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2006 | 45 | 35-61

Article title

Higher Education in the Educational Conceptions of Stanislaw Staszic


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In the Enlightenment period in Poland National Education Board realized a plan connected with a great structural and programmatic reform of the educational system. The reform was carried out within two universities that remained within the state after the first partition of Poland - Academy of Cracow and Academy of Vilna. The universities (central schools) used to perform 3 functions: - of the academy holding autonomy on a large scale; -of the learned society developing science and popularizing knowledge; - and of the stage inspecting administrative, financial, teachers' and programmatic development of lower level schools. Regulations concerning laws, duties, structure and organization of the university were included in school law code - National Education Board's Statute (1783). Stanislaw Staszic, a learned geologist and philosopher, knowledgeable of the European universities' condition as well as theoretical and practical problems and results of the Polish reform, presented them in the 1787 dissertation 'Uwagi nad zyciem Jana Zamoyskiego' (Comments on Jan Zamoyski's Life). An original conception together with regulations, curriculum and organization of all levels of educational system, with a strong emphasis on academies, were worked out by Staszic in the 19th century when he was appointed a high - ranking civil servant of the authorities of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw and the Kingdom of Poland. Staszic wanted to rebuild Polish society and improve on the quality of its culture and civilization. That is why the educational system was to educate all classes of society. Each of the academies was to yield well educated citizens. At Staszic's suggestion were founded technical colleges - medical and law - in Warsaw, and were subsequently converted into the faculties of the University of Warsaw (established in 1816). For 2 years Staszic supervised organizational works in the University, and was its informal rector. According to his conception, the Warsaw University was to educate students in best possible manner in the field of 'sciences, skills and fine arts', had right to confer degrees, develop sciences and popularize knowledge. Structurally the University consisted of 5 Faculties:- of Theology, Law and Administration, Medicine, Physical and Mathematical Arts, Sciences and Fine Arts. Staszic also decided to establish engineering college in Warsaw. Thanks to him external, abroad education of the college didactic personnel was possible. Staszic also established a so-called preparatory school, which was previous to Institute of Technology. Before his death, in 1826, in the last speech he delivered on the occasion of establishing the Institute, he proclaimed himself in favour of bringing together theoretical and practical education, conforming knowledge to the state's needs and public use, and improving on the development of agriculture, trade, industry and citizens' welfare.







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  • K. Bartnicka, Instytut Historii Nauki PAN, ul. Nowy Swiat 72, 00-330 Warszawa, Poland


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