Prussian education system

Prussian model of education was created in the 18th century. It was an response to the civilisational needs of the times. Its “product” was supposed to be a simple citizen who understood written instructions and announcements and was devoted to the state. If that was the case, he could become a good and diligent soldier, worker and clerk.

Every aspect of the Prussian school was designed to accustom children to individual and repetitive work. Teaching obedience and respect for hierarchy was crucial. Teaching methods as well as the design of classrooms were developed with this in mind.

The education system under the Prussian rule was unified and consolidated. That is why it became a reference point for the education systems which followed. Its remnants are still present in contemporary schools.


photo: art classes at the National Institution for the Deaf in Poznań, 1930s, photo from the collection of the Educational Center for Deaf Children in Poznań

Main photo - Prussian education system

Public and non-public schools

According to the Education System Act, schools in Poland can be either public or non-public.

Public schools are free and they are most often run by local government units. Sometimes, in particular in the case of small rural schools, they are managed by local grassroots organisations. The vast majority of schools in Poland is public.

Non-public schools may be profit-oriented (in such a case they are called private schools) or function as non-profit organisations (in this case school fees are used for covering operating costs). This latter kind of school is called a community school.

There are also various forms of home schooling which allow children to learn outside of schools.