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Poland:Historical Development

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Overview Poland

Contents

Poland:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Poland:Historical Development

Poland:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Poland:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Poland:Political and Economic Situation

Poland:Organisation and Governance

Poland:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Poland:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Poland:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Poland:Organisation of Private Education

Poland:National Qualifications Framework

Poland:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Poland:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Poland:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Poland:Funding in Education

Poland:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Poland:Higher Education Funding

Poland:Adult Education and Training Funding

Poland:Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Poland:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Poland:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Poland:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Poland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:Primary Education

Poland:Organisation of Primary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Poland:Assessment in Primary Education

Poland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Poland:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Higher Education

Poland:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Poland:First Cycle Programmes

Poland:Bachelor

Poland:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Poland:Second Cycle Programmes

Poland:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Poland:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Poland:Adult Education and Training

Poland:Distribution of Responsibilities

Poland:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Poland:Main Providers

Poland:Main Types of Provision

Poland:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Poland:Teachers and Education Staff

Poland:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Poland:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Management and Other Education Staff

Poland:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Poland:Management Staff for Higher Education

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Quality Assurance

Poland:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Poland:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Educational Support and Guidance

Poland:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Poland:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Poland:Mobility and Internationalisation

Poland:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Mobility in Higher Education

Poland:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Poland:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Poland:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:National Reforms in School Education

Poland:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Poland:National Reforms in Higher Education

Poland:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Poland:European Perspective

Poland:Legislation

Poland:Institutions

Poland:Glossary

The beginning of the Polish State is associated with the dynasty of Piast at the end of the 10th century. In 966 Mieszko I, the founder of the dynasty, was baptized and brought Christianity to Poland. Since then Poland was brought into the sphere of Christian and Latin traditions. The Piasts united the lands which roughly resembled the present territory of Poland. During the following centuries, the Polish State expanded eastwards. After uniting with Lithuania under the Jagiellonian dynasty in 1385, both countries ruled over vast territories situated between the Baltic and the Black Seas. Poland established a constitutional monarchy, one of the first in Europe, and granted a wide range of rights and freedoms to its people. During the 15th and 16th centuries the Polish State enjoyed great political and cultural importance in Europe.

In the second half of the 17th century Poland became involved in long wars, with the State of Moscow and the Turks in the East, and with Sweden in the North-West and those wars impoverished the country. The Polish State was gradually weakened. The political freedom based on the 3rd of May Constitution of 1791 (the first constitution in Europe and the second, after the American one, in the world) was limited by the powerful aristocratic families, while the position of the Polish kings was diminished. At the same time, the neighbouring countries, Russia, Prussia and Austria were increasing their political power. This led to the three partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1795 and to Poland’s disappearance from the map of Europe. Polish history thereafter is one of many efforts to regain independence, such as the insurrection led by Tadeusz Kościuszko in 1794, Polish military efforts during the Napoleonic wars and uprisings in 1830 and 1863.

Poland returned to the map of Europe as an independent state after the First World War in 1918. On 1 September 1939 the invasion of Poland by Germany started the World War II. After dramatic struggles under the Nazi occupation, during which one-fifth of the population perished, Poland was liberated from the Nazi occupation by the Soviet army in 1945 and fell under the communist rules for over 40 years.

The country was rebuilt from war destruction and a system of centralized economy was introduced. The following years saw economic instability and deteriorating living conditions. Combined with authoritarian rule, this led to growing opposition which culminated in the formation of the Solidarity trade union in 1980. In 1981 the martial law was imposed and for many years Solidarity became an underground movement and grew in power, enjoying the support from the Catholic Church and Western democracies.

The year 1989 was a crucial year in the contemporary history of Poland. After the agreements of the so-called „round table”, resulting from the negotiations between the representatives of the then opposition and the representatives of the ruling government, the first partially free parliamentary elections took place in June. The first totally free and democratic elections were held later, in 1991. A dynamic period of political and economic transformation began. The rebirth of parliamentary democracy led to the creation of many political parties and the development of independent mass media. The freedom of speech and openness in the public life reinforced the public monitoring of public administration on the basis of law. The decentralisation of public authority continued along with the local reform. The introduction of the market economy limited the State intervention in the economy and initiated restructuring and privatisation processes.

In the 1990s Poland entered the path leading to integration with Western European countries. In 1991 it became a member of the Council of Europe and concluded the Association Agreement with the European Community, which was ratified by the European Community in 1993. Poland became a member of the OECD in 1996 and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in 1999. On 1 May 2004 Poland became a member of the European Union.