The Chairman of the PAFF Board of Directors started his visit at the School of Education with a conversation with the SE Director Prof. Jolanta Sujecka-Zając on activities of the School in its first months and its plans for the following academic year. He was also invited as the observer to the Methods of work with information text classes. During the 90-minute-long workshops conducted by Magdalena Swat-Pawlicka and Kinga Białek students learned how their future pupils can work with a text, and especially the close reading method of text analyzing and information synthesizing. “It was a pleasure for me to watch how much the students were engaged. Their engagement resulted from the active and interesting, well planned way of conducting the workshop,” the Chairman of the PAFF Board of Directors emphasized.
Andrew Nagorski is an award-winning former editor and correspondent of Newsweek International who worked in Bonn, Berlin, Moscow, Warsaw, Rome and Hong Kong. He is the author of best-selling historical books and reportages, including The Greatest Battle, Hitlerland, or recently published The Nazi Hunters. That last book gave a context for discussion with the School of Education students and co-workers on the role of an individual person in shaping of the history of nations and societies, on factors and processes influencing perception of history, and on the impact of experiences of past generations on perception of current events taking place in the world. One of the discussion participants was also a well-known Polish historian Prof. Jolanta Choińska-Mika, who was the first Director of the School of Education and now is the Vice President for students and quality of education at University of Warsaw.
“The Nazi Hunters is about the nature of a man. I present in this book stories that are quite often very personal. I am fascinated with the role of an individual in history, the activities of individual people who had impact on the fate of the world. Sometimes they influenced it in a positive, and sometimes in a negative way,” Andrew Nagorski said.
Why did he decide to describe the stories of people who devoted their lives to hunt for the Nazis? “Only a small percent of Nazi war criminals have been punished. It is very important to document what they had done, especially now, when last eyewitnesses and participants of those times are quite old,” Andrew Nagorski explained.
The Author spoke also about his reporter and research experiences. “To reach a specific person, you quite often need to carry out a real investigation,” the author of The Nazi Hunters emphasized. For many speakers described in his book, Andrew Nagorski was the first person who they decided to tell about their tragic fate.
The meeting with Andrew Nagorski was one in a series of meetings with interesting personalities of the academic and culture world held at the School of Education. The School had already been visited by Prof. Terry Mason, Dean of the School of Education, University of Indiana and Prof. Michael C. Steinlauf, a historian and literary historian at Gratz College in Philadelphia.
The School of Education of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation and the University of Warsaw is an innovative post-graduate course for future Polish and mathematics teachers established thanks to engagement and cooperation of PAFF, UW, the Foundation for Quality Education, the Center for Citizenship Education and with substantive support from Teachers College, Columbia University. That is the first program of that kind in Poland in the form of a year-long full-time course which combines closely theory with practice.