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ERIC Number: EJ1208591
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1537-873X
Strategic Planning in the Educational System of Poland: Complex Challenges of the Past, Present, and Future
Piwowarski, Rafal
Educational Planning, v22 n2 p41-54 2015
The purpose of this article is to provide insight into the strategic transition of preK-12 education in Poland in the Post World War II Period. Strategic planning was primarily focused on centralized state-control and was heavily predicated on Marxist-Leninist ideology in the three decades following World War II. However, since that time, there have been significant developments to decentralize education in Poland and empower more local control. This article provides the historical context of strategic planning during this transition. When describing the Polish education system in general terms, it is necessary to state that, in the past, it was heavily state-controlled and entirely subjugated to Marxist-Leninist ideology. State control was reflected in a centrally designed syllabus, in the ministerial monopoly over textbook production, and in the laying down of strict requirements for teachers and other educational staff. In fact, teachers in the classroom had room for maneuver in their choice of methods, but hardly any in the content of their teaching. An important feature refers to something that has, fortunately, not happened: the planned reform of the early 1970s intended to introduce the so-called "ten-year secondary school", which, in fact, would not have been secondary but rather a prolonged primary school. The reform would have been the belated implementation of the similar Soviet project of the 1950s. Although experience with the ten-year school in the Soviet Union was negative and the experiment was discontinued in 1973, it was, nevertheless, to be realized in Poland. Due to a shortage of teachers, financial means and a lack of progress in producing the required curricula, the reform remained on paper and was never really implemented (Piwowarski, 1996b, p.16). Another typical feature of the Polish system was the limited involvement of parents and the local community in school life. On the rare occasions it did occur it was limited to the problems of the material well-being of schools, and did not affect the syllabus and the contents of learning. For many years the development of general secondary schools was curbed, the learning of foreign languages was reduced and young people of the working class were led into a cultural cul-de-sac, namely, basic vocational schools. There was wide-scale destruction of the school network in the country; the educational (Communist Party) authorities decided, at the end of the first half of the 1970s, on a concentration of the rural school network because there were too many small schools. There were good reasons for the decision, but it was carried out without any preparation and in a mechanical way. Many schools that had existed for many years, some of them built by the farmers, peasants themselves, simply disappeared. Many teachers from these closed-down small schools left the teaching profession because they had lost their special allowances for work at a small school.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education; Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Poland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A