The Impact of Specific Social Factors on Changes in Education in Serbia

  • Ana Pešikan Department of Psychology, University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • Ivan Ivić Department of Psychology, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Keywords: education policy, social change, political influence on education


The political and economic changes that followed the adoption of the Strategy for the Development of Education in Serbia 2020 essentially betrayed the basic ideas and intentions of the strategy, creating a systematic threat to education and its role in the development of Serbia. This created an almost experimental situation for analysing the impact of political and social factors on changes in education. In the sphere of politics, new trends have emerged (centralisation of power; marginalisation of democratic institutions; encouraging foreign investment in companies with a low technological level, etc.) that strongly influenced changes (‘reforms’) in education (great centralisation in education, the strong influence of politics on education, imposing of some lower-level forms of education, reducing professional autonomy, etc.). The basic mechanism of transferring the general policy to education is changing the role of the most important national institutions in defining and implementing education policy: the National Education Council, the National Council for Vocational and Adult Education, the National Council for Higher Education, and the National Accreditation Body. The adoption of new education laws (2017) radically changed their status and competencies, resulting in a reduction of their independence and professionalism and strengthening the role of the ministry, through which the influence of the ruling political regime is transferred. Also, the role of the Chamber of Commerce in education has been strengthened. Such a system endangers the autonomy of educational institutions and teachers, as well as the quality of education. Consequently, these changes have a clear impact on the country’s development and its international position.


Download data is not yet available.


Action plan for implementation of the strategy for education development in Serbia 2020, Strategy of education development in Serbia to 2020. (2020).

Bates, A. W. (2004). Technology and lifelong learning: Myths and realities. David Murphy, Ronnie Carr, James.

Ben-Chaim, D., Joffe, N., & Zoller, U. (1994). Empowerment of elementary school teachers to implement science curriculum reforms. School Science & Mathematics, 94(7), 355–366.

Boulton, H. (2008). Managing e-Learning: What are the real implications for schools? The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 6(1), 11–18.

Brooks, M. G. (1991). Centralised curriculum: Effects on the local school level. In M. F. Klein (Ed.), The politics of curriculum decision-making - Issues in Centralizing Curriculum (pp. 151–166). State University of New York Press.

Bureao of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. (2020). Employment Projections — 2019-2029.

Chomsky, N. (2017). Chomsky on miseducation. In D. Macedo (Ed.). Eduka.

Cooper, B. S., Cibulka, J. G., & Fusarelli, L. D. (Eds.). (2008). Handbook of education politics and policy. Routledge.

Education forum. (2017). Critical analysis of new measures in education in Serbia by Ivan Ivić, Belgrade.

ENQA Agency Review. (2020). National entity for accreditation and quality assurance in higher education (NEAQA) by Doris Herrmann, Durdica Dragojevic, Pedro Teixeira, Ignas Gaiziunas, 20 February 2020.

Erss, M. (2015). The politics of teacher autonomy in Estonia, Germany, and Finland. Graphic Design: FPCEUP’s Communication Office/Manuel Francisco Costa, 29, 61-75.

Fuhrman, S. H. (1989). State politics and education reform. The politics of reforming school administration, 61–75.

Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a culture of change. Jossey-Bass.

Fullan, M. (Ed.). (2014). Teacher development and educational change. Routledge.

Gerrard, J., & Farrell, L. (2014). Remaking the professional teacher: Authority and curriculum reform. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 46(5), 634–655.

Griffin, G. A. (1991). Teacher education and curriculum decision making: The issue of teacher professionalism. In M. F. Klein (Ed.), The politics of curriculum decision-making - Issues in Centralizing Curriculum (pp. 121–150). State University of New York Press.

Hargreaves, A., & Fullan, M. (2015). Professional capital: Transforming teaching in every school. Teachers College Press.

Ivić, I. (2008). Teorija Vigotskog i neke varijante post-vigotskijanskih teorija i njihove implikacije po didaktičku interakciju u inkluzivnoj školi [Vygotsky’s theory and some variants of post-Vygotsky theories and their implications for didactic interaction in an inclusive school]. Workshop on Vygotsky theory and inclusive education, James Wertsch, SAD & Ivan Ivić, Serbia. University of Oslo.

Ivic, I. (2019). Printed and digital media: Printed and digital textbooks. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 9(3), 25–49.

Ivic, I., & Pesikan, A. (2012). Education system reforms in an unstable political situation: the case of Serbia in the first decade of the 21st century. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 2(2), 31–53.

Ivić, I., Pešikan, A., & Antić, S. (2003). Active Learning 2. Faculty of Philosophy, Institute of Psychology and UNICEF.

