rss_2.0Polish Journal of Educational Studies FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Polish Journal of Educational Studies Journal of Educational Studies Feed and Perspectives of Intercultural Dialog Between Poland and Belarus. Based on Biographies of Prominent Personalities<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of this article is to draw attention to the constant relevance of intercultural dialogue as the way to go beyond stereotypes and ignorance between nations and as a key factor in preventing conflicts and developing intercultural communication skills. A special emphasis is put on the mutual awareness of the historical and cultural heritage and the great input made to it by the outstanding personalities living in the Rzeczpospolita I, the interwar and post-war periods. The text briefly describes the biographies of Kościuszko, Ogiński, Skirmunt and Niemen as characters belonging to two cultures. The literature on the subject was selected in a way to emphasize the intercultural nature of the above-mentioned personalities. The article also names the scientists, writers, political activists who are currently working on maintaining a dialogue between Poland and Belarus. The present state of cultural exchange between the two countries is briefly described in the text, the existing difficulties are defined and the attitudes aimed at preventing the mutual alienation of the two neighboring countries in the next generations are designated. In conclusion it is stated that Polish-Belarusian dialogue, considered from the perspective of mutual cultural heritage, has the potential for further development, under the condition of mutual appreciation of the cultural background of the past and the memories of it preserved by the nations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Higher Education Curriculum as a Strategy for Preparing Future Youth Workers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Educating future youth workers is a particular challenge for higher education. It results not only in the acquisition of basic knowledge and skills, but also in the implementation of the glocal perspective. In this aspect, the process of internationalization of higher education is a key element enabling optimal shaping of future youth workers’ vocational identity.</p> <p>The article presents an international strategic partnership project enabling such activities in the area of bachelor’s studies. Its theoretical layer (Positive Youth Development) and intellectual outputs were presented. Moreover, learning, teaching and training activities, which are the result of the testing of the educational module, were introduced. The opportunity to participate in such international activities enables future social professionals to creatively approach youth problems at the local level using a broader perspective and mechanisms based not only on identifying risk and problems but also on resources and opportunities for positive development. The results worked out in the project can form the basis to develop learning, teaching and training activities for future youth workers outside partner universities.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Academic Gaps: How to Assist Underprepared Students whose Academic Background was Highly Suppressed by Covid-19?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The objectives of this study were to investigate the degree to which first-year students are underprepared for university physics due Covid-19 pandemic, and get insight on what could be the intervention strategies with which their conceptual gaps can be bridged by higher education institutions. This was achieved by conducting a qualitative study on a sample of 72 students who are enrolled in extended engineering programmes in a South African university. The collected categorical data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The results of this study show that more than half of the respondents did not complete the matric physics syllabus and were extremely underprepared for their university physics lectures. In particular, they lack conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics. These students welcome the idea of being given lecture videos and/or in-person lectures/workshops, by the university, with which they could revise the matric syllabus before they start attending university physics classes. Moreover, the results reveal that the majority of students appreciate the coupling of the foundation physics and mainstream physics modules. The results further show that it could be more effective to have students simulating half of their physics experiments in a computer before they conduct them in a laboratory.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Górak-Sosnowska, Urszula Markowska-Manista (Eds.), . Bloomsbury Academic, 2023 with Professor Jerzy Nikitorowicz: On the Challenges Resulting from Modern Migrations Result of the Meeting of Voluntary Migrants with Forced Migrants at the Volunteering Background – Research Report<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of the paper is to present the specificity of voluntary work of Erasmus+ Spanish students (voluntary migrants) in aid of children in Polish primary schools attended by foreigners (often forced migrants). The first – theoretical part of the text presents the outline of migration issues, including forced and educational migration as well as voluntary work. The second part of the text shows methodological assumptions of qualitative research, which was conducted using the method of individual cases in June 2022 among Spanish volunteers working on behalf of the Dialog Foundation in Bialystok, Poland. Chosen research results concerning the activities undertaken by the volunteers, their motivation to act and the multilateral benefits from their work have been shown. In the light of the results of the research, Spanish volunteers contributed to the integration of pupils in the primary schools, in which they conducted workshops. The results of the research may hopefully be useful to develop further educational research concerning volunteering in aid of children in an intercultural environment.