S.K. Nazaruk, E. Tokarewicz

Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in Biala Podlaska (POLAND)
Refugeeism and migration are the inevitable phenomena observed in the modern world which make modern science pay attention to new areas of research. These phenomena permeate different aspects of social, educational, political, and economic life. Over the last few decades Poland has been a country with a culturally homogenous society. However, upon Poland’s accession into the European Union the legal regulations concerning the reception of people from other countries were changed. The opening up of borders resulted in the influx of immigrants, refugees, workers from culturally diverse backgrounds. Polish schools were also affected by the phenomenon of refugeeism. The presence of refugee children in Polish schools has become a reality, making the creation of multicultural classrooms a necessity.

The article presents the socialization phenomenon of refugee children in Polish schools. The research was conducted in selected urban and rural primary schools located in proximity to the Polish-Belarusian border in order to investigate the issue. The schools were not randomly selected and their choice was determined by the fact that the largest number of refugee centres is located in this area in comparison with other regions of Poland. In all schools in which the research was performed there are multicultural classrooms attended by Polish children and refugee children of varying nationalities.

The research presents the answer to the following question: ‘How do primary schools implement tasks related to the socialization process of children studying in multicultural classrooms?’. The research problem was further expanded on the issue of peer relationships in multicultural classes, the diagnosis of factors supporting and hindering the socialization process, and the specific actions undertaken by urban and rural schools. By reason of the research subject, qualitative research methods were used, namely individual interviews with teachers. The research results indicated a wide range of actions undertaken by Polish schools in the process of education of refugee children. School is the place where the relationship with a refugee is established, barriers, fears, prejudice and stereotypes are overcome. Polish primary schools both in rural and urban areas can meet the challenge as far as the socialisation of Polish and foreign children is concerned. The conducted research made is possible to identify a number of factors shaping the socialization process of children in multicultural classrooms in a positive way, which will be of importance for their personal development and the development of the whole society. Bearing in mind that the phenomenon of refugeeism is on the rise, it can be presumed that education plays a key role in the socialization process of refugee children, and gives them the chance for a normal life.