2016: New beginnings

Submitting my first grant report in March put me in a position of relative comfort. Me from 2011 would never believe the direction my interest in international liberal education movement took over time. The journey from philosophical and opinionated to more data-driven and understanding was not an easy one. Writing up the final report, which I was stupid enough to pledge in three language versions (Polish, English and Russian) – was certainly the biggest challenge I ever experienced. However, now that it is done, it is finally time to clean up the desk, decide what is of worth in that, and move one to new projects.

Actually, I did not really feel relieved after those 500 pages. There are new things coming up soon, and I want to put them here in case somebody would like to bump into me (or as a trigger warning where I should be avoided). So here are the things I was up to over the last quarter, hoping to secure opportunities to listen, speak and discuss the issues of higher education – and learn in the most effective way: from other people.

So here is the plan:

  • 26.04.2016, Winchester (UK), Postgraduate Student Spring Symposium, organized by University of Winchester, paper presented: European Liberal Education: the basic questions

I just made a fancy Prezi and a Google map for that – they may be updated).

taking our research for Inside Higher Ed articles to a new level by getting a close up on institutions half a year later and assessing the support offered

– I am honoured to be part of the movement that hopes to revive European Liberal Education; in this speech I will suggest why we need serious research to start doing it.

First rate scholars and intensive discussion; this should be really helpful.

  • 7-8.06.2016, Poznań (Poland), III Ogólnopolska Konferencja Badaczy Szkolnictwa Wyższego [3rd conference of Polish Higher Education Researchers], organized by Center for Public Policy, Adam Mickiewicz University, paper presented: Edukacja liberalna w Europie: naiwne pytania [Naive look at European Liberal Education].

as this is a group by invitation only, I am very happy to count among its ranks and I hope to build stronger ties with the group of researchers led by prof. Marek Kwiek.

–  long history of this summer school and excellent teachers would allow me to learn about a subfield I do not know much yet.

a brilliant, global community of higher education researchers will meet up for the last time under the UNIKE banner; this time at its home in Copenhagen

After a short break (I will probably recharge in Rome), traditional summer conference marathon looks like that:

Two more presentations are still in consideration; as are two articles (in English finally) that I submit to journals and one grant proposal that should be decided on in June. After some reshuffling, two more articles should leave the press anytime soon. I finally managed to keep my academia.edu | ResearchGate a up to date so that you can read it there.

I hope that I can afford to travel to all those conferences, especially that I will pause for the most part of next academic year.

Since October 2016 I will be a visiting researcher at Wagner College in New York – as a Junior Advanced Research Award holder selected by the Fulbright Commission. So hopefully I will have nine months of relatively quiet time to transcribe and analyze my interviews from the summer, and learn more about the „practical liberal arts” philosophy elaborated by prof. Richard Guarasci and his team at Wagner. Next year will be devoted to tying up the loose ends and working hard towards a better publication track. I think I now badly need some conclusions from my previous work on liberal education.

But who knows what would happen. Just half a year ago I would never imagine that apart from my daily research and grant report writing I would find time to work on refugees with Madelaine and on private liberal arts in Germany with David; that I will publish opinion pieces on Inside Higher Ed and in Polish newspapers; and that I will be kindly asked to review some articles for Learning and Teaching The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. It was a busy, productive, sometimes dramatic, but also incredibly rewarding time; I hope to continue on this track for another half a year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *