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How to do school? The second edition of the exhibition, heavily revised. This time in Poznan

28 of October '22

The name is the same, but the exhibition is different. "How to do school?" is a Poznan mutation of last year's exhibition in the series "Warsaw under construction". Both the local context and the reaction to current events are different . The story about the forms of schools will also be accompanied by extensive reflection on the state, future and reform of Polish education. Opening: November 5.

Schooling has had a media uptick for the past few years, though not as much as one might dream. Those in power are tinkering with school, the pandemic has done its part, teachers are leaving because they don't have enough to live on, students are going because they have to. This is not an uplifting picture, but sometimes the deeper the crisis, the greater the chance for big change. And if to change, then according to well-thought-out patterns. Hence the second edition of the "How to Do School" exhibition, which will open in one week, on November 5, at Poznań's Sluice Gallery. The authors do not promise that the topic is simple:

In popular opinion, reforming education is as difficult as sending a man to the moon. Why? Because the school is entangled in a series of dependencies.

different context, new problems

For the first time, an exhibition under the same name was held a year ago in the capital, in the series "Warsaw under Construction" organized by the Museum of Modern Art. However, the Poznań exhibition (organized jointly with the Poznań Heritage Center) will be different. First, it takes into account the local spatial and historical context. Secondly, the situation is dynamic - over the past year, new problems have come to schooling: a shortage of teachers and a massive influx of young people from Ukraine. The curatorial team is made up of the authors of last year's exhibition - Pawel Brylski and Szymon Maliborski, and the Poznan team: Anna Pikuła and Olga Tarczynska-Polus They explain the idea of repeating the theme this way:

We asked in 2021 at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and we are asking now at the Sluice Gallery in Poznań. And we do it with full conviction. We believe that universal education is a value worth caring about, worth talking about, worth even arguing about.

So what can you expect from the Poznań edition? Each of the five gallery rooms will be devoted to different aspects of the main theme. Each aspect will also be commented on by one of the invited artists (list of all exhibition authors - below the article). Anna Pikuła from the curatorial team introduces the idea of the exhibition:

The story will begin at the beginning of the 20th century and show the differences in the education systems of the various partitions. We will also discuss the changing relationship between education, society and the market over the decades. We will give voice to teachers and their view of school. We will look at the teacher-state relationship, a narrative will lead to the 2019 teachers' strike. Another aspect will be the evaluation of school by young people who have recently finished their education. Finally, to end on an optimistic note, we will show good examples: establishments that operate with a good program concept.

free prussian form

Educational buildings, on the other hand, will be devoted to a room with an "atlas of schools," that is, an overview of facilities built in Poznań since the beginning of the 20th century. There will also be an attempt to make clear how the manner and curriculum are influenced by the forms of schools and their individual interiors - so typical and commonplace that they go unnoticed.

There will also be an answer to the question of what the "Prussian school model" really means . In this context, the location of the exhibition is perverse. The Sluice Gallery occupies a post-fortress brick building - a remnant of the 19th century Prussian fortifications of Poznan. Also faced with clinker are the facades of schools that Poznań inherited from the partitioner. These establishments, however, despite the rigid program implemented in them, were very modern and comfortable. Built shortly before World War I, they freed the Polish authorities for a time from what was necessary in Warsaw: an urgent program to build many new schools. This does not mean, however, that no construction took place in interwar Poznań. It took place differently, however. New facilities are also put up differently (and not very well) in Poznan, hence a very important element of the exhibition to educate decision-makers will be the presentation of the features of a well-designed school.

change also in the real world

It is worth noting, by the way, that - by coincidence - one of the schools shown in the exhibition "atlas" (on the corner of Jarochowskiego and Wyspianski Streets) received a city grant two weeks ago to green the spacious courtyard between the four free-standing segments of the complex.

jak robić szkołę dotacja jarochowskiego jak robić szkołę jarochowskiego zieleń dziedziniec

The school complex on the corner of Jarochowskiego and Wyspianski Streets in Poznan, current state and greening plan

Photo: 1. Jakub Głaz, 2. source: FB/St. Lazarus Housing Estate Council

The complex, built almost entirely shortly before the First World War, is one of two post-German schools of the pavilion type - with a free layout of the buildings, with access to space and greenery, which is not likely to be associated with Prussian drills. The considerable square between the school pavilions of the complex is today almost entirely covered with asphalt. Thanks to a grant applied for by the St. Lazarus Neighborhood Council, the courtyard will receive trees, low greenery and small retention. So the answer to the question "how to do school?" will appear not only in the exhibition, but also in the space mentioned in it.

Jakub Głaz

How to do school? - exhibition

5.11.2022 - 12.03.2023

Sluice Gallery, Poznan

Organizers: Poznan Heritage Center, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.
Curatorial team: Paweł Brylski, Szymon Maliborski, Anna Pikuła, Olga Tarczyńska-Polus
Artists and women artists: Maciej Chodziński, Zofia Gramz, Anna Grzymała, Małgorzata Gurowska, Witek Orski, Konrad Smoleński, Dorota Sumińska, Marcin Wicha, Monika Włodarczyk, Karolina Wojtas
Expert consultations: Iwona Chmura-Rutkowska, Jakub Głaz, Edyta Głowacka-Sobiech, Agnieszka Jankowiak-Maik, Zuzanna Karcz, Dorota Obidniak, Michał Pszczółkowski, Ewa Radanowicz, Przemysław Sadura, Justyna Suchecka
Arrangement: Anna Pilawska-Sita
Graphic design of the exhibition: Your Gift. Dariusz Zych
Visual identification: OKI OKI Studio
English translation: Dorota Piwowarczyk
Exhibition accessibility: Lucyna Kaczmarkiewicz
Production: Poznan Heritage Center

Honorary patronage: Dean of the Faculty of Educational Studies of the Adam Mickiewicz University, Prof. Dr. Agnieszka Cybal-Michalska,

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