Book Reviews / Рецензии книг / Buchbesprechungen II

By Marina Bakalova (review) | August 30, 2014

Ryszard Kucha & Henryk Cudak (Eds.) (2013): European ideas in the work of famous educationalists. Internationalization, globalization and their impact on education. Łódź (Poland): Wydawnictwo Społecznej Akademii Nauk (Studia i Monografie, Nr. 41). (558 pages; ISBN 978-83-62016-61-0)

Ryszard Kucha & Sławomir Cudak (Eds.): (2013): The old and new thinking about education. Łódź: Wydawnictwo Społecznej Akademii Nauk (Studia i Monografie, Nr. 42). (516 pages; ISBN 978-83-62916-62-7)

Ryszard Kucha & Henryk Cudak (Eds.) (2013): European ideas in the pedagogical thought: From national to supranational points of view. Some totalitarian aspects. Łódź: Wydawnictwo Społecznej Akademii Nauk (Studia i Monografie, Nr. 43). (460 pages; ISBN 978-83-62916-63-4)

These impressive three volumes dedicated to European ideas in education have the task to bridge traditional educational ideas with a variety of ongoing problems that contemporary educational systems must take into account. They include articles by approximately eighty European and non-European scholars who reveal the relevance of classical and contemporary regional pedagogical thinking to up-to-date issues like technological changes, globalization, nationalistic threats, etc. A noticeable feature is the universal character of regional ideas, of which a repeated motive is the stress on cultivating personal virtues via education. The publication, more broadly, aims at creating a holistic image of a unified European approach to education and thus at potentially enhancing the implementation of certain policies within today’s European Union, such as the integration policy.
The first volume deals with challenges that globalization and internationalization pose for educational strategies. A extensive preface by the two editors sketches out the milestones of European history that have shaped the political and cultural landscape and the mind of Europeans. This volume consists of three sections (or parts) starting from today and making a historical loop to antiquity and modernity. These are: “Internalization, Globalization and their Impact on Education”, “Between the Greek Antiquity and Humanistic Renaissance” and “The Development of Modern Educational Ideas – Selected Problems”. Each part or chapter includes numerous articles.
The first section, “Internalization, Globalization and their Impact on Education”, introduces the main issues of the volumes and some contemporary attempts to define related tasks of contemporary education. The section can be divided into several subtopics. One group of articles addresses issues of globalization and its impact on education. For instance, Joseph Zajda analyzes the impact of globalization and technological changes on contemporary educational strategies. Nadiya Skotna reveals how globalization and the demand for integration work for Ukrainian society. Ana Maria Kauppila presents the “transnational [dis]order” that islands associated with the EU are exposed to.
The next group of articles within the first section discusses various alternatives of an adequate school system for globalized societies. Marina Azarenkova sees a positive opportunity for tolerant education via international communication systems. Tetyana Koshmanova gives the example of the Kharkiv School of Dialog of Cultures as a model for building up a Common European Home. Shunji Tanabe presents three conceptual models of internatonalization and derives some lessons from the Japanese experience. Fedyna Wolodymyra writes about the history and contemporary state of oriental pedagogical science. Within the same part, Anatolyi Vykhrushch explores the topic of pedagogical personality with examples from religious pedagogy. Sergey Goncharov claims that understanding lies at the heart of good education and competence. Finally, Astrid Meczkowska-Christiansen draws some analogies between the Kantian concept of moral development and contemporary views of education for democracy.
The third group of articles within the first part deals with the problem of integration in school and in society. These articles include a study of European education since the Treaty of Rome to the higher-education area by Anna Wloch, a study of the influence of certain European philosophies on American school-based counseling in the United States by Don MacDonald and Christoper A. Sink, a presentation of the pedagogical work of Amnesty International related to solving worldwide problems by Marzanna Pogorzelska, and a piece showing how potential threats in the labor market reflect on integration processes in Europe by Malgorzata Klimka.
