The programme was organized for kindergarten educators at the Károly Goldmark Training Centre (H-8360 Keszthely, Kossuth u. 28.). This public professional training course was part of the “Education for the Environment” project in 2010. The European Union and the State Fund for the New Hungary Development jointly promoted the development and inception of the programme. Teachers at the Pannon University were given the task of implementing it. According to the project guidelines, the programme should be advertised periodically and presented as a state-accredited training programme.
History of the Project
Ágota Csengei, director of the Kesthely Theatre, promoted and supported several programmes by the Schoenstatt Movement in Hungary (Schoenstatt Family Academy, the musical “Maria” by Fr. Tillman Beller) at the Károly Goldmark Training Centre, of which she is also the director, and with whom the Schoenstatt Movement has always had a good relationship. Alföldi Zoltán PhD, a lecturer at the Pannon University and a speaker for the Schoenstatt Movement, developed “Education for the Environment”. Kalman Csermák PhD, a member and leader of the Schoenstatt Movement in Hungary, who has also presented the highly sought after “Father’s Seminars” for several years with texts by Fr. Kentenich compiled the secondary programme, “Organic Environmental Pedagogy” by Fr. Kentenich.
The theme “Protection of the Environment” and its problems are a result of the dramatic changes in modern man’s social and spiritual environments. One of the most important tasks for the future is the development of the new person in the new society. The future needs this type of person, inwardly strong, independent and free, capable of thinking and taking decisions responsibly. This kind of person differs completely from the mass man of today. The education of this type of new person needs a new kind of pedagogy. It requires a holistic and organic pedagogy that takes into account today’s extraordinary circumstances and experiences which are the product of development.
We can also speak about Environmental Pedagogy in a different way, one which aims to form and humanize the social and spiritual environment. This does not only mean the education of children, but also the education of the family and collaboration in the formation of the social environment.
This project is geared towards kindergarten teachers who find themselves in the privileged position of being in constant contact with innocent children, who for the most part are under the loving care of their parents. This constant and early relationship also transforms the teachers. Kindergartens are oasis where not only children but also their parents feel comfortable. Many parents have their personal concerns, and they seek counsel from the teachers. Teachers, in turn, call on the participation of parents in organizing various family events.
The holistic and organic pedagogy used in the project draws from Fr. Kentenich’s pedagogy. The project does not focus on the theoretic presentation of methodology or dissertations, but rather is an invitation to taste the style of his school. Together with the participants, we examine and study texts by Fr. Kentenich on practical topics such as: the pedagogy of trust, the pedagogy of covenant, the pedagogy of ideals and the pedagogy of attachments. In order to do this, we use a method well-known in Schoenstatt from “Father’s Seminars” which in this case are known as “interactive training groups.”
Interactive – the programme requires the active collaboration of all the participants. Complementary connections are made between new ideas and experiences and past experiences.
Groups – work with groups of 15 people. The groups pull out the main ideas in the material and everyone learns from one another.
Training – here we try to emphasize a kind of learning that focuses on the practical application of the pedagogical methods.
DThis pedagogical formation at the Keszthely Training Centre is an innovative project in its field. In the beginning no one knew how this would work out, or whether it would work with people who were so different from one another, or if we would be able to encourage the participants to work in groups.
At the end of the course, we asked them: How did you find the programme? Here are some of the answers we received:
At the beginning I was surprised, it was a little unexpected. I have attended many professional training courses but none were like this. At the start, people looked somewhat confused, but later, this vanished completely.
We participated in the programme as a couple. The atmosphere was great, we were able to speak openly with one another. I felt comfortable, it is something very necessary for life and it was useful to examine the material together as we were able to experience a wonderful sense of community.
It bolstered my knowledge: love and attachments are really important for children within the family and the home environment is formative. I really enjoyed the concentration, a new kind of pedagogy and sharing of experiences.
I became aware of many things that I had only felt before. The interactive training was really great.
I also studied pedagogy at university, but it always seemed very boring, I would far have preferred to learn as we did here. I made several copies of Fr. Kentenich’s texts and tried this method among my kindergarten colleagues in our weekly meetings. It worked and was very successful and my colleagues were amazed.
In conclusion, we can say we found a way: Fr. Kentenich has won hearts, created a new community and his pedagogy has helped kindergarten teachers.
With the help of Fr. Kentenich’s pedagogy, we are currently working on developing a new training programme for school teachers which will be offered at the Keszthely Training Centre.
Contact and Information
Alföldi Zoltán PhD and Csermák Kálmán PhD
Original: German. Translation: S-L Pimentel, South Africa