Children's literature, Jewish seculariasation and the profesionalisation of kindergarten teachers in Russia and Eastern Europe, 1909-1925

Book chapter


Valkanova, Y. 2019. Children's literature, Jewish seculariasation and the profesionalisation of kindergarten teachers in Russia and Eastern Europe, 1909-1925. in: Veraksa, A.N. (ed.) Early childhood care and education, Conference Proceeding, Early childhood care and education VIII International conference (ECCE 2019) Moscow 29 May — 1 June 2019 Moscow Moscow State University M.B.Lomonosov Publishing House . pp. 118-119
AuthorsValkanova, Y.
EditorsVeraksa, A.N.
Abstract

It is commonly acknowledged that early childhood ‘professionalisation’ in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was prompted by feminist reform movements that induced progressive ideological change in the preschools (see: Ann Taylor Allen, 2017; Barbara Beatty, 1995; May, Kaur and Prochner, 2016, and Nawrotzki, 2005). As more and more diverse groups of kindergarten non-trained activists entered the field of early education, however, the feminist scope broadened and embraced national ideologies, ethnicized self-identifications and cultural aspirations (Cuban, 1992). Early childhood education was thereby placed alongside other value systems, and professionalization was seen as related to more defused social and cultural attitudes. This study focuses on constructions of professionalism in the published and unpublished writings of a literary network of Hebrew kindergarten activists who founded Froebel Teacher Training Institutes in Warsaw, Odessa, Moscow, Kiev and Kishinev before and after the World War I. In particular, it looks at how literary culture contributed to the reconfiguration of the meaning of kindergarten professionalisation in the beginning of the 20th century and seeks to explicate the role of Froebelian pedagogy in the creation of a space, a surrogate Jewish homeland. Significant for this study is the outline of the subject-object relation in Lev Vygotsky’s concept of ‘the self’ that allows us to interpret teachers’ and students’ identity formation as a process rather than a finished, stable entity, e.g. to look at how the identities arose and developed. A variety of archive sources are being used, including YOVO, the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem, archives in Russia, the former Soviet states Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, as well as Rumania and Poland. The analysis suggests that the common conception shared by the Hebraists bristles with antagonistic polarities, offering an invitation for a dialectical interpretation. The discourse bore the marks of hostility and oppression. Ultimately, Zionist’s political status contributed to the Hebraists professional exclusivity. The reasons for persecution and discrimination in the Russian Empire have prompted the young reformists to search for gains and adhere to their Modern Hebrew sub-identities as a way to protect themselves from social injustices.

KeywordsProfessionalisation; Jewish children's literature; Hebrew kindergarten; Teacher training; Zionist education; Education
Page range118-119
Year2019
Book titleEarly childhood care and education, Conference Proceeding, Early childhood care and education VIII International conference (ECCE 2019) Moscow 29 May — 1 June 2019
PublisherMoscow State University M.B.Lomonosov Publishing House
Output statusPublished
Place of publicationMoscow
ISSN2308-6408
Publication dates
Print01 Jun 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Jun 2020
Official URLhttps://www.elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=39342565
Related URLhttp://www.saraece.org.za/media/1338/russia-abstract_book_2019.pdf
References

References

Allen A.T. The transatlantic kindergarten: education and
women’s movements in Germany and the United States. Oxford
University Press, 2017.

Beatty B. Preschool Education in America: The Culture of Young Children from the Colonial Era to the Present. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

Cuban L. Why some reforms last: The case of the kindergarten // American Journal of Education. 1992. 100(2). P. 166–194.

May H., Kaur B., Prochner L. Empire, Education, and Indigenous Childhoods: Nineteenth-Century Missionary Infant Schools in Three British Colonies. New York: Routledge, 2016.

Nawrotzki K.D. The Anglo-American kindergarten movements and early education in England and the USA, 1850–1965. University of Michigan, 2005.

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