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Scrutinising Elites and Schooling in Post-Communist Poland

Globalisation, European Integration, Socialist Heritage, and Tradition
Routledge (Verlag)
Erschienen am 5. September 2023
206 Seiten
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978-1-000-95227-8 (ISBN)
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This book offers new insights and methodological tools to improve our understandings of how prestigious schools in Poland navigate the major political, social and cultural crosscurrents.

The range of choice for elite schooling in Poland has expanded during its post-communist transformation. However, while elite education in countries such as the US, Australia, the UK, France, and Switzerland has been extensively studied, post-communist countries have been largely neglected. This book explores the emergence of such schools within a context influenced by a range of different and often conflicting social forces. In doing so, the study elucidates how the socio-historical processes since 1989 diversified Poland's egalitarian education system and facilitated the emergence of schools for elites. The book demonstrates that social and political changes in Poland triggered the emergence of new elites with different political and social outlooks, leading to a variety of types of elite schools that reflect and reproduce the elites' positions and idiosyncrasies. A bespoke theoretical arrangement scrutinises extant and generated data from elite schools' websites, online readers' forums, and interviews with elite school principals.

The book contributes new insights into elite schools in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, enriching the existing body of knowledge on elites and elite schools around the world. It will be of interest to researchers and postgraduate students investigating elite education, sociology of education, education policy, and education and international development.
"One of a very few academic publications considering the development of Poland's elites, and possibly the only current publication doing so in the context of elite schooling. It carefully dissects the significant crosscurrents of history, culture, national values and national identity and their impact on the emergence of a wide range of elite education in Poland. Recommended reading for students, academics and anyone interested in the impact of social transformations in Central and Eastern Europe."

Associate Professor Gosia Klatt, University of Melbourne

"Alexandra Dunwill's Scrutinising elites and schooling in post-communist Poland makes an original contribution to the burgeoning domain of elite studies in sociology and to research on elite schools in the sociology of education with its focus on a post-communist society. Her granular analyses link political transformations with the emergence of diversified elites and of elite schools, framed by the four lenses of globalisation, European integration, the socialist heritage and tradition."

Bob Lingard, Emeritus Professor, The University of Queensland, Professorial Fellow, Australian Catholic University

"Dunwill's book adds a new focus to the literature on elite schooling - post-communist Poland - with a mind to the past and future of Central and Eastern Europe. Her work demonstrates, with theoretical innovation, how since 1989 a relatively equal school system was transformed by the all too common competition for status and prestige."

Dr Howard Prosser, Monash University.
Taylor & Francis Ltd
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978-1-000-95227-8 (9781000952278)
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Alexandra Margaret Dunwill holds a Master's degree from the University of Warsaw, Poland, and a Ph.D. from Monash University in Melbourne. Her research interests include social, cultural, and economic aspects of globalisation, transnationalism, and educational policy reforms in Australia and Europe. Alexandra is President of the Australian Institute of Polish Affairs, an independent, non-political organisation founded in Melbourne. The institute collaborates with leading academic and other institutions in Australia.
Introduction. 1. Theorising elites and elite schools 2. Theory and method 3. The Polish nation at the crossroads 4. Polish education at the crossroads 5. Elite school principals' perspectives on prestige 6. Elite schools' websites: Values and beliefs 7. Supporters and opponents of elite schools: Online public commentary 8. Conclusion Appendices

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