Acronym: SIT
Type of programme: 7 Framework Programme, Marie Curie Actions, People,
International Research Staff Exchange Scheme
Scientific Panel: Social and Human Sciences
Grant Agreement Number: PIRSES-GA-2012- 318759
Number of partners: 5 Duration of the project: months 33
Project start date: February 2013
Project finsh date: October 2015

Guide of International Project
Stimulators and Inhibitors of Culture of Trust in Educational Interactions
Assisted by Modern Information and Communication Technology
7 FP Marie Curie Actions
International Research Staff Exchange Scheme

Perzycka - Guide

Project description

Trust is the basis for the development of capital – that is, the ability of people to trust one another in all aspects of life – starting with trust between individuals and ending on the trust of citizens (Lin, N. 2001),to the institutional infrastructure of the state. Concerns in the context of the level of trust in Poland and challenges that are associated with the strengthening of it in the social context outlined in the report are not unjust. According to the European Social Survey the level of trust in Poland is one of the lowest in the European Union. Only slightly more than 10% of adult Poles trust other people, the trust towards the government and political parties is also low. Additionally, the results of studies concerning the sensitivity to common good present themselves as bad. In the light of comments from participants of the survey Poles occupy the fourth place from the end of the list among European countries in regard to trust towards other people.

Particular interest in trust is noted since the discovery of its role as an element of social capital (Sztompka, 2007).

Less attention is paid to trust as a factor of innovation and change. Settling in the existing conditions which gives a feeling of safety may cause that every new situation may arouse anxiety and distrust. Going beyond the “domesticated”, safe circle requires trust to what is new, unknown. This type of trust is characterized by courage and critical rationality. The science of education distinguishes two types of trust, namely: patriarchal trust, boundless trust in the intentions and potential of sovereignty. This is accompanied by unlimited obedience to the will of authority and willingness to uncritical, unquestionable performance of tasks assigned by authority. This type of trust is apparent in the behavior of Abraham who sacrificed his own son. Sometimes this kind of trust takes the form of naivety, irrational belief in information, orders, appeals, etc. Usually it is based on fear of authority. Leads to social anomie. Mature trust, based on the critical judgment of one’s own position to other elements of social and natural environment. It is connected with a rational assessment of one’s own potential, his abilities also his familiarity and comprehension of the intentions of those elements. It is free from fear and violence. This type of trust is an important goal of education. As it is the basis of a conscious and critical participation in a change. Each of the mentioned types of trust is formed under different educational conditions. Education focused on perpetuating a hierarchical order, obedience and subordination produces a circle of people and situations that are trusted. At the same time participants of educational interactions, especially students experience a lack of trust towards them. Their behavior arouses suspicion. As H. Maturana and X. Paz Davila (2004) write, modern education focused on the implementation of the culture of obedience and authoritarian order favors the formation of mistrust in educational interactions. Such education is a continuation and retention of the characteristics of an industrial and hierarchical society. The formation and development of the network society (Tapscott, 2008), and especially the horizontality of relationships produces different attitudes towards both themselves and others. On the one hand there are the temptations of simplifications and easy access to goods, including an easy and attractive access to knowledge. On the other hand there are conditions regarding a responsible and dauntless reaching for the goods and values. This favors the formation of trust towards yourself and critical trust to other people and new phenomena. Participants of educational interactions learn to interact with strangers, cope with risk situations and self-discover the joy of interpersonal trust.

While the research of trust in direct social interactions and towards individual institutions and organizations of collective life is carried out, we still do not know about the culture of trust in interactions with the use of new media, especially in communication with the use of ICT. Therefore, we ask to what extent information, opinions appeals, invitations and initiatives disseminated through those medias inspire trust as to its truthfulness, honesty normative rightness and authenticity? In a situation where contacts in the network trigger and determine a multitude of individual and collective behaviors of both prosocial character as well as threatening many areas of life, it is necessary to get to know the potential of trust, which new medias have and which they trigger.

