Demystification of mindlessly accepted educational assumptions

Grażyna Wieczorkowska, Jerzy Wierzbiński, Bartłomiej Michałowicz


To change anything effectively, you have to understand the nature and specificity of the process which is the subject of your intervention. For over the past 20 years the educational system in Poland has been a subject to ongoing reforms. In this paper we describe the collection of neglected issues in social discourse on education. Our discussion is based on lessons learned during more than 30 years of university teaching by the first two authors as well as by the work of the distinguished philosopher, Roger Scruton and, finally, on data from over 30 000 course evaluations analyzed by the third author. We have described 7 educational myths assuming : (1) advantage of new informational technologies, (2) students’ intrinsic motivation, (3) importance of students’ freedom in choosing the content and time of their study, (4) the necessity of knowledge to be practical, (5) advantages of individualization in education, (6) treating education as service given by teacher to the clients; (7) the possibility of top-down reforms of the education system. Finally, our data analysis demonstrates that the same instructor teaching the same course is often evaluated differently by different groups of students, which means that teaching effectiveness depends both on instructor’s and student’s contribution to the process of learning.


educational policy; course evaluations; Roger Scruton

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