her own when she grows up.” (Marija is a handicapped child!) We left the nook as it was, and arranged a beauty parlour elsewhere.”
I have to admit that it took me seven years of study to return to this “peak experience” with at least some sensible theoretical solutions. But what is more important, this ethnographical note has warn me that we should never treat a pre-school child as incapable, egoistic being who should be simply protected with formal rules and motivated to follow adult’s examples of noble moral acting. Saying in other words, it was a warning to treat children as subjects of moral decisions and legal rights!
»When we recognize another, or when we ask for recognition for ourselves, we are not asking for an Other to see us as we are, as we already are, as we have always been, as we were constituted prior the encounter itself. Instead, in the asking, in the petition, we have already become something new, since we are constituted by virtue of the address, a need and desire for the Other... It is also to stake one's own being and one's own persistence in one's own being, in the struggle for recognition.«
“Among the goals of our approach is to reinforce each child’s sense of identity through a recognition that comes from peers and adults, so much so that each one would feel enough sense of belonging and self-confidence to participate in activities of the school.” (Loris Malaguzzi)
“Listening is a metaphor for openness to others... Listening therefore means giving value to the other…” (Carlina Rinaldi)
Listening to the child is not only important because of our right to speak and be heard but also because we can know ourselves – that is our unconscious pre-judgments, prejudices and habits - only if we know others different of ourselves. So if we really want to spread the idea of education through the concept of children’s rights, we have to step further from political concept of rights to philosophical concepts of the development of human’s mind.
with this basic statement Hoffman confirmed Levinas thesis about the responsibility toward the Face of the other as pre-ethical condition of moral acting
the proposed model should not be understood as a step model of classical linear development (like Kohlberg’s model of the development of moral reasoning) because every phase of the model remains important for morality even when the next developmental step is reached…
“…we promote opportunities for pro-social behaviour, for growing reflection of conflicts, and possibilities for common living on the basis of active tolerance, where empowerment of individual position of everyone and commitment to pro-social behaviour are the mill stones of our identity. We should stay inside the framework of human rights and enforce weaker ‘should obligations’ to respect human rights to become stronger ‘must moral imperatives’.”
(Kroflič and Kratsborn 2006, AgoraDispute)
“This project links the tiny little things inside myself with the great stuff.”
(Maria Peña, student from Lisbon, 15 years old)