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Assessment of Transformational Leadership Theory against a University EAP Pre-sessional Course<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The evolution of leadership theory since the Industrial Revolution has been characterised by a shifting of focus from leaders’ qualities to the construction of effective leadership systems and methods. Transformational leadership, as one such theory, has gained traction in educational settings thanks both to its democratic principles and the applicability offered by its value profile modelling. A set of capacities are provided by the theory, with the intention of providing a toolkit for effective leadership which can be adopted by a range of leaders, thus avoiding the need for inherent leadership qualities. The theory continues to face charges of promoting despotism, however, and most importantly of lacking relevance to real-world settings. Through the reflective analysis of a university-based English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course – a fixed-term, high-stress setting – a grounded assessment of the real-world applicability of transformational leadership theory can be conducted. It is proposed that such courses within the higher education sector pose specific challenges to leadership, due to time constraints, staff retention and pressures on student achievement. The scope for meaningfully engaging staff in structural processes is thus restricted and there is a clear need for an accessible theory which supports a democratic, pluralistic approach to leadership, such as transformational leadership. However, reflective analysis of the leadership methods employed on the course, and an assessment of their correlation to the principles of transformational leadership, reveals a deficit in real-world applicability of the theory and a failure to convincingly avoid the pitfalls of the cult of the leader.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Learning Under the Self-evaluation Microscope – Students’ Opinions about Their Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The impetus for the research presented in this article was the fact that universities have changed their mode of operation into distance learning as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This shift was universal and forced, and triggered significant changes in the way the classes were carried out. Therefore, questions arose about how the main actors of this scene, namely teachers and students, cope with the new educational reality. The course conducted by the author of this article, covering the fundamentals of evaluation, under which students each year accomplish evaluation research projects addressing important issues related to education at the Faculty, has provided an excellent opportunity to reflect in this regard. To this end, students prepared and accomplished self-evaluation projects, the subject of which was their functioning in the remote education mode. The analysis of the collected data made it possible to distinguish the elements of remote education, which are particularly important from the perspective of young people studying in new, atypical conditions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Doctoral Students with Disabilities within Higher Education<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The history of educating doctoral students with disabilities at Polish universities, at least in institutional terms, is not very long. From the very beginning, universities educated individuals with disabilities and it was possible as long as these people could cope on their own or with the help of their family and friendly academic staff. This study presents the situation of doctoral students with disabilities in the higher education system, indicates the results of research, as well as “good practices” and recommendations for the academic education system for the in-depth inclusion of people with disabilities in higher education.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue“Wipe them out”! The Social Construction of Children’s Centres<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The future for Children’s Centres in England looks bleak.. A change in government in the UK in 2010 saw a change in political perspective that was manifested in one way as austerity. The effects of austerity impacted on a range of public services including Children’s Centres. Children’s Centres also came under government scrutiny resulting in a change of focus in their activities from a core offer of providing services to having a core purpose. The study used a flexible qualitative design to produce a critical discourse analysis about the social construction of Children’s Centres. A range of publicly available documents were gathered to provide naturalistic data relating to Children’s Centres. In addition, six Children’s Centre workers were purposefully selected to take part in a semi structured focus group interview. The subsequent analysis of the document and interview data revealed a range of rhetorical devices used by speakers to construct their perceptions of Children’s Centres. These constructions were organised under four dominant discourses; a discourse of recognition, a discourse of pragmatism, a discourse of pessimism and a discourse of change. One common factor in these four discourses was the role of the UK government. Children’s Centres did not appear to get recognition for some the work they did with families but there was a pragmatism about what Children’s Centres could provide during a period of austerity. There was pessimism about what was happening to Children’s Centres especially in relation to vulnerable families but what seemed inevitable was Children’s Centres were changing.