Humanities and Social Sciences

Studia Pedagogiczne

Content

Studia Pedagogiczne | 2015 | tom LXVIII |

Abstract

In the text, a polemic is undertaken against the model of the child expected in Polish institutions of early childhood education, and which appropriates the rationalities producing social practices. The source of this model is in the logic of standardization whose cognitive and effects on identity are criticized by the author. Identifying the sources of validation of the practices normalizing some children and stigmatizing others, who do not meet the requirements of the cognitively rigid and morally trivialized standards, the text points to developmental psychology as a discipline which potentially triggers this form of oppression. In conclusion, the author describes briefly a number of examples of educational solutions in which an attempt has been made to move beyond the discourse of standardized quality in child education.

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Abstract

In this text the author poses a question about the direction of the evolution of early childhood education, considering its specificity in the context of the academic nature of pedagogy itself and its historical development, and especially the modern trend for interdisciplinarity. The author associates sources of diversity of this sub-discipline with a focus on the child, emphasizing, on the one hand, the setting of the sub-discipline in the tradition, especially pedological and, on the other hand, a growing and critical phenomenological perspective of research in this area. In conclusion he emphasizes that a reorientation of the multi paradigmatic research conducted in early childhood pedagogy, its openness to differences, but also the use of the methodology of the humanities and social studies recognized by the international community of scholars, make this sub-discipline of learning begin to regain the appellation of an integral discipline.

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Abstract

In the text the author makes a critical assessment of legal solutions regulating the education of teachers in Poland. In the realms of argument, he refers to his own experiences as a member of the Polish Accreditation Committee. The presentation of those experiences reveals areas of omissions, irregularities, and even pathologies in the process of conferring teaching qualifications on graduates of schools of higher education. The author derives the sources of the status quo from imperfections or contradictions in the documents regulating the same areas of education, as well as from the struggle of schools of higher education to survive in the market, leading to a dramatic reduction in the quality of education. The text ends in demands for necessary modifications of the standards of teacher education and changes in legislation.

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Abstract

The article includes analysis of the constructing of the concept of the child and childhood within neoliberal culture set against the background of mechanisms for exercising power and constructing subjectivity. In particular, in conducting these areas such phenomena as: population policy, investing in childhood, management of childhood are involved. Additionally, the theoretical perspective lying at the basis of the analysis refers to the concept of “governmentality” in light of Michel Foucault and his ideas.

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Abstract

The public character of school has recently been called into question more often. I examine the question given in the title in terms of three different aspects (juridical, institutional and performative), each of which is linked with a number of disturbing transformations of public schools (privatization of that which is public, re-feudalization, and commodification of education). By virtue of such an analysis and with reference to research on the essence of what is public, I make an attempt to formulate the key meanings of the public character of school.

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Abstract

The paper focuses on the social education of younger students, which I see as an important area of activity that enables a better understanding of oneself, others and the world. However, this can only be achieved if social topics include issues arising from the needs of individuals and social expectations and if expository methods of teaching are replaced by a reflective problem approach. & en “the different one” will cease to be perceived as inferior, dangerous, marked by stereotypes, and will seem interesting, worth knowing, and the world will become a space for the child to explore and discover in order to know it better and act in it more skillfully. The paper is a study report. The starting point for discussion are two conceptual categories of “the inactive bystander effect” and “the active bystander effect” taken from the Heroic Imagination Project by Philip Zimbardo, which I illustrate with the results of ethnomethodological studies conducted among 7–9-year old children during their classes about social issues. The research objective is to reconstruct the features of social knowledge and the process of its acquiring in the classroom. The paper includes a theoretical part that explains the idea and nature of social education with the emphasis on so-called new thematic areas resulting from the needs of individuals and social expectations. Then the paper describes the concept of the studies. The next section presents the research outcomes and highlights several areas of analysis, including lesson topics on social education, methods of their implementation, and the social importance that is revealed during communication practices. The final part contains research conclusions and summarizing reflections.

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Abstract

In this text, a critical reflection is presented on assessment practices in early childhood education, which are discussed in the context of the creation by those practices of the students’ sense of agency which, according to J. Bruner, is treated as a category of school culture. The discussion is based on the results of the recent research conducted in Poland on students’ agency and an analysis of the data collected as part of the author’s own research.

The picture obtained by using the triangulation of methods and sources confirms that assessment in early childhood education strips children of the opportunity to build a sense of agency, even in terms of independent control of a task situation. The surveyed students, admittedly, are capable of a relatively independent reflection on the context of school assessment, but the world of their educational experience is limited to the incapacitating culture of the school grade. It is a culture that becomes one of the sources of children’s self-restraint in the perception of themselves as agents, perpetuating their external steerability and passivity. To change this situation, external regulations will not suffice, but only the organizing of the learning environment based on the relationship between the teacher and the student, which is free from the daily pressures of assessment and the worship of formal correctness.

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Abstract

The paper describes the political use of symbols of childhood and orphanhood in the current policy of the Russian authorities. At the beginning of the Bolshevik regime, homeless children (bezprizorni) became a subject of interest for the security apparatus organized by F. Dzerzhinsky. At that time, A. Makarenko developed his innovative pedagogical approach. These activities were designed to create a “new Soviet man”. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia again faced the problem of homeless children. After several years, however, children and orphans are now being used as a symbol of vulnerability in the government policy of the Kremlin. As an answer to the so-called “Magnitsky Act”, the Russian authorities implemented the “DimaYakovlev law” prohibiting adoptions of Russian children to the United States. In addition to this, the child as a symbol of innocence and vulnerability is an invariant element in the policy of the Russian authorities. This combines symbolism associated with bravery, dedication and sacrifice, allowing justification of the current political course of power in Russia.

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Abstract

The main aim of the article is an analysis of the privatization of pedagogical knowledge using an example of one of the alternative pedagogies (Montessori Method). We claim that nowadays, pedagogical knowledge is treated as economic capital, and therefore subject to modifications characteristic for neoliberal culture. In our analysis we implement qualitative focus interviews conducted with various members of the Montessori community (teachers, owners and administrators of schools) who have gained access to a rare commodity – that is, knowledge regarding the teaching methodology of this particular pedagogical approach.

The results of this empirical research point to mechanisms characteristic for making pedagogical knowledge classiffied and „gilded”, mechanisms that limit it to the closed space of a particular discourse society. We conclude that this ‘inbred’ form of knowledge transfer can lead to an inability to renew meanings and, as a consequence, to the replacement of critical and in depth pedagogical considerations with a form of dogma that may be culturally inadequate and reproduced as a technical procedure, which is far from what Montessori herself wrote about the method.

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Abstract

In education, information and Communications Technologies mostly play the role of a medium of communication, as well as a means of imparting knowledge. ICT, however, is used less as a subject for student activity, i.e. a subject for students to learn, where they can operate the technology, as in robotics or mechantronics. Information technologies are also very rarely implemented in education as a way for students to build their identity and shape their attitudes towards their outside and inside worlds. In spite of this, in the history of educational technology there have been a number of researchers and educators who have promoted interesting ideas for implementing technologies as tools for human cognitive, affective, psychomotor and moral empowerment. Today such people are also present in education, however, they play unimportant roles on the periphery of formal education. This paper is a reminder of a number of ideas by theorists and researchers concerning the implementation of ICT, but mainly highlights the empowerment it gives students and its humanizing/humanitarian role.

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Abstract

The article analyses the issue of the potential development of theoretical thinking in young children. The context for this discussion is found in the cultural and historical development theory of L.S. Vygotsky which constitutes the basis for assumptions regarding the thinking about development and education of children. It highlights the elementary education stage as a very important area of designing „developmental teaching” as understood by Vygotsky. The article emphasizes the role of an adult who builds the scaffolding for the child’s thinking and acting, and establishes the conditions and teaching environment necessary for the performance of a cognitive process directed at the development of theoretical thinking. In the author’s opinion building the foundation for theoretical thinking will be possible when teachers set „the right developmental and educational tasks” for a child who is constructing knowledge.

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Abstract

Dynamic development in children’s research has led to surprising discoveries about the learning and thinking patterns of fetuses, infants and young children. These studies have revolutionized not only our knowledge of children, but also our understanding of the nature of the human mind and brain. Moreover, within this context, it is believed that many areas of adulthood are the result of the experiences and changes that occur during the fetal period and in childhood. These experiences, therefore, are crucial for human development and what people achieve in the following stages of their lives. The results of the research on brain development during the fetal period and during childhood presented here, reveal a new perspective for understanding the essence and nature of the learning process. These studies also strongly suggest that the first two thousand days of a child’s life are critical in developing many basic human skills. Therefore, we must take great care of the quality of environment for a child’s development.

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Abstract

Childhood is a category which came to social awareness and scientific research relatively late. The discovery of childhood can be associated with the names of different thinkers and educators. In this article, I will undertake an attempt to reconstruct selected views about the child and childhood coming from J.J. Rousseau and J. Korczak. The first figure is said to be the discoverer of childhood in modern Europe, while the second one is the discoverer of childhood in Polish education, and a progenitor of the modern meaning of childhood. The analyzes that I conduct shows the evolution of understanding of this category.

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Abstract

The article deals with the issue of the meaning of the Polish early education coursebooks for conservation/change in educational practices. It is the liberal and constructivist discourse to which the coursebook authors should refer (especially in the context of the present time and democracy) if these books are to become a tool of the prodevelopmental and emancipatory interest of both students and society. However, the research on Polish coursebooks for early education (grades I – III), show that this very condition has not been ful3 lled. In such a situation it is the German school coursebooks that might be inspiring because of their discursive background as well as of the methodological proposals and the range of content present in them. The article is also an attempt to reconstruct “the image of school” present in German early education coursebooks. It is possible to name and describe the key dimensions in this image such as: the democratic nature of teacher-student relations, the focus on the activation of students’ personal knowledge as well as on their ethical and cognitive autonomy, realistic vision of the world, trust in students’ competences, and creating the sphere of the nearest development.

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Abstract

The term “metalearning”, which was introduced into scientific literature by J. Biggs (1985) is, broadly speaking, an awareness of one’s own learning process and exercising control over it. Metalearning, whose roots lie in the personal, early experiences of the child related to learning, and which is expressed in her or his current concepts – is considered in this article as a basic condition for the acquisition of one of the key competences of 21st century man, namely, the learning competence. Recognizing the importance of colloquial concepts of learning, as well as their uniqueness and contextuality – in the article I will present the main problems associated with learning about the vision and understanding of the personal worlds of the learning of pupils, coming at the end of early education. On the basis of analysis of the scientific literature and previous studies conducted abroad, as well as a number of my own research projects (resulting from the application of quantitative or qualitative approach), I will present questions, doubts and selected emerging difficulties in the application of both the presented research approaches.

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Abstract

The text deals with the counterfactual thinking of preschool children. The theoretical justification for the research can be found in the nativist concepts of Alan Leslie and Alison Gopnik, which assumes that even very young children have a natural ability to accept the strangest creations of the imagination and to connect them together into one amazing whole. During the research, recognizing children’s metaphorical meanings required me to act as an interpretively involved observer-as-participant. In doing so, educational interventions enabled me to be situated within the observed phenomena, in close relationship with the children being studied. The observation, meanwhile, embraced the spontaneous activities of the children engaged in symbolic playing and the effect of these activities (mainly artistic concretizations). The liberation of counterfactual thinking in preschoolers being induced with literary texts. The collected material has allowed me to draw conclusions applicable to educational practice.

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Abstract

The goal of this paper is to discuss changes implemented in Danish early childhood education influenced by neoliberal ideology, and views concerning the new requirements for teachers (pedagogues) at private and self-owned kindergartens. The paper describes the historical tradition of Danish kindergartens based on children’s free play and democracy, allowing children to develop social skills and cognition through exploration and discovery, and giving practitioners a great deal of autonomy. The new trend in Danish early childhood education is towards detailed planning of work and accountability-based-assessment, which contradicts the traditional philosophy. It pushes teachers to create programs that develop children’s readiness for school and to implement teaching methods based on educational standards mandated by the government. The results of this research project, based on interviews conducted with teachers and educational experts, demonstrates the educators’ criticism of this new approach and their attempts to save democracy as a central value in education

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Abstract

For many years, learning the competences to teach mathematics in early education at university has been associated with the ability to reproductively apply methodological guidelines. Currently, however, the need to not only understand the mathematical meanings given by teachers, but also students of the specialty, are seen to be important. This article attempts to engage in an interpretive line of thinking with regard to mathematics education, coming from the perspective of students learning to be early education teachers. Their understanding of the contexts for learning mathematical concepts, as well as their sensitivity to the processes of constructing mathematical knowledge by very young pupils, being a way of predicting what educational activities will be undertaken in the classroom in the future. This text is the result of qualitative analyses of written essays of early education students, where respondents had to make conceptualizations of their beliefs by justifying the selection of particular declarative statements. Students’ mathematical meanings were also uncovered in their strategies for solving mathematical problems for very young pupils. Moreover, the results of this analyses provides a context for reading the students’ understanding of mathematics learning processes.

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Abstract

Over the past few years, a great deal of research has been conducted concerning the mathematical skills of children after the first stage of education. In my report, I present a selection of results from this research in order to illustrate the most typical didactical effects of the style in which mathematical education is performed in our schools. Comparing some detailed results from research in a number of chosen fields, I also try to assess whether or not, and how, the level of schoolchildren’s skills has changed in the recent years.

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Redaktor Naczelny
Wioleta Danilewicz


Rada Naukowa
Roman Dolata, Bogusława D. Gołębniak,
Christiane Griese – Niemcy, Zbigniew Kwieciński,
Sonja Steiner – Niemcy


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Maria Czerepaniak-Walczak, Maria Dudzikowa,
Henryka Kwiatkowska,
Tadeusz Lewowicki, Maciej Tanaś

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