The aporematic nature of educational issues. The courage of asking questions and the cautiousness of action. A reply to Czesław Kupisiewicz

Zbigniew Kwieciński


The paper is a reply to some comments and critical remarks made by Czesław Kupisiewicz about several dilemmas concerning a possible change in the educational system which I formulated as a president of the Committee for the Development of National Education, affiliated with Department I of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) at the outset of the Committee’s activities. The paper explains a fundamental difference – in terms of origins and tasks – between that committee on the one hand and the Committee of Experts chaired by Jan Szczepański (1973) as well as that chaired by Czesław Kupisiewicz (1989) on the other. While the two earlier committees were set up by the national authorities, the PAN committee is fully independent of the government or political parties and has been set up by the Academy. Its task is to chart a vision of how the Polish educational system should develop so as to help overcome the country’s backwardness and to reach the standards of living, civilisation and culture of the Western European countries. In my set of dilemmas, I have attempted to demonstrate how profoundly difficult it will be to implement such a vision of developing education – so much so that many of the questions posed are aporematic in nature, i.e. they are issues that are almost insolvable. In spite of this, I believe that one must ask the most difficult questions, including uncomfortable ones, without eschewing radical criticism – while at the same time encouraging cautious actions, especially when these actions are steered at a central level.


specific nature of the Committee PAS; inherent difficulty of the vision of educational system

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