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Siedlce Comeniological Research Bulletin

Pedagogy Series

Our interest of John Amos Comenius appeared at the end of the previous century, and we continued our comeniological scientific research and organizational activity so that they determined our further research and even became a passion. Due to the fact that Barbara Sitarska is an educationist, and Roman Mnich is a philologist, their research of Comenius and the whole activity became interdisciplinary. The year 2007 was a turning point for the activity.

Ass. Prof. Barbara Sitarska, PhD, an employee of the Faculty of Humanities, Department of Education Studies, Sub-Department of Teaching Methodology, head of the Institute of General Teaching Methodology, is an educationist, a teaching methodologist, and a pedeutologist. Ass. Prof. Roman Mnich, PhD is the head of Polish Philology and Applied Linguistics Department. He is a theorist and historian of Slavic literatures.

Barbara Sitarska’s previous activity was oriented around teaching methodology and pedeutology, mainly higher education improvement through problem-solving and expressional didactic tasks and the use of modern teaching methods and media (mainly the video camera), the process of self-education in teaching students, school education and permanent education. She accomplished her projects both within the statutory and her own research, which resulted in some publications.

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Barbara Sitarska is the author of more than a hundred publications, including four monographs (one in a foreign language), 16 collective edited and co-edited works, and articles in collective works published in Poland and abroad in Polish, English, German, Russian and Ukrainian. Among them there are cyclical publications, connected with the scientific and organizational activity. Apart from the publications about Comenius, they include 11 publications of the series The quality of higher education. She is currently working on the monograph  School education in the context of lifelong learning, based on statutory as well as her own research, both qualitative and quantitative, concerning lifelong learning and educational biographies of school and university students, people of different jobs and Senior University students.  She got inspired to conduct the research and have her texts published by John Amos Comenius’ idea of permanent education. Her latest interests focus on John Amos Comenius and his educational and philosophical ideas in reference to the present. It is reflected by the article Why is John Amos Comenius still alive among us? (John Amos Comenius in the context of European culture and history of the 17th century, Siedlce 2010) or John Amos Comenius’ ideas confronted with modern educational challenges (Subpage Selected publications).

For many years she has taken part in the scientific seminar of the Team of Pedeutologists of the Education Studies Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences run by Prof. Henryka Kwiatkowska, PhD of the Faculty of Education Science of Warsaw University, and the scientific seminar of the Christian Education Studies Team of the Education Studies Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences, run by Prof. Rev. Marian Nowak, PhD of the Education Studies Institute of the Catholic University of Lublin. Moreover, recently she has been cooperating with the Philosophical Pedagogy Team with its chairman Prof. Sławomir Sztobryn, PhD. She is a university lecturer of Theoretical Foundations of Education, the monographic lecture and MA seminars.

Ass. Prof. Roman Mnich, PhD is the head of Polish Philology and Applied Linguistics Department and the director of the Theory of Literature and the Anthropology of the Literary Work Institute. His scientific activity is oriented around theoretical issues of European literary studies (theories by Mikhail Bakhtin, Max Scheler, Ernest Cassirer, Martin Heidegger, Hans Georg Gadamer), comparative literature (works by Bruno Schulz, Ivan Franko, Dmitriy Chyzhevskyi), the history of Polish, Russian and Ukrainian literature. Roman Mnich is the author of two books and several dozens of publications in Poland and abroad in Polish, English, German, French, Russian and Ukrainian, about German hermeneutics and the theory of Biblical symbolism in literary texts.

Roman Mnich is a member of Société Internationale d’Histoire Comparée du Théâtre, de l’Opéra et du Ballet (Paris, France), and Deutsche Comenius Gesellschaft (Berlin, Germany).

The research of John Amos Comenius began in 2007 and resulted in international cooperation, mainly with the German Comenius Association in Berlin. The cooperation started at the beginning of 2007 with a meeting with Werner Korthaase, PhD, the former chairman of the Association, who inspired us to take up Comeniological studies. After his death we got in touch with the new chairman, Prof. Andreas Fritsch. The cooperation resulted in the 1st INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR “JOHN AMOS COMENIUS AND THE CULTURE OF BAROQUE”, organized in March 2007 at the Department of Education Studies and the Department of Polish Studies and Applied Linguistics. The seminar was attended by researchers of John Amos Comenius both from Poland and from abroad. It was also attended by scientists from the Catholic University of Lublin (Education Studies Department). The foreign comeniologists came from such countries as: Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Russia. The seminar resulted in the joint publication JOHN AMOS COMENIUS AND THE CULTURE OF BAROQUE, from the series STUDIA COMENIANA SEDLCENSIA (Vol. 1, 2007).

After Werner Korthaase’s death, the members of the German Comenius Association requested the publication of a book about him. It was to be edited by the organizers of the seminar with the help of Manfred Richter, a member of the Association, and published at Siedlce University. It appeared in 2009, entitled WERNER KORTHAASE – RESEARCHER OF JOHN AMOS COMENIUS. Apart from a description of Werner Korthaase’s life path and memories about him, the book contains a chapter devoted to his unpublished articles, entitled Werner Korthaase’s archives and a subchapter We continue Werner Korthaase’s work. The volume also contains publications by comeniologists from different European countries.

In September 2009 the 2nd INTERNATIONAL COMENIUS SEMINAR was held, entitled JOHN AMOS COMENIUS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE HISTORY AND CULTURE OF THE 17TH-CENTURY EUROPE. It was mainly attended by comeniologists from the Czech Republic, Germany, as well as from the John Amos Comenius Higher Vocational School in Leszno, Poland and the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. The conference was also attended by local academics from the Department of Education Studies, the Department of Polish Studies and Applied Linguistics, the Department of Modern Languages, as well as interested academics from the Department of Natural Sciences. The conference was oriented around the following topics: Comenius’ output in the context of philosophical and theological discussion; John Amos Comenius’ educational universe; Comenius as a 17th-century writer; Leszno and the prodigy of John Amos Comenius. The seminar resulted in the publication JOHN AMOS COMENIUS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE HISTORY AND CULTURE OF THE 17TH- CENTURY EUROPE (2010). It appeared as the third volume of the series STUDIA COMENIANA SEDLCENSIA.

In 2011 (21-22 September), the 3rd INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR was held, entitled COMENIUS AND THE 17TH-CENTURY EUROPE, and the idea of an ENCYCLOPOEDIC LEXICON OF JOHN AMOS COMENIUS emerged (detailed information in the NEWS).

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We are going to continue the research of Comenius, his life and writings in a pedagogical-philosophical team within the European project COMENIUS – YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW and the ministry project JOHN AMOS COMENIUS’ AAPROACH TOWARDS POLAND – HISTORICAL, IDEOLOGICAL AND EDUCATIONAL DISCOURSES (detailed information about the projects and biographical notes of the members of the research team are available in THE NEWS).

We would like to thank all the authorities of the University of Natural Sciences and Humanities in Siedlce for their support of our comeniological initiative, as well as all the participants of Comeniological Seminars for their active part, the authors of  the texts in the collective works of the series STUDIA COMENIANA SEDLCENSIA, and the reviewers of the volumes. Thank you very much for your cooperation. We would like to invite you to continue it.


Barbara Sitarska
Roman Mnich