General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Poland For Beginners: Society, Culture, Politics & Education
Language English
Module lecturer Dobrochna Hildebrandt - Wypych (coordinator), Mateusz Marciniak, Anna Mankowska
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position adiunkt, adiunkt, adiunkt
Faculty Faculty of Educational Studies
Semester 2024/2025 (summer)
Duration 90
USOS code 11-PB-11-a


Our seminar begins on the .................................. The seminars are held every Friday, from 9.45 to 13.00. We meet in room C, bulding E.

Module aim (aims)

This course is dedicated specially for students from abroad who came study in Poland for one semester (Erasmus students).Various aspects of the Polish society both historically and present-day are presented and discussed. The main elements in the course are Polish society, culture, politics and education. Course is designed to provide not only theoretical knowledge about Poland but also to show the practical aspects of the functioning of state and public institutions.The comparative element is important and widespread in the course.Course also provide tours to historical sites such as Biskupin or Gniezno and cultural institutions like museums or art galleries.Both excursions and the school experience weeks are intended to be important and integrated parts of the course.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

English on intermediate level, allowing for the free speaking and reading the articles in English


Week 1 IntroductionDiscussion of course outline, requirements and assessment. Planning the trips to museums and institutions.Week 2 Communication: language; gestures and non-verbal communications.Week 3 Believes and value system: religions; customs and traditions.Week 4 Art: music, paintings, architecture; memory through visual art.Week 5 Separation of powers in Poland: the legislative, executive, judiciary system; Polish jurisprudential basis; Polish administration.Week 6 Political system and political parties.Week 7 Elections: parliamentary, local government, presidential, European Parliament.Week 8 Between past and future - key issues and devlopments in Polish society: A nation in transition – short history of systemic transformation in Poland; From industrial to post-industrial society - changes in the production and empoyment structure of Poland; From materialist to post-materialist society – value changes in contemporary Poland.Week 9 Urbanization, migration and ageing – demographic trands in Poland and their social consequences.Week 10 Success and self-actualization vs. security and surivial – young Poles‘ lifestyles, value orientations, educational and professional choices.Week 11 Polish women in Family and Society – gender and labour market change.Week 12 Polish schooling in historical perspective.Week 13 The most important reforms and current challenges in the Polish schools.Week 14 Levels of Polish educational system; status of teachers and students.Week 15 Evaluation of student's performance, in-class discussions on research papers and reflections from trips.

Reading list

Week 2-4:B. W. Mazur, Colloquial Polish: the Complete course for Beginners, 2001.B. Wojciszke, The Negative Social World: The Polish Culture of Complaning, “International Journal of Sociology”, Vol. 34, Nr. 4 / Winter 2004-5, pp. 38 – 59.B. Porter, The Catholic Nation: Religion, Identity and the Narratives of Polish History (PDF), University of Michigan.Bennett, Milton, J. (1998). Intercultural communication: A current perspective, in: Milton J. Bennett (red.), Basic concepts of intercultural communication: Selected readings. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.L.M. Barna, Stambling Blocks in Intercultural Communication (PDF).Week 5-7:S. White, J. Batt, P. G. Lewis (eds) (2003), Developments in Central and East European Politics 3. New York, USA: Palgrave MacMillan.Kolankiewicz, G. (1993), Poland, in: S. Whitefield (ed.) The New Institutional Architecture of Eastern Europe. London, UK: St. Martin.s Press.S. Faulkner, J. McLoughlin, S. Owsiak (eds) (1999), Polish Transition Ten Years On - Processes and Perspectives. Aldershot-Brookfield USA-Singapore-Sydney: Ashgate.Y. Choe, B. Hassler, S. Zyborowicz (eds) (2003), Sweden and Poland from a European Perspective. Some Aspects on the Integration Process. Huddinge, Sweden: Sodertorns hogskola.S. Whitefield (ed.) (1997), The New Institutional Architecture of Eastern Europe. London, UK: St. Martin’s Press.Week 8-11:Pasierbek W., Faern M., Ziebertz H.-G., Poland: Family and Faith, In: H.-G. Ziebertz, W.K. Kay, Youth in Europe I. An international empirical Study about Life Perspectives, LIT Publisher, Münster/Hamburg/London 2005 (pp. 83-100).Ingham M., Ingham M., Domański H. (Eds.), Women on the Polish labour market, Central European University Press, Budapest 2001.Pascal G., Kwak A., Gender regimes in transition in Central and Eastern Europe, The Policy Press, University of Bristol 2005.Inglehart R., Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society, Princeton University Press 1990.Hóhn Ch., Avramov D., Kotowska I., (Eds.), People, Population Change and Policies. Lessons from the Population Policy Acceptance Study, Volume 1, European Studies of Population, Springer 2008.Burrell K., Polish Migration to the UK in the „New“ European Union after 2004, Farnham – Burligton, Ashgate 2009.Week 12-14:Johansson U., Kucha R., Gender and secondary education in Poland and Swedenin the twentieth century, MCSU Press, 2002.Kozłowska A., Muršak J. (red) Poland, Slovenia, the World : challenges ofpresent-day education, Krakow Society for Education - AFM Publishing House :commiss. by Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University, 2009.Putkiewicz E., Wiłkomirska A., (red) Problems of teacher education inrolling changes of educational system all over the world, WydawnictwaUniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2003.Nowosad I., Ferenz K., (red) Selected essays on the condition of Polishschool in the process of social change, Oficyna Wydawnicza UniwersytetuZielonogórskiego, 2004.Bąbka J., Miłkowska G., Nowosad I. (red) A child in school setting,Wydawnictwo Adam Marszałek, 2011.Szymański M.J., Nowosad I., (red) Polish education at the time of changes,Oficyna Wydawnicza Uniwersytetu Zielonogórskiego ; Akademia Pedagogiczna im.KEN, 2006.Hörner W., Nowosad I., Poland [w:] The Education Systems of Europe, Hörner, W.; Döbert, H.; Kopp, B. von; Mitter, W. (Eds.), Springer, 2007.