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Dr. Radmil Svancar
Tydenik Ucitelske noviny / Teachers’ journal, a weekly magazine for teachers
The general editor is Petr Husnik
Newspaper / Magazine article
School Directors, Teachers
1 - 2 pages
Teachers’ journal is the most widely used weekly magazine for teachers. It informs about current events in education. The magazine has 32 colored pages full of interviews, analyses, reports, commentaries, expert advice, counseling and information from Czech Republic and form abroad. It is based on 130 years of tradition.
The article describes an example of good practice at one primary school outside of Pohořelice. This school is attended by pupils with mild to moderate mental retardation. The aim of the management school is to fully prepare students for everyday situations, to be able to participate in a democratic society.
Children with learning disabilities are inquisitive and interested in the experiments too. The school offers children leisure activities. An interesting example is the so-called leisure Débrouillards ( Débrouillards is a movement that came to us from Canada. This small school at Pohořelice joined the Débrouillards as a first special school. The main activity of Débrouillards leisure are labs. This with regard to mental possibilities of children. They focus on the activity itself, do not seek answers on scientific questions, do not solve the chemical formulas. This leisure is usually lead by educators who are trained every year.
Courses are attended by about six pupils regularly (it is open for graduates of this grammar school too). It is not only leisure after school. Pupils write reports about their activities to the Débrouillards websites and to the magazine Beppo (by helping of their teacher). Pupils can spend some weekends together, parents are partly involved too. Pupils would like to participate in Débrouillards competitions, but the journey is usually too long and expensive for them.
At the end of the article the author highlighted that this school overcame conventions, showed interest in the pupils and the chemistry. Nevertheless, it has financial problems and low support. This era is not supportive for such type of schools.
The article describes methods of practical teaching children with moderate and stronger disabilities. It presents very well what children can do during free-time activities organized and conducted by the school. For the first, author of this article describes the situation of the school in Pohořelice on South Moravia, which has been classified as special school. Nowadays the school is attended by pupils with light or medial disabilities. They have their own education plan called "School for life" and as it is apparent from this article it literally is a school for life. An interactive class is situated in the recently build extension of the school building. Currently elementary schools are mostly in recession but this school is blooming and offers children an adequate education for life. Learning does not only happen at formal lessons but also in free-time activities. One of these activities is the "Young Débrouillards club". This club is typically suited for children without any disabilities – and this is why I appreciate this kind of activities being organized in this school. It is however a pity that the extent of the article doesn't allow us to find out more about activities organized for the school's pupils. For example physics and chemistry experiments, which are described as “magical” in the article, could be definitely described more specifically, in particular how and to what extent they are conducted by children. It would also be rather interesting to find out how much children enjoy experiments and if they are coming up with own experiments. I was impressed how they do modeling and also how interconnected their activities are. The fact that children can choose their activities is in my opinion very positive and of great help for their progress and their future development. I can see here very obvious traits of the aim to apply the standard education plan onto the pupils. It is a pity that the school can no longer attend competitions together with children without disabilities.
The article describes an interesting area of activities for children with mental disabilities/impairment.
Mgr. et Mgr. Alzbeta Jantova, MS a ZS Cerveny vrch, Prague

Comments about this Publication

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2014.03.03

Posted by Helena Stýčková (Czech Republic)

Message: 1) Which kinds of successful experiences does the publication describe?
The article named Experiments as elsewhere, just a little easier shows how to work with pupils with mild to moderate mental retardation.
2) Does the publication present critical factors, barriers and most effective solutions to overcome them?
Dr. Švancar describes how do the pupils their science experiments. The teacher have to modify and edit the experiments for the pupils.
Personal experience is for children very important, they learn how thinks looks like, how it smells, what the thinks can do. They learn, that science and chemistry is all around us. But It is important not just for this children.
3) Does the publication suggest how to use ICTs in the teaching of chemistry?
The ICT is used too. Pupils stay in contact with Débrouillard’s club online. Pupils can discuss their tasks and results online.
4) Why is this publication relevant?
The author describes a very nice and useful project for pupils. In my opinion, this article is fully adequate for the Chemistry is all around us-network projects portal. It shows an successful experience with motivation of pupils to science subjects.

Date: 2014.03.03

Posted by Eva Kletečková (Czech Republic)

Message: The article named Experiments as elsewhere, just a little easier describes practice of science teaching and one school for pupils with mild to moderate mental retardation. It is not easy to teach chemistry at ordinary school. Healthy students have problems with motivation to study science, but these pupils chemistry loves. Teachers motivate their pupils to be more inquisitive and to find chemistry which is all around us. I was really pleasantly surprised that teachers shows science to their pupils. Teaching of science subjects leads to broaden of the horizon of students as well as horizon of their teachers and parents. I find this article very useful. It is not important to implement ICTs to the teaching methods at this school. Important is to implement joy of the science and chemistry and life. Thank you very much for this article.

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.