Summer School of Inclusive Pedagogy for Mathematicians and Scientists
From June 20 to June 29, students of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at CPU in Nitra took part in the Summer School of Erasmus+ IncluSMe project (2016-1-DE01-KA203-002910; Intercultural Learning in Mathematics and Science Education). The Summer School of the project, organized by the project partners from the University of Hradec Králové at the Faculty of Education of the Charles University in Prague, had an important goal: to practically verify the created materials and methodical approaches used to teach in the environment characterized by the cultural differences of pupils. In the summer school, 26 students of mathematics and science teaching took part, they were from the project partners universities from seven European countries: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. Five students from FNS CPU in Nitra: Patrícia Čepcová, Lucia Gemmelová, Bc. Paulína Karaffová, Bc. Filip Kucej and Bc. Mária Sendecká has completed a demanding 10-day program of lectures, seminars and other activities presented by the lecturers from universities that are the partners of the project: University of Nicosia, Cyprus; University of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic; University of Utrecht, The Netherlands; University of Malta, Malta; University of Trondheim, Norway and University of Jaén, Spain. The Summer School program blocks of the IncluSMe project were divided into six modules. The individual modules were focused on: inclusive education outside of school; language in science and natural sciences in terms of cultural differences; current environmental problems and their potential in teaching in a culturally diversified environment; ethics in scientific and pedagogical research; principles of assessment from the point of view of inclusion of pupils from different cultural backgrounds. The organization of the summer school and the students' stay in Prague were arranged by Mgr. Imrich Jakab, PhD. from the Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences and doc. PaedDr. Soňa Čeretková, PhD. from the Department of Mathematics, the IncluSMe project coordinator.
What are the experiences from the International Summer School? Describes the student Maria Sendecká:
Together with the students from other countries, we created one international group of 26 diligent students. Within the prepared modules, we were introduced different teaching methods and activities by the lecturers, so we could try ourselves which situations and problems we can encounter in future as teachers. Group work was most commonly used and it helped us to better realize and understand the thinking of other cultures. The common language of the summer school for all the students and lecturers was English. When solving the scientific problems (biology, chemistry, physics), we experienced some funny situations, especially when we lacked the correct vocabulary in English and we replaced the missing term with other, simpler vocabulary in English. The pencil and paper were also a very good aid in international, foreign and intercultural educational environment. When the words were not enough, we helped ourselves by simple drawings and pictures. For many participants of the summer school, it was also the first visit to Prague, therefore, one afternoon was devoted to sightseeing Prague’s dominants and attractions. We were accompanied by the student of Charles University and he showed us, for example, the famous café Slávia, the Charles Bridge, or Prague Castle. The program also included visits in two schools, where we learned about bilingual education and the virtual reality created by pupils from secondary industrial school in Smíchov as their year projects and with the level of their knowledge and their work they surpass even the university students from CTU in Prague. In our free time, we had a good opportunity to get a better understanding of different countries from the perspective of domestic residents – our classmates from the summer school. We also learned a few basic foreign language phrases, for example in Spanish. Thanks to this experience, we were able to realize that despite the seemingly large difference between different cultures, we could always find something that we had in common and the differences were perceived as interesting and very enriching. The most important experience from the summer school for our future vocation was realizing that even if our future pupils are from different countries or from different cultural environments, they can be interested and inspired, when we as their teachers are passionate about subject we teach and we can present them the information in the most interesting way.
The IncluSMe project continues with the active presentation of selected modules at an international conference which is going to be held at the FNS CPU in Nitra on August 28, 2018. The target group of the conference are mathematics and science teachers from practice. The next activity of the IncluSMe project in the academic year 2018/2019 will be a summer school for the students of mathematics teaching. The international group of students will be welcome by the University of Vilnius, Lithuania. The budget of the project guarantees the stay of three students of mathematics teaching and one teacher of the didactics of mathematics.
Formal teaching and informal meetings during educational and academic activities of the IncluSMe project offer to students and pedagogues an exceptional experience with teaching, working with young people, but especially open-minded, welcoming and positive communication in culturally diversified academic environment, thus confirming that the realization of international cultural and educational projects is meaningful.
Text: doc. PaedDr. Soňa Čeretková, PhD., Bc. Mária Sendecká
Photo: doc. PaedDr. Soňa Čeretková, PhD.