Research

My research interest include higher education in comparative perspective, with a focus on curriculum, advocacy and governance. More specifically, I am researching liberal arts institutions in Europe, and I aim to prepare a scholarly synthesis of the movement that started in the 1990s and continues today.

I have been interested in the topic for more than 5 years now. It started from my personal experience of student at liberal education institutions at the University of Warsaw. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, but also I came to understand that there is a lot to be learned from their experiences in challenging the dominant trends in higher ed.

Diamond Grant

My research project for 2012-2016 is called: “Paideia. Liberal education proposals at the university-level education of the last four decades. USA, EU and Russia as a background for Polish condition and perspectives”.

In 2011, then a student at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Faculty “Artes Liberales” of the University of Warsaw, I received funding for my research from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education under a “Diamond Grant” program (DI 2011 0195 41) that was aimed at providing 100 outstanding students holding a BA degree with funding for their first research project (just under 200.000 PLN over 3,5 years). The research in question is independently designed and conducted by me according to the funding agreement.

The main scope of the research project is an analysis of Polish institutions of liberal education and comparing them with their foreign counterparts. The analysis focuses on the definition and ideal of liberal education, as it is conceived and realized by members of institutions based in different countries.

In the first half of 2015, I have visited a number of liberal education institutions in the USA, the Netherlands and Russian Federation, gathering qualitative data for my study. Later on I started visiting MISH colleges in Poland. Until now, I have interviewed over a 100 people during more than 80 interviews in more than 25 institutions. The respondents include college professors, staff, administrators (deans and presidents) as well as experts and public servants.

Questions I am especially interested in include:

  • the purpose and history of the institution; modes of using the term “liberal arts”;
  • curriculum (overall design, required courses, foreign languages);
  • civic dimension, social role of the college, community outreach;
  • eudemonic dimension, student attention, intrinsic rewards of studying;
  • liberal education advocacy & promotion in the modern world.

The final result of the conducted research will be (apart from journal publications) a monograph of Polish liberal education in comparative perspective. The project concludes in January 2016.

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