Institute of Political Sciences
The Institute of Political Sciences of the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn carries out research in three disciplines: political sciences and administration, security sciences and sociology.
With regard to the two first areas, the research interests of the Institute focus on the analysis of contemporary development megatrends and their impact on individual elements of the social and political reality as well as on security. In particular, the research involves investigation of such phenomena as globalisation, regionalisation and localism, Polish political thought, democracies of selected countries of the world, Europe and the evolution of democracy in Poland, the issues of civic society and e-democracy, security policy, with particular focus on international security, threats to civilisation, the issues of population, nationality and religious policy in Poland, the geopolitical importance in the Baltic Sea region, human rights issues, contemporary political theories, mechanisms of social and political rights, diagnosing and forecasting in politics, power, leadership, political and party elites. The studies conducted include revaluation of the basic categories and definitions in the field of politics and security, which takes place in post-industrial civilisation. This is connected, among others, with the crisis of traditional democratic institutions, traditional security paradigms, with questions concerning universalisation and unification of political procedures, deconcentration and decentralisation of power (its transfer to regional and local community levels), possible applications of information technology in the process of selecting and controlling power and managing the sphere of politics and security on various decision-making levels, the model of participatory democracy and its implication for the Polish political system, including the party system and the electoral system (possibilities of applying the so-called electronic referenda in the Polish reality).
The Institute, as one of the few scientific centres in Poland and Europe, carries out political and security studies on the Kaliningrad Oblast of the Russian Federation and the cooperation between this entity and European states and organisations, also in the cross-border perspective. This subject matter was the main theme of the international research project carried out in 2012-2014, entitled “Close neighbours in the 21st century – new communication and perception” under the Lithuania-Poland-Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013.
The research interests in the field of sociology are very diverse, which is reflected in the wide range of the issues pursued. They include, among others, studies on transformations of contemporary media and social phenomena manifested through them, analyses of the labour market and such issues as social exclusion, migration, religiousness, power and forms of political involvement. The types of populations explored are also varied. The research achievements of the Institute staff include studies on the categories of nation, ethnic minorities, disabled people, the unemployed, youth and family, etc.
The employees of the Institute very often undertake research aimed at diagnosing political, sociological and security phenomena at the local, regional, state and international level, actively cooperating with public institutions, organisations and other entities operating in the region, in Poland and abroad. Their research results and political, sociological and security knowledge serve as useful tools for solving problems, introducing institutional and social changes and, in the long term perspective, improving the quality of life in the local, regional, national and international community.
Institute of Pedagogical Sciences
The research activity of the Institute of Pedagogical Sciences covers a broad range of problem areas in pedagogy. Specific chairs of the Institute conduct research in the following academic fields:
Chair of Special Pedagogy and Resocialisation
1) General special pedagogy – support, rehabilitation, teaching, education, subjectivity and inclusion of persons with special educational needs, adulthood, sexuality, parenthood and old age of persons with various disability types, psychosocial situation of families of persons with disabilities (parents, siblings), training of special pedagogues, autonomy of persons with disabilities, family (biological, adoptive, foster) of persons with disabilities, the effect of early traumatic experiences on child development
2) Education and rehabilitation of persons with intellectual disabilities / oligophrenopedagogy – rehabilitation of persons with deeper intellectual disabilities, rehabilitation of persons with mild intellectual disabilities, psychosocial situation of siblings of persons with deeper and milder degrees of intellectual disabilities, functioning of persons with intellectual disabilities, empowerment of adults with intellectual disabilities, emotional relationships and parenthood of adults with intellectual disabilities, inclusive education of students with special educational needs.
3) Typhlopedagogy – rehabilitation of persons with disorders of visual processing, communication of blind and visually impaired persons, parenthood of persons with deafblindness, and vision rehabilitation in visually impaired persons.
4) Pedagogy of deafblind persons – rehabilitation of persons with simultaneous vision and hearing disorders, epidemiological studies on the deafblind population in Poland.
5) Corrective and compensatory pedagogy – family background of dyslexia and dysorthography in younger schoolchildren, primary and secondary consequences of dyslexia and dysorthography, symptomatology of dyslexia and dysorthography, system of revalidation of dyslexic children.
6) Resocialisation and penitentiary pedagogy – crime and risky behaviours of young people and adults, social pathology in an open and institutional environment, addictions, contemporary re-socialisation issues, pathological use of new media, the process of re-socialisation in an open and institutional environment, the issues of imprisonment, the history of the prison system, international penitentiary systems, functioning of man in an incarcerated space, including the phenomenon of prison subculture and its effect on the process of re-socialisation of persons deprived of liberty, prison and criminal tattooing, multidimensional functioning of “dangerous” prisoners, functioning of women – ex-convicts in the social space.
