Application to the National Science Centre


A research project submitted to the National Science Centre
September 11th, 2013 - submission to the National Science Centre of the research project: "Youth of "the lost Cities". Research of the Centres with low rates of social, economic and cultural Indicators in the Context of Education".
Planned expenditures: 507 039.00 PLN

There are three aims regarding our research.
The first one and the most general one is to characterize "the lost Cities".
In our own interpretation the lost cities are those cities in Poland which lost on: the political transformation, the administrative reform and the accession to the EU. We are most interested in the possibilities which those cities offer (or not) to the youth. The cities were picked on a base of social-economic, cultural and educational indicators. The first indicators are: high unemployment rate - e.g. over 15%; population decrease; low investments; high rate of social welfare involvement; low average income.
The crucial for cultural and educational indicator there will be: the limited access to higher education; the weak offer of public libraries, movie theaters and theaters; the limited activity of the youth community centers.

So far we were able to distinguish 16 cities matching our criteria of "the lost Cities": Grudziądz, Włocławek, Bytom, Chełm, Wałbrzych, Radom, Piekary Śląskie, Elbląg, Przemyśl, Biała Podlaska, Sosnowiec, Zamość, Ostrołęka, Tarnobrzeg, Łomża and Świętochłowice.

The second aim is to characterize the youth of "the lost Cities". In relation to the difficult situation of their environment we are most interested in: their current situation and functioning; their plans and aspirations; possessed capitals according to P. Bordieau's theory.
In the third part we need (since we are educators) to ask about a place and a role of education in the aforementioned cities. We are planning do find out: what is the role of schools in the aforementioned cities - how do they contribute to improving the situation; how function the non-school educational institutions; what is the rate of change in the area.

The planned research is to be supported by interview method and auditorium survey technique. Our aim is to conduct research in every single high school in the selected cities (263 in 16 cities), in 3 randomly selected classes. The survey will be conducted among students born in 1997, with the above assumptions, it will be about 14.200 people. What might be crucial, we are planning to conduct whole survey by our research team without any extrenal help. This approach proved to be efficient in the research in the similar field held by our team (Grudziądz and its region - 2013). It seems that proposed method / technique is the best compromise between quantity and quality of gained data and inconvenience of conducting studies (both for interviewers and interviewees).
To study the situation of the selected cities we will use data analysis. Just like in similar studies we will supplement our research with quality methods. The presence of our team in studied schools and cities might be a great opportunity to use an observation as the additional element of the research. Non-standardized informal interviews, participating observations, and data analysis are more than certain to enrich our research "armory".

We are more than sure that currently the Polish science does not possess any knowledge on the set of data we are planning to gain. Projected results will not have directly practical application. However, our goal is to portrait in details the situation of the youth in distinguished "the lost cities". The interpretation of results may give us prognosis on future of the selected cities, and the possibilities to indicate some solutions. What is equally important is that the information gathered about educational system may enable to develop a strategy for those specific social environments. Conducting the aforementioned study project will give a base to present the solutions for improving thecommunity condition in above mentioned areas.




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