In development of Polish adult education and andragogy, as theoretical thought, two main factors are visible: internal social and cultural needs, and external examples and inspirations. Contemporary Polish organization of adult education is 90 years old, because it was January 1919 when the Institute of Adult Education in Warsaw was established and in 1918 the Polish Free Commonwealth started to act as first Polish open university. Shortly after new institutions were established, such as schools, folk high schools and popular universities, self-directed learning counseling, distance education, educational periodicals and associations. Polish representatives of adult education participated in World Adult Education Conference in Cambridge in 1929 and introduced Poland into World Adult Education Federation. International institutions' help and patterns were used in Poland, as well as publications from international centers and conferences but also our own forms of adult education were created: self-directed learning, folk high schools for Poles and minorities like Ukrainians, Belorussians and Germans. In Polish adult education actively participated teachers, professors, writers, politicians, journalists, that made Polish adult education a social movement. After the Second World War there was stagnation and even regress in adult education, which was narrowed only to substitutive functions and vocational courses and schools. There were not many research, publications and the Institute of Adult Education was liquidated. Currently Poland is getting back to traditions of adult education, intensifies international cooperation and Polish representatives participate in Adult Education Conferences in Hamburg and Belem. International publications are translated into Polish, and international exchange of experience is organized. In Poland the Academic Andragogical Society acts and adult education periodicals are published e.g. Andragogy Yearbook the 16th volume of which we present to our readers.
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