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Networking Platforms and Classroom Culture<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article investigates how social networks affect classroom culture in secondary schools. It combines personal reflections from us as professionals, who have worked in schools and in universities in a range of different countries and contexts, with the use of research written over the last decade into this area. Stylistically this article is a conceptual article – it has a strong reflective element and its purpose within the wider academic and professional community is to generate discussion among professionals rather than to find definitive conclusions. Classroom culture is commonly divided into four dimensions: group attitudes and behaviours toward learning, group attitudes and behaviours towards interaction with peers, teacher attitudes and behaviours towards students and instruction, and parental behaviours towards children and the teacher. This framework underpins this article. Even though social networks play an important part in young students’ lives globally, most studies into the usage of social networks for education have been conducted at the level of higher education and only a few studies focus on school level. This paper therefore focuses on school level usage and possibilities. The paper concludes that whatever our views on social media, the reality is that Facebook and its many counterparts are part of current culture and are already being used by many teachers globally as learning tools. Given that they can have both negative and positive impacts on classroom culture and are becoming an inevitable part of many young students’ lives, schools have limited options. The first one is to ban social networks to make sure that there are no consequences, and this is the case in a wide range of systems and jurisdictions. However, other approaches, which can be a frequently found globally, include a managed approach to Facebook – with course, class or even teacher pages – often entirely separate to the individual teacher’s personal page.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Towards Greater Inclusion in Singapore’s Preschools: The Enablers, Possibilities and Barriers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Inclusive education is the next item on the agenda of policy makers in Singapore, in its striving to provide quality education for all children. The move to introducing more inclusive practices in preschools has not been easy. There are many structural obstacles in Singapore’s current preschool context. This review of existing literature on this topic reveals how policymakers, schools, teachers, and parents need to work together to create a successful inclusive education system. There is much that Singapore must work on to develop a successful inclusive preschool education model. The paper aims to provide an understanding of how inclusion in preschools can be more effectively practiced in Singapore by considering the current dual education system in Singapore and the recent measures introduced to improve inclusive preschool education. It examines how effective these measures and recommendations in existing literature will be when placed in Singapore’s current education system which prioritizes academic excellence. In doing so, this paper hopes to highlight the critical issues that policymakers and key stakeholders should consider when planning for inclusive practices in Singapore’s preschools.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Folk High Schools and Their “grassroots work” of Civil Society Participation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We will discuss about the role of Grundtvigian folk high schools and their contemporary meanings in two contexts. The first one will be the revision of its sources in the Scandinavian countries (especially in Denmark) and in Poland. The second one will be an attempt to find a connection between building a civil society based on the strong foundation of Grundtvigian schools in the Scandinavian countries and its constant “corruption” is Poland. We would like to get that institution (undervalued in Poland though still functioning in Scandinavia and in many other countries) out of the past and to show its timeless “grassroots work” role in building civic attitudes.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue“Is my University White?” Exploring the role and influence of a University’s Culture on the experiences of Black Undergraduate Students in the UK<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper explores the long-standing attainment gap between Black male students relative to other student populations, within Higher Education Institutions in the United Kingdom. This paper attempts to develop a contextual understanding of the parallel relationship between the social and academic culture at universities in the UK, as well as identifies the barriers which affect Black male students’ academic engagement. The purpose of this study is to answer the questions, “What is the Black male student experience at one university in the UK?” and “Which attitudes and practices at this university promote diversity and inclusivity and which hinder this?” The research was conducted <italic>via</italic> interview to gain a better understanding and acknowledgement of the multiple truths grounding this subject matter (Jones, 2015). The main participants were four Black male undergraduate home students, and four White academic staff members, at a University in the United Kingdom. This paper concludes by recognising that the meanings and attitudes attached to the attainment gap vary significantly. The key recommendations identified were the importance of raising Black representation within the staff, as well as developing a racially conscious atmosphere, in order to develop a sense of inclusion and belonging within the Black male student population.