Pedagogical and Ethical Content in Polish Young Readers’ Periodicals in the Years 1863–1918

Michał Rogoż


In the nineteenth century, there were systems of universal and free elementary education supervised by state organs. The specificity of the situation of the Polish nation resulted from its functioning in three different systems of education formed by three separate partitioning states (Austria, Prussia and Russia). Individual editors attached great importance to the promotion of certain moral-ethical values willingly referring to Christian ethics. Numerous stories centered on the reckless conduct of young characters, which led to various injuries and accidents and allowed the formulation of an educative punch line. In short stage works, various types of character defects were often stigmatized. Some works of this type adopted the schema of a developmental novel showing the social advancement of the hero, who, as a result of hard work and overcoming various adversities, provided a better life for himself those surrounding him (or her). An important component of education was patriotism and respect for one’s elders. While the editions of individual periodicals in the middle of the nineteenth century approached educational issues in an authoritarian manner, treating education as a necessary interference, the later ones granted the children’s world a specific autonomy, where only the right direction had to be given. Individual editors collaborated with renowned educators, e.g. Adolf Dygasiński, Henryk Wernic or Teresa Jadwiga Papi. It was thanks to these people that the magazines for young readers reflected different concepts referring to the pedagogy of the time, based on the discoveries of Positivist and Modernist science and philosophy. Also, information related to the real situation of education in Polish territory was included.

Słowa kluczowe

pedagogy; ethics; children’s magazines; youth magazines; 19th–20th centuries


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