A six-year-old at a school desk – lowering the compulsory school age in Polish education system Cover Image
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Sześciolatek w szkolnej ławce – obniżenie obowiązkowego wieku szkolnego w polskim systemie edukacyjnym
A six-year-old at a school desk – lowering the compulsory school age in Polish education system

Author(s): Agata Rzymełka-Frąckiewicz
Subject(s): Education, School education, State/Government and Education, Sociology of Education
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: school desk; compulsory school age; Polish education system
Summary/Abstract: “Many representatives of economic and social sciences, including pedagogues and sociologists, share the view that it is the acquired education, the knowledge and professional competence that determine our place in the hierarchical structure of social relations today. Broadly understood education has a decisive effect on the achieved social position, the social prestige of individuals, social groups and also entire societies (states). Schools are an important part of the process of becoming a social being, […] they significantly influence the life chances of its members”. In highly developed countries, education constitutes the most important factor of professional and material success. According to Tadeusz Pilch, “[…] today it is neither birth nor even, in a sense, possession that determine the social position of man. Today, the most common truth has become the most common rule: as one’s educationis, so their fate is”.Formerly illiteracy meant ignorance of the alphabet, and thus inability to read and write. At present, the term ‘functional illiteracy’ is in use. An illiterate person is a person who knows the letters, knows how to read and write, but does not comprehend the texts he/she reads andis not able to use the information provided with the writing (e.g. manuals explaining how to operate devices, instructions on how to use something, how to take medication, etc.). Today‘s educational expectations are even higher. An increasing number of developed countries are deciding to lower the compulsory school age, thus making the period of formal education longer.The presented work deals with issues related to the attempt to lower the compulsory school age of children to six years of age in the Polish educational system during the period of so-called transitional regulations, when it was the parents‘ decision to enrol a six-year-old child at school. The paper comprises information on how the age of education and the structure of education in Poland has changed over time, what solutions concerning school age and structure of educational institutions have been adopted by particular countries in Europe, and what specific solutions have been introduced in education within the frame of theproposed educational reform.In the empirical part, the following research has been presented: a review of national social opinions on social acceptance of the proposal to lower the compulsory school age to the sixth year of life of the child; an interview conducted in 2013 with the then Minister of NationalEdu cation – on the assessment of the prevailing social situation and the opinion of the Minister about the project and the procedure of the introduced changes to the educational system; interviews with directors of selected primary schools in Katowice, who had experience of working with a six-year-old child in their institutions; the results of questionnaire surveys conducted among parents of six-year-old children who startededucation at primary school.

  • E-ISBN-13: 978-83-226-3281-9
  • Print-ISBN-13: 978-83-226-3280-2
  • Page Count: 138
  • Publication Year: 2017
  • Language: Polish