The Institute for Social Research Zagreb (ISRZ) team consists of researchers from the Centre for Educational Research and Development and the Centre for Youth and Gender Studies. As such, the ISRZ team has diverse experiences in carrying out qualitative and quantitative research related to political literacy, questions of equity in education and youth work. We are focused on forming lasting and reciprocal partnerships with schools, as we see them as arenas for societal change. Our interdisciplinary, school-oriented and multi-faceted approach is best encompassed in the work on the School & Community project.
School & Community (S&C) is an elective civic education course tailored for students in their later years of secondary education, aiming to enhance education by fostering a closer relationship between schools and communities. S&C operates on the principle that nurturing an understanding of the significance of community engagement and encouraging active participation is vital for students’ personal and societal well-being. Students participating in this course have the opportunity to independently select, investigate, acquire practical experience, and propose remedies for community phenomena and challenges related to various thematic areas.
Methods and activities included in the S&C curriculum, as well as the insights we obtained during its implementation during the 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 school year will provide a basis for our Critical ChangeLab. We aspire to make a sustainable, long-lasting change in schools and local communities, by nurturing participative approaches and methods, encouraging critical thinking, using creative and art-based methods and providing a safe space for youth to experiment and try out various democratic practices.
Boris Jokić, PhD, is a Senior Research Associate and Director of ISRZ. He gained MPhil and PhD at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. He has led numerous international and national research projects, including the project Changes in the Organization of the Educational Process caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic (EWAchange), supported by the Croatian Science Foundation. He currently heads the School & Community project. His scientific interests are educational aspirations, curriculum development and private tutoring.
Zrinka Ristić Dedić
Zrinka Ristić Dedić, PhD, is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Educational Research and Development at ISRZ. She graduated gained PhD at the Department of Psychology, University of Zagreb. She participated in various international and national research projects, including projects aimed at exploring pupils’ educational aspirations and changes in the organisation of educational processes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Her scientific interests include curriculum development, additional needs education and parenting practices.
Iva Odak, PhD, is a Research Associate at the Centre for Educational Research and Development at ISRZ. She gained PhD at the Department of Sociology, University of Zagreb. She was a member of various research projects focused on social aspects and equity in education. Recently she was a co-principal investigator on the project Thematic Network Lifelong Education Accessible to All, co-funded by the European Union under the European Social Fund. Her scientific interests include higher education students, socioeconomic impact on education attainment and educational aspirations.
Jelena Matić Bojić
Jelena Matić Bojić, PhD, is a Research Associate at the Centre for Educational Research and Development at ISRZ. She gained PhD at the Department of Psychology, University of Zagreb. She participated in a number of international and national research projects. She currently heads the HAND IN HAND: Empowering teachers across Europe to deal with social, emotional and diversity related career challenges project, financed throughout the Erasmus+ programme. Her research interests are political literacy, prejudices among children and youth and social-emotional competencies.
Nikola Baketa, PhD, is a political scientist at the Centre for Youth and Gender Studies, ISRZ, where he’s involved in studying educational and youth policy, with a special focus on civic education, policy changes, and higher education. He gained a PhD in Comparative politics at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb. He is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Rijeka. Nikola Baketa is active in numerous associations, initiatives, advisory and expert bodies focused on education and youth on a national level.
Jana Šimon, MA, is a Research Assistant at the Centre for Educational Research and Development at ISRZ. She graduated in psychology at the Department of Psychology, University of Zagreb and is currently a PhD student at the same Department. She participated in the project Changes in the Organization of the Educational Process caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects on Educational Experiences, Well-being and Aspirations of Pupils in Croatia, and currently works on School & Community project. Her scientific interests are gifted education, civic education and pupils’ well-being.