Invitation to an English monothematic issue for the year 2024


“In favour of the school as an institution in the era of efficient organizations – the school and schooling in the context of recent crises”

Actually, schools are the indispensable part of the general social system of our societies. All kinds of changes in the society directly have an effect on education and school in terms of process, organization, structure and functional dimensions. Despite the vehement criticism of schools globally since the 1960s (Illich, 1970), the greatest test the formal education system has ever faced came during the pandemic, when the social solution was school closures and the transference of education to the home. It was a radical pedagogic experiment accompanied by technological optimism and reinforced by trends such as the “educationalization” and “pedagogicalization” (Smeyers & Depaepe, 2008) of the social problems facing us since the 1990s. The concept and discourse of deschooling has become relevant again (Bartlett & Schugurensky, 2020). It was an experiment that has had numerous consequences, but they did not diminish the importance of the school. Remote education led to lower student achievement (Hammerstein et al., 2021). In the current era there is much talk of the learning loss associated with education in the home, particularly among students from disadvantaged backgrounds (Engzell, Frey, & Verhagen, 2021). Recent studies (Kaščák et al., 2022) have indicated that learning was the easiest in the households which resembled “school-like families” (Epstein, 2014) or “schools at home”, and not homeschools (Price, Peersman, & Matherne, 2021). During the pandemic, then, education was more effective in the households that attempted to establish structures that were similar to those in school settings and other formal education settings.

This finding seems to indicate that as an organization the school is still an important social “dispositive”, to borrow Michel Foucault’s term (1980), meaning institutional, physical, and administrative mechanisms maintaining the exercise of power within the social body. This special issue of Pedagogika asks why this is the case. It will tackle issues such as the place of the school in the structure of contemporary social organizations and politics. Has the school’s position and meaning changed (qualifications – competition – socialization – inclusion)? Has or is the school per se changing (space, time, organizational form)? What does schooling mean today to its social actors (employers, parents, students)? What lies behind the term school reforms and how are schools changing as temporal-spatial education settings as a result of the reforms in selected countries?

The school is not only an organization for the production of a service nor is it a network of relationships, but also an institution. What kind of an “institutional program” (Dubet, 2002) has the school today in our western societies? What are the ideals as references to a “foundational act” in the era of instrumental values?

We are seeking responses to these questions from a wide range of perspectives, not just educational ones, but from political studies, sociology, philosophy and cultural anthropology.

The guarantors of the monothematic issue are Ondrej Kaščák (Trnava University, Slovakia / Charles University, Czechia) and Iryna Kushnir (Nottingham Trent University, UK)


Time schedule for the preparation of this monothematic issue:

  • By January 31, 2024, send abstracts in the range of max. 2 pages (3,600 characters) to the address with the note "English mono 2024". In the abstract, please state: author (authors) and title of the paper, its type (theoretical, overview, methodological, research study), expected scope, aim and content of the paper.
  • By February 29, 2024, the authors will be notified of the next steps.
  • Studies based on accepted abstracts should be submitted by June 30, 2024. Subsequently, the studies will go through a standard review procedure and the authors will be asked to modify the texts.
  • The monothematic issue will be published until the end of 2024.



Bartlett, T., & Schugurensky, D. (2020). Deschooling society 50 years later: Revisiting Ivan Illich in the era of COVID-19. Sisyphus, 8(3), 65-84.

Dubet, F. (2002). Le déclin de l'institution. Paris: Seuil.

Engzell, P., Frey, A., & Verhagen, M. D. (2021). Learning loss due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(17).

Epstein, J. L. (2014). Toward a theory of family-school connections: Teacher practices and parent involvement. In K. Hurrelmann, F.-X. Kaufmann & F. Lösel (Eds.), Social intervention: Potential and constraints (pp. 121-136). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter.

Foucault, M. (1980). The confession of the flesh. In C. Gordon (Ed.), Power/knowledge – selected interviews and other writings (pp. 194-228). New York: Pantheon Books.

Hammerstein, S., König, C., Dreisörner, T., & Frey, A. (2021). Effects of COVID-19-telated school closures on student achievement: A systematic review. Frontiers in Psychology, 12(746289).

Illich, I. (1970). Deschooling society. London: Marion Boyars.

Kaščák, O., Kostelecká, Y., Komárková, T., & Novotná, V. (2022). Rodina jako substituce školy? K distribuci vzdělávací zodpovědnosti ve dvou vlnách pandemie covidu-19 v České republice [Family as a substitute for school? The distribution of educational responsibilities during two waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Czech Republic]. Czech Sociological Review, 58(5), 509-532.

Price, D. P., Peersman, J., & Matherne, S. (2021). It’s not homeschool, it’s school at home: Parents’ experiences as teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Educational Media International, 58(2), 102-123.

Smeyers, P., & Depaepe, M. (2008). Introduction: Pushing social responsibilities: The educationalization of social problems. In P. Smeyers & M. Depaepe (Eds.), Educational research: The educationalization of social problems (pp. 1-12). Cham: Springer Science.