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International Scientific Conference

The 9th Congress of the Philosophy of Education Society of Poland

Kraków, 24-26 September 2021


The Bronisław F. Trentowski Society of the Philosophy of Education Society of Poland

and the Department of General Pedagogy and the Philosophy of Education at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków

would like to invite you to participate in the international conference

Education and the State

Biodoxographic subtitle:

Zygmunt Mysłakowski (1890-1971) as a Philosopher of Education

Continuing the research problem of the previous PESP Congress, this conference will explore the development of the philosophy of education over the past century, as well as the contemporary shape it has taken as a result. Falling between philosophy, theory, practice, and ideology, education remains in the foreground of politics and at the center of the influence of the modern state. Today, education and the state remain in a very close relationship, that is, in a state of interdependence, with all the positive and negative consequences thereof. The particular interdependencies involved in this relationship raise numerous questions and problems for the philosophy of education.

Philosophers of education are now pondering to what degree and in what ways various phenomena challenge the philosophy of education in its humanistic layout. Such phenomena include global socio-economic exchange, consumerism, standardization and control, test culture, the quantification of reporting, assessments of efficiency, and social capital. What are the consequences for the philosophy of education that one can find in the fall of great narratives and in their replacement with local micro-narratives? Are these phenomena expressions of the widening reach of modern freedom or, on the contrary, a new and veiled form of coercion coming from the “free market”? What significance does the digital turn in the humanities have for the philosophy of education, especially under the conditions of state control of electronic media? What are the dangers and opportunities for education in a network society? Can we consider the “policy of discursive dominance” of the state as a stigmatization of the younger generation and/or of the whole society? Should the state’s science and education policies be understood as the stimulation or as the disorganization of the humanities? Are we witnessing the strengthening or the marginalization of educational autonomy at all levels, including among organizations that represent the academic community? Are we dealing with ignorance or political overreach in education? Is the liberal discourse on education (e.g., Foucault, Bourdieu, Beck) in our globalizing society (knowledge-power, reproduction, reflective modernization) a response to global, European, and Polish education problems? Are there new paradigms that compete with the liberal education paradigm of today, or are such alternatives a conservative return to the past? In many countries over the past century national education, state education, and following the Second World War, political education dominated. This tradition challenges contemporary patriotic education and historical politics, elements of which are always found in the sphere of educational practice. What role should modern education play in the face of civic and political activity? Within democratic society, education has many dimensions that are difficult to enumerate one by one. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning the tensions that emerge between the public and private spheres, and those that emerge between the political aspirations of the nation and the goals of various religious, social, and environmental groups, especially when some of them expect the simple transmission of values from education. This raises the question of how to protect education from being instrumentalized by political parties. Countries in the European Union have adopted the standards in force within the Union, therefore, the EU's policies towards education generate numerous questions about its philosophy of education and its references to national concepts.

What position does the philosophy of education take on these issues? How does it argue and justify the value of upbringing and teaching, which cannot be limited to a service or an instrument in the hands of the powerful? How convinced is it of the humanistic dimensions of education? Does it support the efforts of educators and teachers to work for good, comprehensive, and careful education of the younger generation? Is it ready and able to cooperate and support the authorities in their efforts to ensure proper education and care, as well as to support families raising their children? Is it able to engage in disputes with the state and to what extent does it limit and instrumentalize the activities of educators, care keepers, and teachers?

The scientific heritage of Zygmunt Mysłakowski (1890-1971), an outstanding Polish educator associated with the Jagiellonian University, captures the climate in which university pedagogy was created in Poland. Pedagogical studies emerged in Poland towards the end of the Partitions of Poland and subsequently flourished in the Second Polish Republic after the First World War. The interwar years marked a fruitful period in the development of Polish pedagogy. Following the horrors of the Second World War, Poland experienced  the difficult era of the “people’s (socialist) power”. Mysłakowski’s scientific biography documents these transformations, the shifting fortunes of power, and the corresponding entanglements of education in ideological disputes (both at the level of practice and theory). Mysłakowski’s legacy also illustrates how mature reflection and knowledge about education emerges in dialogue and in the spirit of openness to global thought and achievements in the areas of knowledge and practice. What is more, we see how this development can occur independently of, or in opposition to, political, ideological, and religious attempts at educational subordination.


Proposed thematic areas:

· Educational tasks of the State: modern values and standards versus tradition and historical practices of education;

· Educational reforms: comparative analyses and interpretations of past reform projects in Poland and abroad;

· Polish pedagogy and the education system in Poland against the background of pedagogical thought and educational changes observed elsewhere;

· Education management of goals and methods, forms of education at the state, private, local, and/or religious level;

· Entrepreneurship and competition versus cooperation in education;

· Egalitarian and elite education;

· Goals and expectations of education subjects regarding the State;

· Universal values and criteria for good education;

· Education areas incorporated or left free by the State and/or the Church;

· Pedagogy as related to ideology: norms for national, patriotic, civic, religious, moral and/or historical education;

· International initiatives of educators in specific projects and implementation proposals: examples of how teachers and educators cooperate, exchange experiences, and dialog as partners in practice.


Conference languages: Polish and English

The date of the conference: September 24th -26th, 2021.

The conference venue: The Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Registration is possible until May 15th, 2021

Please send the completed submission form to:


The conference fee:

- 570 PLN/135 EURO (470 PLN/110 EURO for PESP members with current membership fee paid).
The price includes participation in the conference, catering during coffee and lunch breaks, participation in the gala dinner at the Czeczotka Palace on the Main Square Market and in the cultural event, the publication of your text in a peer-reviewed monograph (after receiving a positive review), conference materials, as well as a certificate of participation in the conference.

- 450 PLN/110 EURO (350 PLN/85 EURO for PESP members with current membership fee paid). The price includes participation in the conference, catering during coffee and lunch breaks, participation in the cultural event, the publication of your text in a peer-reviewed monograph (after receiving a positive review), conference materials, as well as a certificate of participation in the conference.

- 350 PLN/85 EURO (250 PLN/60 EURO for PESP members with current membership fee paid); the price includes participation in the conference, participation in cultural event online, publication of the text in the reviewed monograph (after receiving a positive review), certificate of participation in the conference.


Payment deadline is June 30, 2021

Bank account number:

Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Faculty of Philosophy, Gołębia Street 24, 31-007 Kraków IBAN: PL 83 1240 4722 1111 0000 4857 9179


In the title of the transfer, please enter: Name and surname; Education and the State; 2100130


Kraków is a magical city. The former capital of Poland, Kraków is a city of science, culture, and arts. It boasts many attractions, such as historical places, magnificent architecture, theatres, museums, old churches, and cloisters. There is a truly unique atmosphere in our town. Kraków also boasts the oldest Polish university – the Jagiellonian University – founded in 1364. Many famous poets, musicians, writers, actors, and composers live and create here. Kraków is also a world famous religious center for Roman Catholics, Jews, and other religious and cultural groups. In the Royal Capital City you will also find the necropolis of Polish kings, historic architecture, monuments of nature, and numerous elements of local, national, European, and world heritage. We warmly invite you to Kraków.

Associate Professor Katarzyna Wrońska, The Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Associate Professor Sławomir Sztobryn, President of the Philosophy of Education Society of Poland