Finally, two articles within that first part are dedicated to the influence and importance of the English language as an international medium for communication. These include a presentation of educational language policy in Malaysia and its impact on the nation building processes, by Santhiram R. Raman and Tan Yao Sua, and an analysis of intercultural and cross-cultural communication through international English, by Andrea Koblizkova.
The remaining parts of the volume are significantly smaller. Section Two focuses on pedagogical ideas of the Greek Antiquity and the Renaissance. It begins with a comparative study of the Socratic method of leading a dialogue and the method that a contemporary conductor of workshops is supposed to use, by Aldona Pobojewska, and is followed by an exposition of the Aristotelian didactic approach, by Aneta Ignatowicz. The following articles explore the pedagogical ideas of George Podebrady, King of Bohemia (Karel Rydl), of Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski (Henryk Cudak), and of Jose Calasanz (Rev. Antoni Michno). Krzysztof Filip Rudolf presents the ideas of Thomas Elyot and Riger Ascham about the cultivation of literary and linguistic identity in English society.
Section Three of the volume examines the educational ideas of prominent figures like John Amos Comenius and his reflection on the new world order in the pedagogy (Ludmila Balyasnikova and Nathalia Zolotukhina), Comenius’s concept of “general consultation” for a peaceful future in Europe (Karel Rydl), Pestalozzi’s conception of internal prosperity through active love (Alexander Krouglov), and the influence of J.F. Herbart on European pedagogical thought (Nadiya Fedchyshyn). In the same section, Kazimierz Puchowski discusses the European influences on the education of the social elite in Poland between the 17th and 19th century. In a concluding article, Jürgen Oelkers argues that the influence of some predecessors of progressive education is greater than traditionally considered.
The second volume, “The Old and New Thinking about Education”, focuses on problems concerning the attempt to integrate European countries into a supranational state. Ryszard Kucha points out in the introduction that the burden of the past is a stumbling stone for the integration processes in Europe and that this volume offers some pedagogical tactics for cultivating a new, more cosmopolitan thinking.
The volume is divided into three parts or sections. The first part, “The Old and New Thinking about Education,” presents the work and achievements of European educationalists, most of whom are Ukrainian. The section begins with an article about German and European influences on American and Russian classicists Horace Mann and Konstantin Ushinsky (Arthur Ellis, Reinhard Golz, and Wolfgang Mayrhofer). Two articles are dedicated to the personality and the work of Konstantin Ushinsky with comparison to other well known European educationalists (Olga Matvienko and Hryhoriy Vassianovych). Other articles present the work of Mykhailo Drahomanov (Victor Andrushchenko) and Mikhail Ostrogradsky – an Ukrainian physicist and mathematiciam with a vast European cultural background who influenced mechanical and mathematical education in Russia (Alexander Soldatov and Margarita Voronina). Evgena Brazhnik and Nathalia Zolotukhina provide a historical perspective on the European dimension of Russian school education, its Christian and poly-cultural aspects. Finally, Richard D. Scheuerman and Arthur Ellis discuss, for the first time in English, a document authored by Leo Tolstoy about the organization of a pedagogical institute in Yasnaya Polyana.
The second section, “Between Tradition and Progress – Crossroads of Education”, is dedicated mainly to Polish educators. Most of the articles expose the educational ideas of authors from the first half of the 20th century, such as: Zygmunt Boleslaw Kukulski (Rev. Edward Walewander), Janusz Korczak (Slawomir Cudak), Henryk Rowid (Ryszard Kucha), Oskar Halecki and Juliusz Mieroszewski (Janusz Wrona), and the social pedagogue Aleksander Kaminski (Nella Stolinska-Pobralska and Mariola Swiderska). In the remaining part of the section Kazimierz Szmyd explains his experience with multicultural education at the University of Lviv. In two separate articles, Rev. Edward Walewander discusses his ideas on the vocation of teaching and on the effect of the Second World War on Polish education. The rest of the section focuses on French authors. Rose Marie Bouvet writes about the teaching methods and educational reforms of Celestine Freinet, and Patrick Boumard discusses problems of integration where the status quo is constantly at risk.
