The origins of Open Future

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In the beginning, there arouse simple yet painful questions, which each of us asks themselves, fearing the answer. Since 1989, many things have changed for the better in Poland, yet the political development of our country brought up civilisation illnesses, and some important social problems still remain unsolved. Even though two decades of hard work have passed, we are still far behind the United States and behind the most developed Western European countries.

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Difficult questions and simple answers

Have you ever wondered why a statistical Polish person’s dream is to work at a foreign corporation with a monthly salary of four thousand PLN? Do we really accept the fact that here in Poland corporations create simple work places, where work is monotonous and any signs of creativity are not welcome? After all, it is not only call-centre workers and invoice clerks who comprise to the functioning of such a corporation, but managers, PR specialists and specialists in the areas of research and development. Why are such intellectually demanding, and paid 4-5 times as much as the other ones, work places created in Germany, France or the USA? Indeed, according to various research results, we are at least as well-educated as German, French or American people. Students of Polish schools can solve mathematical puzzles that are unsolvable for American college students. Why, then, were such inventions as iPad, a microwave or an untraceable plane not invented in Poland?

At the summary of their university education, each student writes a thesis, dozens of pages long, full of wisdom and beautiful clichés. The number of students who have completed their second cycle in Poland is quite impressive! Still, international concerns have their million Euros worth advertising campaigns created in Germany, thanks to what advertising agency employees in Germany earn a few thousand Euros per month. Our second cycle graduates, in turn, remain unemployed. Why do foreign pharmaceutical concerns buy ideas for new medicaments and patent them, and then sell them in Polish hospitals, earning enormous amounts of money? Why haven’t Polish pharmaceutical concerns promoted any significant medicine worldwide yet, and limit themselves to transferring Western medicines to their own boxes? Do we lack anything that Western citizens already have, so that we could have equal chances and a better position at the world market?

Education in the Polish People’s Republic period:
where do our inhibitions come from?

As years go by, only pleasant memories from the period of our school education last, while the unpleasant ones get blurred and finally disappear. Do you remember the feeling of overwhelming embarrassment when some of us were standing in front of the blackboard, not knowing how to answer teacher’s difficult question? Other students laughed, seeing us desperately try to find the right answer, while the teacher ironically remarked our performance with one simple word, such as ‘ignoramus’ or ‘knucklehead’. Usually, it was possible to make up for the bad mark later on, but the anxiety connected with speaking in public remained in you for a long time. This is what the motivation, or rather non-motivation system used to look like. It was the fear of being humiliated in front of the class that drove us to learn, making us feel reluctant to absorb new information. This may be the reason why, in our youth years, school used to be called a ‘dog house’ in teenagers’ slang.

Generally, we were to work on our own, yet sometimes we received group tasks. No one, however, bothered to explain how to work in a group, what tasks division is, how to deal with conflicts, or how to turn misunderstandings into creative effort. That is why group work usually resulted in the best student writing the task for everyone, and the rest of students receiving a good grade for no effort at all. If you were a good student, you probably used to feel unfairly treated due to the fact that you were the only one working hard on something, while all other group members received an equal grade thanks to you. The rest of the group was constantly coming to a conclusion that there is no sense to work on your own and it is better to stick to someone smarter, as benefits are equal with a significantly lower effort. And there was one more element of the whole phenomenon, probably the worst one: the feeling that I wouldn’t be able to do the work so good myself. There are more examples of bad education, not only on this website, but mostly in your own memories. This resulted in Polish people’s inability do work in a group, fear of public performances, anxiety to ask their superordinates questions, etc. All in all, there are many obstacles preventing them from becoming world leaders. We lack self-confidence and an inside feeling that we are able to do something positive.

One of our biggest weaknesses is that, as a nation, we cannot communicate in English which is considered the language of science, business and world culture nowadays. To say it straight: communist system was not created to give citizens the right to ask questions and change anything in their lives. They were supposed to work in factories, quote mottos created by the Party and withdraw from complaining that others are in a better position. This is what children were taught from their early years, too. But times have changed and we have democracy now. Polish educational system is gradually changing, too, including the fact that fresh teachers come to work at schools. Still, the profession is not well paid, which results in classrooms overpacked with students, tired teachers lacking motivation to change the reality around them and not eager to introduce a new educational model. What we lack the most is education for elites, aiming at educating leaders who will later inspire other people to strive for common, national success.

New generation – new possibilities

It is now that we have the unique chance to provide our children with a different type of education, in order to avoid the mistakes and weaknesses of our generation who grew up in the 20th century, but being able to see the opportunities the 21st century brings, too. Today’s learners, tomorrow’s leaders is the motto of International Baccalaureate Organization. Since 1968 pedagogues from the most developed countries in the world have been creating and improving the methodology of teaching that had one aim: to create leaders of the changing world, conscious citizens with sense of responsibility for themselves and the others. Currently over 3.500 schools around the world have IBO certification. In order to find out more about International Baccalaureate Organisation, please visit www.ibo.org. We are entering the biggest and the most experienced organisation, that has come up with a system of education for students starting from the age of 3, until International Maturity Exam, enabling students to receive education not only in Poland, but at most universities around the world, too.

Open Future International School implements this philosophy every day , and IBO provides our teachers with trainings, supports them and verifies in detail if we are following the demands of the programme. Here you can read more about what your child’s education at Open Future International school is going to look like, and what person your child is going to become after they finish our school. Our aim is to teach your child everything he or she would learn at a standard school, but with the use of methods that will make him or her an open, brave, curious, inquiry-oriented, responsible person who will easily adjust to the changing reality. This is the type of people our country and the whole world needs in the near future and such people will become CEOs, deans, chancellors, voyts, starosts and presidents. Open Future International School opens broad horizons to them and although we don’t know yet what tasks they are going to assign themselves, we are sure they will deal with them perfectly.

Karol Tomczyk