The Virtual Pedagogical University Launches


The educational system which focuses on knowledge transmission instead of skill development, and the need for continuous skill enhancement for teachers are the challenges faced by education today,” indicates Prof. Roman Leppert, a pedagogue from Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz. These are the challenges the Virtual University of Pedagogy – an educational project initiated by Prof. Leppert – aims to address. It is intended for all individuals interested in and directly associated with education. It enables teachers, educators, and students to improve their competence in pedagogy and educational practices. Parents can also find useful content there, including sharing experiences and inspirations. The partner for this initiative is the Orange Foundation.

The Virtual University of Pedagogy was conceived as a digital space where self-learning in pedagogy is possible. All individuals interested in this subject can benefit from it,” tells Prof. Dr. Hab. Roman Leppert of the Pedagogical Sciences Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences to the Newseria Biznes agency. “This project includes three main elements. The first is pedagogical thought, the second – educational research, and the third – educational practices. The idea is to present educational processes and phenomena from different perspectives, to offer thought, reliable knowledge based on previously conducted scientific research, and diverse practices in the field.

The Virtual University of Pedagogy (WUP) is a free platform providing access to the latest knowledge, inspiration, and research for those interested in and directly associated with education. By design, it is an informal form of education without grades, indexes, or examinations. The contents, grouped in three main sections (Pedagogical Thought, Research, and Educational Practices), are accompanied by literature recommended by experts. The resource material will regularly be updated with new content.

Launching on October 4th this year, this Project – conducted in partnership with the Orange Foundation – was initiated by Prof. Roman Leppert, the editor-in-chief of the “Pedagogical Review,” and the founder of Academic Shelter, popular meetings and inspirations on pedagogical topics on social media.

WUP is a continuation of the Academic Shelter project started three years ago. It’s a space where every Wednesday evening, I talk with authors of selected books, researchers, and practitioners about issues important to contemporary pedagogy and education,” says the pedagogue from Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz.

Wednesday’s online meetings of Academic Shelter will be a key element of WUP. The project also plans periodic meetings and workshops in smaller groups. It aims to address the challenges currently faced by teachers and others involved in education, such as the development of digital competencies and outdated models of grading and knowledge transmission.

For the creator of the Virtual University of Pedagogy, the first challenge is transitioning from the “chalk era” to the digital era. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining and further developing the skills teachers have acquired during the pandemic. Another challenge is moving from knowledge transmission to an educational approach that develops competencies and skills. The third challenge is the question of how to develop internal motivation in a situation where time-tested methods, such as grading, are no longer fulfilling their role.

The WUP activities will be supported by an expert council comprised of authorities in the field of education, pedagogy, and schooling. The University is intended as an initiative that improves educational practices, but also a place where parents can find useful content and share experiences and inspirations.

All individuals, directly or indirectly interested in pedagogical issues, can benefit from this project. I am thinking of, among others, pedagogy and other social science students who consider educational topics, teachers, educators, but also the public interested in educational issues,” says Prof. Roman Leppert.

In teacher training and competence enhancement, the desire to enhance these competencies is paramount. It can be stimulated by access to important, substantive materials. Thanks to such access, teachers can strengthen their competencies and conduct their classes in a better way. Equally important, if not more so, is changing teachers’ approach and awareness towards self-education and teaching others,” says Monika Eilmes, leader of the European Projects Department at the Orange Foundation.

She also emphasizes the importance of being a partner in the educational process, listening to students, taking care of their well-being, and using active teaching methods that build their involvement.

As she indicates, engagement in the WUP project is a natural step for the Orange Foundation, for whom education has been one of the main areas of activity for years.

We run projects and programs that support teachers across Poland. One such project is Lesson: Enter, which has benefited over 77,000 teachers nationwide so far. Experience from this project demonstrates how important it is to enhance competencies in this professional group and their need for support in this area. Therefore, we are delighted to be involved in the new initiative, the Virtual University of Pedagogy,” says Monika Eilmes.

Lesson:Enter is a digital education project for primary and secondary school teachers. These free training seminars teach participants methods for engaging students more effectively, fostering critical and creative thinking skills, and promoting teamwork.