In formal, non-formal and informal education more often ICT tools are applied with a greater or lesser cognitive and ethical success (Perzycka, 2010). For several years in education interactive whiteboards, netbooks, tablets and smartphones have became popular. The intended purpose of introducing a new entity to education is primarily for the sake of improving the quality of teaching. It is a joint effort of both the teacher, student and in some cases also the parents. A new educational instrument relates to new skills. It is a different than used so far modus operandi of both the teacher, student and the parent. Professional operations require a specific humanistic management in cultural institutions, social work and in education. In the training of competent personnel for professional action it is necessary to take into account trust in all dimensions of structural complexity and incorporate them into social situations characteristic for interactions associated with them. These include the ability to recognize the complexity of the condition of the entity to which this action is directed, as well as understanding the complexity of the situations themselves and conditions of the actions – embedded in the culture of trust. On one hand this requires the identification of possible existential and competence deficits. On the other hand the potential tensions and conflicts among defined and carried out objectives and their circumstances. A separate set of questions is carried by an attempt to relate the idea of humanistic management to the quality of the functioning of educational institutions and the dynamics of processes and directions of teaching strategies, in conjunction with the postulated patterns of filling out the social roles.

Moreover, from the standpoint of the possibility of using new medias as means of education throughout the life, it is necessary to start trusting their educational potential, both as learners and those who evaluate the outcomes of learning and using them in everyday situations.

The need for a critical selection and use of media content is a major challenge for modern education which aims among other things to implement self-education, self-searching and making a use of adequate knowledge and skills from the perspective of personal and collective welfare.

For the purpose of the designed research we define the culture of trust as a socially produced system of values, principles and norms of coexistence respected in a selected social circle, determining the character of the interaction of the person with other elements of his direct and indirect social and material environment. The elements of this system are people, norms and the content of social behavior.

In the field of our cognitive interest the following elements of the culture of trust are included:

  1. Personal – towards people, their intentions and behavior. This element of the culture of trust is reflected in the creating of social networks, of mutual support and solidarity.
  2. Normative - towards standards and their sources, ethical sensitivity to current and potential directions ofdevelopment of an individual and social change.
  3. Content / subjective – towards truths, their sources, as well as cognitive usefulness in everyday life of individuals and groups.

Factors designating the range and strength of these elements of the culture of trust is: the type of social order (hierarchical or network), organization of social relations, personal experience of people in contacts with the social environment, natural and technical, subjective and instrumental communicative competence expressed in attitudes towards the environment, including the modern IT devices constituting an imminent infrastructure of everyday life.

After R. Putman we assume that without trust there is no commitment. Hence, the project includes five different environmental backgrounds. Each of them brings a different perspective overview of critical and emancipator pedagogy, social constructivism (University of Szczecin – US – Poland), multimedia learning, distance learning (Nesna University College - HiNe – Norway), sensory learning and (University of Macerata - Italy), pedagogy of culture (Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University – IKBFU – Russia), value pedagogy (University of Kashmir – HKU – India). Five different contextual conditions were distinguished: 1) political (democracy, liberalism, monarchy), 2) religious (Christianity, not Christianity), 4) historical (imperialism, colonialism), 5) economic.

The basic research strategy is a case study. It will serve to expose the behavior of educational entities in everyday school events. The data will be collected by the project participants thanks to a variety of sources: an informal conversation, an interview, participating observation, document analysis (school documents, works of pupils, the works of teachers), analysis of recorded multimedia content. One of the tasks of the project is to bring cultures closer, learn the language and customs of the educational system. The project is to enable scientific collaboration on an international scale beyond the European Union. The project will enable the integration of cultures for the joint research project.

Project objective

As humanists we aimto identify the opportunities of developing and improving the culture of trust in educational interactions with the use of new medias. From our point of view, it is important to find out what arethe elements of the culture of trust towards diverse media transmissions because of their source (who is the author of the information, opinions, appeals, advice), content (what is the subject of information, opinions, appeal, advice), motives, objectives and circumstances of resorting to the transmissions (why,inwhat situation).

A particular aspect of undertaking a cognitive task is expressedin the question about the relationship of the type of social order in different cultures designating trust and the hierarchical order and authority causing the sense of security and the manifestations as well as the scale of trust to relation of a network character, especially those that are characterized by communication via newmedia.

A separate point concerning the cognitive aspect is the shaping of the culture of trust towards students using the new media. This refers to such behavior of the student as respecting the copyright law when using the resources of the internet, usingthemedia accordingto the objectives and principles set by the teacher, individual and group valuation of information, appealsand advice due to their pro-developmental usefulness.

Summing up the main objective of this project is to discover the elements of a culture of trust, their level andmutual cohesion in societies of different design and different potentials of trust.Thestudies will include three elements of forming a culture of trust: 1) personal, 2) normative, 3) of content.