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Mindset Theory and Strategies Supporting the Implementation of Real PE to Develop a Growth Mindset Culture<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Growth mindset continues to be a popular topic of conversation in the field of education and Physical Education (PE). However, despite the existence of various schemes for delivering curriculum PE, there are limited studies analysing how they seek to directly develop children’s mindsets. This study analyses the process taken for one of these frameworks, Real PE, to be implemented within a school to develop their growth mindset culture, drawing upon the theories of key educational thinkers. The study is based upon the authors’ experiences as PE Subject Leader and member of the school Senior Leadership Team (SLT) within a single-form entry primary school in Leicestershire, United Kingdom; testimonials from other schools who utilise Real PE and existing literature on the effectiveness of growth mindset.</p> <p>Implementing a growth mindset culture is not straightforward; although important, it is not solely about intelligence and praising effort, nor a battle of fixed versus growth mindsets as within PE, mixed mindsets exist, and, the fixed mindset should be legitimised. Therefore, a long-term, rigorous approach to change considering policies, individual beliefs, training needs, strategies and feedback methods needs to be developed. This study adds to the growing conversation about growth mindset and seeks to support other school settings considering embedding mindset culture within their school setting and PE provision.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Activities and the Mode of Teaching in the Opinions of Secondary School Students<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article examines the issue of anti-discrimination in the context of changes in the teaching mode from classroom to distance schooling. The results of research carried out with the participation of secondary school students will be presented and analysed. The aim of this study is to highlight areas in education that need improvement in order to increase the level of students’ comfort in any teaching conditions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Learning for Early Years Foundation Degree Students: Empowerment through Heutagogy and Reflecting on the Notion of Knowledgeable Others<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper reports on a small-scale practitioner enquiry undertaken with 17 work-based learners studying on a two-year Early Years Foundation Degree programme in a higher education institution in England. The first aim of the enquiry was to identify the perspectives of a cohort of work-based Early Years Foundation Degree students on teaching strategies they experienced at a higher education institution in the English midlands. The second aim was to identify how the findings could be applied to curricular and andragogic enhancements for future students. Beliefs and attitudes questionnaires were administered to the students half way through their programme. Findings indicate that students valued strategies that included the direct input of the lecturers they regarded as ‘more knowledgeable others’ (Vygotsky, 1978), yet they rated peer support as less effective for their learning. Findings indicate that early years students’ applications of learned theory to work-based practice may need to go beyond a singular notion of ‘communities of practice’ (Lave &amp; Wenger, 1991). Although these students are positioned and position themselves as more knowledgeable others in their own workplace communities, they regard themselves as lacking knowledge in their higher education community. As members of these various communities, they straddle heutagogic and andragogic approaches in their respective communities of practice. In recognition of this, the paper argues that not only should higher education lecturers working with work-based students adopt andragogic strategies but they should also promote heutagogic approaches that increase student autonomy. They should also communicate explicitly to their students the value of such strategies for learning in the field, both in theory and practice.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Teachers’ Knowledge when Crossing National Boundaries<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The objective of this paper was to examine the meaning and function of “teachers knowledge”, both as a foundational tool used by teachers as professionals and the ways in which such knowledge is acquired, shared, and bettered. To help guide this discussion, the paper reviews the literature on related topics whilst also providing other insights and recommendations for further research. The topics have been broken down into two main parts: conceptualising teachers’ professional knowledge; and the sharing of knowledge internationally. The second of these examines the history of the topic whilst also critiquing the methods and effectiveness of sharing strategies. We find that the ways professional knowledge have been defined in public discourse are often inappropriate for the specific context of teaching. Furthermore, we find that sharing experience and knowledge between teachers is a foundational concept yet not always a straightforward matter and knowledge/experience can be a very difficult thing to transfer between one another. These obstacles can be exacerbated when it comes to the sharing of knowledge internationally, as economic disparities between participating nations can be vast and differences in culture challenging to overcome. Some nations additionally struggle in their authenticity to learn from each other. Ultimately, it is clear that “teacher knowledge” is a concept that is an area in need of further research, particularly as education reforms and curriculum adjustments are of great concern to both developing nations and their wealthier counterparts.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue