Dissertations for the History of Education, vol. 49 (2012)

08.03.2015 | 11.12.2021

In memoriam

Leonard Grochowski, Professor Stanisław Mauersberg (1924-2012). My memories of Him as the Man, my  Friend, the  Teacher and a Historian of Education

Ks. Edward Walewander, Stanisław Mauersberg (1924-2012) as I Knew Him



Witold Chmielewski, The Establishment of Branch Offices of the Polish School Administration in Exile

Summary: The evacuation of Polish soldiers and civilians in 1942 from the Soviet Union to the Middle and Near East to Africa, India, Mexico and New Zealand resulted in the need to run many education and care centers, various types of schools, courses and nurseries in these parts of the world. Initially,  the education of children and young people of school age in the individual Polish refugee communities was administered by the Branch of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Polish Government in Exile. This issue, however, was quite problematic (especially difficulties of a pedagogic nature) for the above-mentioned institutions. In this situation, in several regions of the world where Polish children and young people resided, the Branches  of the Office of Educational Affairs and Ministry of Religious Denominations and Public Enlightenment were established. The decision was  generally correct but sparked a number of comments about the nature of competence. The main aim of branches was to organize and supervise Polish schools in exile outside the UK. Larger branches employed department managers, school  inspectors, trainers, Polish Scouting and Guiding Association leaders, accountants, secretaries, clerks, janitors, drivers. Sometimes they were compared to education offices of school districts. Some of them set up school inspectorates, branches and local departments. The withdrawal of the recognition of the Polish Government in Exile by the British Government on 5 July 1945, led to the closure of branches. The activities of the branches of the Office of Educational Affairs and the Ministry of Religious Denominations and Public Enlightenment  were very useful. Thanks to their huge amount of work, the Polish education system in exile outside the UK was organized and adapted to the existing needs. The branches made a major contribution to the organization and pedagogic supervision of children and young people education. They contributed to the integration of the teaching profession, created (so important in exile) a sense of stability. The branches  created favourable conditions for the cultivation of patriotism and love for one`s country in their subordinate educational institutions . They consistently took care of the preparation of the Polish children and young people to return to their homeland after the end of the war.


Maria L. Ekiel-Jeżewska, The Schooling System of the Polish Commission of the National Education

Summary: In a successfully developing system, goal, principles and processes are coupled with each other and with a continuous increase of knowledge. Analyzing these relations, Wilson, Barsky and Daviss proposed universal criteria to assess progress of systemic changes. These criteria can be applied to development of a modern technology or science, as well as to education reforms. The goal of this work is to apply these criteria to analyze effectiveness of the schooling system created by the Polish Commission of the National Education (KEN). We have shown how the overarching goal of education – economical and political development of Poland – was consistent with the KEN basic principles: common goals, freedom and autonomy, ownership of accumulated knowledge. We have demonstrated how KEN kept alive six processes inherent to successful system reforms: knowledge accumulation, sustained professional development within a recognized hierarchy of practitioner’s expertise and transmission of this expertise to others, design of complex entities, improvement of quality, diffusion of innovations, and redesign. In this way, we have provided an example how a similar assessment can be performed for modern educational initiatives, programs, systems and reforms, in contrast to common evaluation of individual teachers and students. Following the best Polish educational tradition, we have reminded that, nowadays, we need to rethink what does it mean to learn and teach productively, and what should be the overarching goal of schooling in the society of the XXI century.


Andrzej Smolarczyk, Public Elementary School System for National Minorities in the Province of Polesia in 1919-1939

Summary: The article presents the public elementary school system for national minorities in the province of Polesia in 1919-1939. Liberal policy of the Germans towards school system on the territories occupied by them during the I World War gave rise to more intensive national aspirations of Belarusian and Ukrainian population living in Polesia. It was a reason why a network of Belarusian and Ukrainian elementary school systems came into being. As soon as the Civil Board of Eastern Territories (Zarząd Cywilny Ziem Wschodnich) took control over school system, it started eliminating Belarussian and Ukrainian schools in place of which it created Polish schools. It was only on 31 July 1924 when the utraquist bill established organizational principles for school system of Belarusians and Ukrainians. The purpose of this bill was to integrate minorities living in the Eastern part of II Polish Republic with the Polish state and culture as well as to satisfy educational aspirations of these minorities. Minorities regarded the utraquist bill as deeply unjust and undemocratic. Declarations for schools in mother tongues caused sharp political conflicts. School plebiscites in southern districts of Polesia led to competition between Belarusian and Ukrainian minorities. Huge social discontent was a reaction to the abuses of Polish authorities that collected declarations for schools teaching in Belarusian and Ukrainian. The utraquist bill from 31 July 1924 was implemented in most of Belarusian and Ukrainian schools already in school year 1925/1926. At the beginning of the thirties state authorities hardened their attitude towards Belarusian school system in Polesia as a result of its general attitude to the national Belarusian movement. The latter was just found too weak to be reckoned with.


Jan Szumski, Jan Kochanowski – the Teacher and Naturalist from Grodno

Summary: The main character of the article is Jan Kochanowski, a naturalist from Grodno. His personality was of particular importance for the history of this city in the interwar period, primarily because of his scholar activity in the field of natural science and his social-minded position in public life. In October 1942 Kochanowski was killed by the Nazis, when he had offered his life in exchange for the life of his friend, who was taken as a hostage. However, Jan Kochanowski’s activity has wider dimension. Within his lively participation the Botanical Garden in Grodno was established in 1925, and one year later the Municipal Museum of Natural History was open for attendance. Jan Kochanowski devoted much energy and attention to research and popularize local lore knowledge. This naturalist from Grodno was investigating the regional places associated with the history of the country and some areas characterized by unusual and extraordinary natural phenomena. The name of Kochanowski stands also among initiators of many regional publications and co-editor of the journal „Niemen” (1935-1939). Teaching activity and studying local lore were combined with zealous idea of Kochanowski to protect natural artifacts of the region. Honoured resident of Grodno has played an incredible role in the dissemination of knowledge related to many peculiarities of nature so-called “Nadniemen” area (the territories closed to the Niemen). Owing to enthusiasm and activity of such personalities as Jan Kochanowski, in the interwar period Grodno was one of the most important centers of popularization of natural science and local lore in the region.


Elena Wiszlenkowa, University Archivists as Archive Policy Agents In Nineteenth-century Russia

Summary:  This article examines the role of archivists in shaping the capacity and the structure of a university’s memory. Drawing on sources such as laws and ministerial instructions, the authors analyze the government’s archive policy with regard to universities and how professors and archivists were taking part in its implementation. Their participation included sorting documents and attributing them to individual ‘cases’, destroying some of the ‘unnecessary’ documents and preserving others that were designated for destruction. Based on information from service records and university reports, the article tracks changes in the corporate status of university archivists in nineteenth-century Russia.


Dorota Zamojska, „Royal Robes of the Academia”. The Image of University and the State in Academic Ceremonial in the Second Polish Republic Period (Based on the Case of the Warsaw University)

Summary: In its beginning in 1915 r. the University of Warsaw did not inherit neither the insignia nor ceremonial after its predecessors. Nevertheless the academicians of Warsaw were able to make the virtue of humbleness out of this deficiency and gave up external decorum for hard work at the roots of future polish science. In the year 1921 university was finally granted with the insignia, and the ceremony of transferring them by the Commander of State (Naczelnik Państwa), which was joined with the ceremony of granting to Pilsudski MD honoris causa of the University of Warsaw, became an opportunity to stress the connection between the university and the state seen as the highest form of existing of the nation. Up from that moment, speeches taken by rectors at the inaugurations of every academic year were taken as opportunity to comment on the situation of current relations between the Respublica academica and the state. Depending on the situation, stress was put on the tradition of academic autonomy or the patriotism the people of the academy was shown. In the late years of the II RP the last point of view was so strong that the ceremony almost turned into the military dispatch.



Katarzyna Piórkowska, The Self-help Organizations  in Pułtusk District 1914-1919

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