Memoria [EN] No. 14 (11/2018) | Page 22

conference participants, as well as a number of questions. The lectures did not only provide the audience with a massive dose of substantive knowledge but above all inspired them to reflect on the educational aspect of the issues discussed. The content of the lectures also corresponded with issues discussed during the workshops. Participants were offered six two-hour workshops, with the possibility to select two during the conference.

During her workshop, entitled 'Irena Sendler Rediscovered: How to Teach about Her and Other Righteous', Dr Marzanna Pogorzelska of the Institute of English University of Opole performed an analysis of the well-known image of the heroine, deconstructed some of its elements and, together with the participants, formulated proposals regarding teachings about Sendler and other Righteous. During the workshop, selected quotes were used from information about the heroine posted on the websites of the school in memory of Irena Sendler. In the course of their analysis, it was found among others, that: “schools perform certain sacralisation of her personality [Sendler] by referring to traits attributed to saints, especially female saints when writing about the patron (love, modesty, good, sacrifice) or including her among a specific group of figures related to religion”. Several conclusions were formulated in the final part of the workshop regarding ways of teaching about Irena Sendler and other Righteous.

The most significant include: a) the necessity to base the teaching on reliable knowledge based on facts; b) showing the entire complexity and contradiction of the figure; c) exposing traits that had a fundamental impact on rescuing: social involvement, organisational skills; d) appreciating the “positivist hustle and bustle”, and not just the heroic acts of heroes; e) taking into account the entire context of events, e.g. the loneliness of rescuers among “their group”, issues of political views and organisational affiliation before, during and after the war; f) news of antisemitic and xenophobic attitudes in the context of teaching about the Righteous; g) “using” the biography of Irena Sendler and those of other Righteous people to shape active attitudes of acceptance and assistance for excluded groups, e.g. refugees, ethnic minorities socially or culturally present in the local environment.