Kaya, E., Cetin, P. S., & Yıldırım, A. (2012). Transformation of centralized curriculum into classroom practice: An analysis of teachers’ experiences. Uluslararası Eğitim Programları ve Öğretim Çalışmaları Dergisi, 2(3), 103–114.

Law, N., Pelgrum, W. J., & Plump, T. (2006). Pedagogy and ICT use in schools around the world. Findings from the IEA SITES. Springer.

Law on dual education [Zakon o dualnom obrazovanju]. (2017/2020). Službeni glasnik RS, No. 101/2017 & 6/2020.

Law on the education system foundations [Zakon o osnovama sistema vaspitanja i obrazovanja]. (2017/2018/2019/2020). Službeni glasnik RS, No. 88/2017, 27/2018 - dr. zakon, 10/2019, 27/2018 - dr. zakoni 6/2020.

Law on preschool education [Zakon o predškolskom vaspitanju i obrazovanju]. (2010/2017/2018/2019). Službeni glasnik RS, No. 18/2010, 101/2017 & 113/2017.

Law on primary education [Zakon o osnovnom obrazovanju i vaspitanju]. (2013/2017). Službeni glasnik RS, No. 55/2013 & 101/2017.

Law on secondary education [Zakon o srednjem obrazovanju i vaspitanju]. (2013/2017). Službeni glasnik RS, No. 55/2013 & 101/2017.

Law on textbooks and other teaching materials [Zakon o udžbenicima i drugim nastavnim sredstvima]. (2018). Službeni glasnik RS, No. 27/2018.

Law on higher education [Zakon o visokom obrazovanju]. (2017/2018). Službeni glasnik RS, No. 88/2017, 27/2018 & 73/2018.

Lin, Y. P. (2018). Is online learning as effective as the evidence suggests? Institute for Global Business Research, Conference Proceedings, 2(3), 17–25.

McCutcheon, K., Lohan, M., Traynor, M., & Martin, D. (2015). A systematic review evaluating the impact of online or blended learning vs. face‐to‐face learning of clinical skills in undergraduate nurse education. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(2), 255–270.

McGregor, G. (2009). Educating for (whose) success? Schooling in an age of neo‐liberalism. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 30(3), 345–358.

McNeil, L. M. (1988). Contradictions of control, Part 1: Administrators and teachers. Phi Delta Kappan, 69(5), 333–39.

Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., &Baki, M. (2013). The effectiveness of online and blended learning: A meta-analysis of the empirical literature. Teachers College Record, 115(3), 1–47.

Murphy, R. J. (2018). Finding the emic in systemic design. OCAD University Open Research Repository.

Nguyen, T. (2015). The effectiveness of online learning: Beyond no significant difference and future horizons. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 11(2), 309–319.

Ni, A. Y. (2013). Comparing the effectiveness of classroom and online learning: Teaching research methods. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 19(2), 199–215.

Pešikan, A., & Parojčić, J. (2020). Harmonizacija NAT-a sa standardima i smernicama za osiguranje kvaliteta u evropskom prostoru visokog obrazovanja. Elaborat u okviru projekta ReDIS 2030 [Harmonization of NAB with standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area. Study within the project ReDIS 2030]. EU Support to Reform of Education in Serbia.

Pešikan, A. (2020). Učenje u obrazovnom kontekstu [Learning in educational context]. Službeni glasnik.

Pike, K. L. (1967). Etic and emic standpoints for the description of behavior. In K. L. Pike (Ed.), Language in relation to a unified theory of the structure of human behavior (pp. 37–72). Mouton & Co..

Progress Report on Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy for Education Development in Serbia 2020, MPNTR (2018).

Reeve, J., Jang, H., Carrell, D., Jeon, S., & Barch, J. (2004). Enhancing students’ engagement by increasing teachers’ autonomy support. Motivation and emotion, 28(2), 147–169.

Roehrig, G. H., & Kruse, R. A. (2005). The role of teachers’ beliefs and knowledge in the adoption of a Reform‐Based curriculum. School science and mathematics, 105(8), 412–422.

Roehrig, G. H., Kruse, R. A., & Kern, A. (2007). Teacher and school characteristics and their influence on curriculum implementation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching: The Official Journal of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, 44(7), 883–907.

SEDS (Strategy for Education Development in Serbia 2020). (2012). Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Serbia, Belgrade.

Šuvaković, U. V. (2019). Some (social) aspects of education in transition Serbia. Sociološki pregled, 53(3), 943–977.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1980). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Harvard university press.

Youdell, D. (2010). School trouble: Identity, power and politics in education. Routledge.