The last part of the second volume, “From National to Supranational Points of View – Selected Totalitarian Aspects”, centres on problems of education and integration in totalitarian societies. Ekaterina Kolosova expresses her thoughts on reformatory pedagogics in Petrograd-Leningrad at the beginning of the 20th century. Aneta Ignatowicz and her colleague Piotr Rozwadowski analyze the patriotic and military education in the Second Republic of Poland and present the Polish perspective on military education in totalitarian states between the two World Wars. In a separate article the two authors outline the basics of an arising new field in pedagogy called “upbringing for safety” or “safety education”. The remaining articles are dedicated to prominent Ukrainian and Russian pedagogical scientists such as Albert Pinkevich (Alexander Krouglov), Ivan Franko (Dmytro Hertsyuk and Tetyana Ravchyna), Sofia Rusova (Nadiya Zayachkivs’ka), Hryhoriy Vaschenko (Bogdan Kovalchuk and Larysa Kovalchuk), Anthony S. Makarenko (Natalia Dichek), and Sergey Gessen (Gennadiy Bordovskiy, Svetlana A. Pisareva, and Alla P. Triapitsyna).
The third volume, “European Ideas in Pedagogical Thought: From National to Supranational Points of View: Some Totalitarian Aspects” is dedicated to the challenges of multiculturalism. Naturally, humanistic values are its focus. In the introduction, Ryszard Kucha claims that after the demise of the Iron Curtain the cultivation of multicultural sensitivity in Europe has become an easier task. However, he points out, nationalism still appears in certain areas, and once again education can play a crucial role in overcoming potential future conflicts.
This volume consists of two sections. The first one, “From National to Supranational Points of View – Some Totalitarian Aspects” presents the work of remarkable Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish intellectuals and spiritual figures who lived under or during the time of communism, like Yosyp Slipyi (Scherbyak Yuriy Adamovych), Ivan Ohienko (Nella Nychkalo), and John Paul II (Rev. Antoni Michno). Two articles are dedicated to the work of Olexander Antonovych Zakharenko (Anatoli Kuzminskyi and Nella Nychkalo), followed by a presentation of Bohdan Stuparyk’s pedagogical heritage (Ewa Frankiewicz) and the enlightening ideas of Dmitry Likhachev (Natalia Zolotukhina). The section concludes with Kazimierz Jurzysta’s article on teacher training in Poland.
Section Two of this last volume, “From the Present Time to Future Perspectives – Between National and Global Education” explores the topics of ethnic vs. citizen identity (Igor Nabok), lifelong learning (Dorota Nawrat), European integration through education (Barbara Lulek, Agnieszka Bochniarz, Anna Grabowiec, Harald Ludwig, Dorota Zdybel, and Anna Bujnowska), adult education (Natalya Horuk), student mobility (Leila Munirova), the evaluation of students’ individual perspectives by a prospective teacher (Svitlana Tsyra and Iryna Myschyshyn), and inclusive education for disabled children (Miroslawa Bralawska-Haque). Some articles from this section are dedicated to well known figures in pedagogy, such as Maria Montessori (Clara Tornar, Harald Ludwig, Beata Budnarczuk, and Barbara Lulek), pedagogical psychologist Ladislav Duric (Zuzana Brunclikova and Katarina Cabanova), Vasyl Sukhomlysky (Olga Sukhomlynska), Helena Radlinska (Teresa Gumula), Stefan Woloszyn (Stanislaw Majewski), Tadeusz Nowacki (Dorota Nawrat), Czeslaw Majorek (Ryszard Sleczka and Justyna Wojniak), and Hermann Gmeiner (Oresta Karpenko).
The three volumes together provide quite a rich historical perspective on European ideas about integrative education that can teach us valuable lessons about how to handle our dynamic and sometimes uncompromising reality. The volumes are particularly useful, I would say even a must-read material, for people who work in the field of education. Selected articles can be of interest to a larger audience, since they are informative about humanistic ideas rarely taken into account. It is obvious, although not always sufficiently appreciated, that our future lies in the hands of educators. These three volumes take a significant step towards showing what education can do for a better Europe.

Reviewed by Dr. Marina Bakalova, ISSK, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia (Bulgaria). Contact: