The concept of professional identity involves professional suitability, training, professional choice, professional image, professional plan, career awareness and motivation. Students of social pedagogy as future professionals have their self-conception which depends on the level of professional identity the students have achieved: diffuse identity, self-determination without debate, moratorium and the identity achieved. Each level reflects the identity of a certain combination of investigation and resolution of the undertaking. However, professional identity is not only an objectively perceived phenomenon; every subjective perception leads to one’s own career in the context of human evolution, social life, economic conditions, learning experience.
Professional identity, which has been understood as professional roles, is one of the most important factors of career success and satisfaction. It is based on personal characteristics, values and experience. The profession of social pedagogues is specific, because they work with people and, in particular, socially sensitive. Therefore, the students of social pedagogy must have the inclination to work with people. Social pedagogues are responsible for social well-being and, therefore, career decisions of students in social pedagogy must be self-directed and adequate. Thus, the higher education professionals providing career guidance, mentors and teachers should recognize whether these programs are relevant to young people at an early stage of the professional identity. Future social pedagogues must also understand the characteristics of the formation of professional identity of a social pedagogue. Therefore, this article addresses the following research questions: what career decisions were taken when choosing studies in social pedagogy? How and what appropriate level of professional identity was reached during the period of studies at university?
The aim of the paper is to present changes undergone by the Polish education system after the accession to the European Union. In the article the changes are collated together with the main and distinctive trends which had existed in Europe before the accession and the ones that were introduced subsequently. The article shows that the tendency to unify the member states’ education systems is non-existent in the European Union. It also points out that the importance attached to education by the EU member states has not been as considerable as the importance given to economy. The paper is divided into two main parts. The main objective of the first part is to describe the decision-making process in the member states (as far as the common education policy is concerned) and its result, which was the report stating that education was considered to be a peculiar area of social politics and as such required separate arrangements and decisions. Therefore, there are neither specific procedures nor integration requirements for the associated and associating countries. However, as far as Poland is concerned, during the accession process the country was obliged to meet the expected standards, in particular the standards in the reform of the education structure and curriculum. The second part of the paper comprises the analysis of Polish activity in the following fields:
–– lowering the age of the compulsory education commencement,
–– reforming the structure of the education system and curriculum,
–– practising teaching profession.
The article further elaborates at length on the significant factor in the process of democratization of education, which is parents’ involvement in the functioning of a school.
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