7) Therapeutic pedagogy – psychosocial problems of children, adolescents with terminal diseases and their families, psycho-oncology of children and adolescents, palliative and hospice care, doctor-patient relationship, rehabilitation of persons with chronic diseases.
8) Surdopedagogy – early stimulation of development in hearing-impaired children, communication of deaf persons in a marriage with a hearing partner, rehabilitation of a child with multidimensional damage, including hearing loss, in the environment, functioning of persons with impaired hearing in the environment, relations with other deaf persons and with the hearing persons, families of persons with impaired hearing, deaf culture.
9) Other – rehabilitation of autistic children, social functioning with autistic children.
Chair of Clinical Psychology, Development and Education
In the area of mental health and welfare:
- Biopsychosocial conditions of excessive body weight including verification of the effect of psychological factors and genetic factors on the bodyweight of women in early adulthood.
- Behavioural addictions, primarily in the context of social portals and computer games among young people and adults
- The issue of sexuality and sexual identity, including the perception of non-heterosexual and transgender persons in sports, the effect of language and stereotypes on the perception of women and men, masculinity in various countries, multitude of roles in women’s lives.
- Psychological and physical functioning of athletes.
- Development of mental strength and resistance.
In the area of contemporary phenomena and problems involving children and youth groups:
- Diagnosing social problems (mainly including aggression, violence and risky behaviour), their conditions, as well as designing preventive activities, also in the prevention of the influence of cults.
- The possible effect of mental representations of interpersonal attitudes, as well as counterfactual thinking on grief related to past interpersonal relationships.
- Psychosocial and cultural conditions of social participation and civic activity.
Chair of Didactics and Early Education
- Research on children and childhood; school situation of pupils with special educational needs.
- Discursive meanings in educational curricula and textbooks for younger grades; conditions for institutional socialization of a child; functioning of children as participants and creators of the social world.
- The idea of social participation of children against the educational reality. Peer learning of children at the preschool level.
- New theoretical (and practical) perspectives for thinking about early mathematical education. Constructivism in mathematical education.
- Teacher education – changes and their conditions.
- New faces of children’s culture in the Internet age – e-culture, information and communication competence in education.
- Historical meanings in early education, school failure.
- Early music education – theoretical and practical contexts. Music school culture.
- Anthropological, historical, political, intercultural and educational contexts of the musical and aesthetic phenomenon of the 20th and 21st century pop music.
Chair of General and Childcare Pedagogy
- Social changes in the 21st century (emancipation, threats, risks, pathologies, actions, functioning of national minorities, new challenges).
- Modern family (transnationalism, regionalism, environmental activation, threats, social support).
- Cultural pedagogy and education (creativity, skills, animation, orthodoxy, cultural transformation).
- History, theory and philosophy of pedagogy – meta-pedagogy.
Chair of Social Pedagogy and Educational Research Methodology
1. Methodology of qualitative and applied social research
In this respect, research and studies are undertaken, among others, on the methodology of educational evaluation, applied social research including, in particular, case study methodology, action research and evidence-based practice.
2. Research on the teacher
In this area, research is conducted on the work and professional socialisation of teachers, and the issue of professional transitions. Another subject investigated in this area is the role of reflection in teacher’s work.
3. Sociology of education
The research undertaken in this area addresses the following issues: (non-)equality and education - inter alia, differentiation of social and educational processes depending on gender or family background; mechanisms of reproduction, exclusion and discrimination in education, family and labour market; the role of education in strengthening inequalities and equal life chances of youth and adults; family - among others, the course of socialization to gender roles, the specificity of the contemporary family educational environment, the principles and dynamics of intra-family relations with particular emphasis on marital/partnership relations, changes in the functioning of contemporary relationships/families, “new” motherhood and fatherhood, informal (adult) learning in the family; the issue of social mobility and the conditions of informal adult education in the family environment.
4. Higher education
The studies and empirical research in this field refer to learning processes in digital space supported by modern technologies. The research projects are based on the concepts of reflexive learning, transformative learning and conceptualism.
5. Social work
In this area, research is being conducted on contemporary paradigms of social work and professionalisation in social work; education for social and educational work in the Polish and European context; family support systems and childcare and social work with families at risk; socio-pedagogical contexts of exclusion, activation and integration and homelessness. The Chair also works on the contemporary methodology of social work and the methodology of rehabilitation work (with particular focus on the methodology of the court probation officer’s work) and the merging of both practices. The aim of this research is to find effective methods and forms of working with families requiring environmental support as well as to diagnose the system constraints in organizing practical activities in aid professions. Another important area in this respect is the research on autism spectrum disorders and functioning of autistic individuals and families of autistic persons.
6. Socio-cultural animation
The research carried out in this field particularly relates to student culture and student theatre.