“The most important thing is to inculcate the taste and love of science;
otherwise we will bring up just donkeys loaded with book wisdom. ”
Parents who want to find the best school for their child face many questions. Why is a regular school worse than a gymnasium or lyceum? How do “specialized” programs differ from “developing” programs? And, finally, are there any schools in general where studying for a student would not be a heavy duty, but a pleasure?
"More, better ... smarter?"
“In ancient times, people studied in order to improve themselves.
Today they are learning in order to surprise others. ”
What happy people were our parents! They did not know the pain of choosing a school for children. In each neighborhood there was a two-three educational institutions - “better” and “worse”. But the program was the same everywhere, except perhaps for very rare physics and mathematics schools and educational institutions with in-depth study of the language.In order to get to the first, talent was needed, to the second - tough pull.
Now there are a great many educational institutions of the most diverse type. Sometimes it seems that after the schools were able to move away from the standard unified program, they started a kind of competition among themselves for the title of the most prestigious educational institution. Who will be able to shove as many different knowledge as possible into the heads of the students? In which school is the highest percentage of medalists and prize-winners?
The easiest way to turn from an ordinary school into an elite educational institution is to complicate the curriculum. This is the way most of the gymnasiums, lyceums and specialized schools go. It is believed that gymnasiums and lyceums continue the traditions of pre-revolutionary education, therefore their programs focus on strengthening the humanitarian block of subjects. In addition to the usual history and literature, high school students and lyceum students take courses in logic, ethics, history of philosophy and culture, they study not one foreign language, but two, three, and even more.
Specialized schools differ from gymnasiums and lyceums, in fact, only by the choice of subjects for in-depth study. Most often it is physics, mathematics and science. A separate “subspecies” of special schools - schools with in-depth study of foreign languages. They differ from gymnasiums in that they ignore logic with ethics there, but all the additional academic hours are given to the grammatical intricacies of other people's adverbs.
The main advantage of gymnasiums, lyceums and specialized schools is that, as a rule, high-class teachers teach there. Even experienced university professors with advanced degrees are often involved in the process of putting knowledge into the heads of students.
One more plus is that author’s teaching methods are more often used in good high schools and special schools. Such, for example, as “Sprout” or “Croc for Croc”. The essence of these methods is that the assimilation of material is not due to mechanical learning: in children, first of all, they develop logical and analytical thinking, learn to work independently with the material and draw their own conclusions.
However, gymnasiums, lyceums and special schools have disadvantages.The first major drawback: in order to shove as much knowledge as possible into children's heads, the load increases, the number of training hours increases. For some schoolchildren (especially undergraduates) this can be fraught with nervous breakdowns and illnesses.
Another disadvantage is that in such educational institutions the idea of healthy competition between students is sometimes reduced to the point of absurdity. In the harsh battle for points, letters and medals, the strongest survive. And those who failed to win, can for the rest of their lives earn a complex loser.
Learning to think
“What matters is not the amount of knowledge, but the quality of it.
You can know a lot without knowing the most necessary "
Among the gymnasiums and lyceums, experimental schools are aloof, the program of which is built on the principles of "developmental education." The essence of it can be expressed as: "The main thing is not quantity, but quality." That is, the child does not squeeze as much knowledge as possible into the head, but the skills to manage with this knowledge are imparted. In a word, they learn to think.
In the pedagogical literature one can find quite a lot of the names of the authors of developing methods.But all of them (techniques) grew out of a single root. More precisely, of the two: the methods of Elkonin-Davydov and Zankov developed in the 60s of the last century.
With all the differences in these methods, both of them are based on the ideas of the outstanding child psychologist Lev Vygotsky about the development of the child’s intellectual abilities. Only approaches to this task are different.
The system, developed by Daniel Elkonin and Vasily Davydov, is built on the development of deep theoretical thinking and creative imagination in children. For example, in the lessons of mathematics, children do not memorize mechanically the multiplication table, but gradually, step by step, comprehend the theory of numbers. Do not memorize grammar rules, and learn the laws of constructing language. Knowledge, not learned mechanically, but based on a deep understanding, is much better fixed in the child's head. In addition, he learns to independently search for answers to any questions. Work at a lesson is conducted in the form of discussions. Homework is minimized, no marks are given at all: that is, children are provided with maximum psychological comfort.
The principle of Leonid Zankov’s developing system is that the child must independently go from practice to theory.Based on the facts, he (with the help of the teacher, of course) learns to make generalizations, to derive patterns. Education is going at a very fast pace, at a higher level of complexity than in regular schools. Examinations and marks are also saved.
The main advantage of these methods is that children who study both in the Zankov system and in the Elkonin-Davydov system actually learn to think. These techniques have been well tested and applied for the fifth decade. Numerous examinations of students have shown that the level of preparation of children who studied under these programs is indeed above average.
But, alas, they also have disadvantages. The first (and main) - both systems are designed only for elementary school students. Moving into high school, the child, accustomed to a free intellectual search, falls into the clutches of the school system, which sometimes causes psychological problems. In addition, the Elkonin-Davydov system is not suitable for all babies, but only for children with well-developed creative imagination.
The level of teacher training is very important. It happens that in some schools they declare teaching “according to the developing system”, but in fact it turns out that the teachers only read a couple of articles about the method or listened to an hour and a half lecture.And this is fraught with problems: for example, a teacher who ineptly applies the Zankov system (a high rate of learning) can cause the child, instead of a desire to learn, nervous breakdowns associated with overloads.
Dreams of a "free school"
“Now children do not play, but learn.
They all learn, learn and never begin to live. ”
I will say right away - in our country there are no such schools. I hope not yet. But why don't we dream of a “free school”, especially since such educational institutions already exist in the world. When I read in the newspaper “The First of September” a series of articles by journalist Marina Kosmina about the Russian experience of creating a “school-studio”, I almost cried, really, really.
What is a "studio school"? Its founding father was Russian linguist Miloslav Balaban (1927–2005). Reading to students a foreign language course, he drew attention to how ineffective the system of regular lectures and mandatory exams, in which not the knowledge of a foreign language, but the level of mechanical memory, is checked. Starting with the revolutionary methods of teaching languages, he came to the idea of the need to reform the education system as a whole.The existing school system, with its tests, exams and average scores, suppresses the ability to think freely in a child. “It is easy to see that all teachers strive to develop not the student’s natural wisdom in their subject, but the opposite: submissive“ correctness ”in the reproduction of texts or rules,” wrote Miroslav Balaban in the article “Can I ask the wrong way?”. “Correct knowledge” (in memory) is checked at every exam. “If the correct version did not need to be remembered (or could simply be found in the material at hand (on the exam), the exam would not only be much easier.”
A good teacher will certainly agree with the correctness of this statement. My husband, for example, spoke about one professor at the Kiev Polytechnic University, who, taking their exam, laid out on the table a stack of textbooks and reference books: “Use”. He explained to the stunned students: “A good engineer is not obliged to memorize the entire institute course. If necessary, he should simply know where to find the necessary information. ”
So, at the end of the 80s, Miroslav Balaban had the idea of an “Educational Park of open studios”, which is also called “School-Park”.This is something absolutely fantastic! Imagine a school with no timetable, no grades, no even ... no need to attend classes. Teachers organize “studios” for studying subjects, and children are free to choose which teacher to go to. And whether to walk at all. The only requirement for a child is to be at school time at school.
What happens to children in such a school? Two or three months, they really do not go to the lessons. And then ... a healthy craving for knowledge (after all, obtaining information is a normal, natural human need) leads to the fact that every child chooses a program for himself - in accordance with his inclinations. And in the end, children learn better than their peers from regular school. Because they do it on their own initiative and for their own pleasure.
"For a deuce - let's fight!"
"Only the wisest and the most stupid can not be trained"
Well, dreamed a bit, and it's time to return to the ground. After all, our children will have to study in a completely different school with its compulsory program, rigid marks, a system of checks, tests and exams.I read that there is an alternative, non-evaluative system for assessing students' knowledge: in a class journal, the teacher simply ticks off the child’s last name when he properly learns the next academic topic. I received the required number of checkboxes for each item - it means I mastered the program, you can go to the next class. But in practice, I have not met a single school that completely refused to evaluate knowledge by points.
From the attitude of parents to school success (or failure) largely depends on the attitude of the child to school. Therefore, the task of parents is to alleviate the stresses experienced by the child due to school failures as much as possible. But, unfortunately, it often happens the other way around. Many parents (and I - alas, not the exception!) Are very sensitive and painful about the school marks of their children. Why? Yes, because you and I perceive the scores in the report card not as a measure of a child’s knowledge, but as an assessment of one’s own parental success.
Of course, it is unacceptable to humiliate a child, or even to peel him for bad grades - this is not even discussed. But words like “You just kill me with your grades!”, “I don’t know how to look into the teacher’s eyes during the parents’ meeting! ”Are also not suitable as an influence method.Instead of pushing the student to learn better, you simply shift your experiences to him. This is a real moral blackmail, even more traumatic child.
About whether it is worth helping a schoolboy to do homework, the conversation is special. Personally, I am opposed to parents staying at a schoolboy over the soul, checking his notebooks with homework every night. Maybe because my parents never did this (thanks to him for a special thank you!), I grew up convinced that my studies were my own business. In the end, the punishment for some training mistakes was my wounded pride, and not at all the parental notations or the parental belt. But if the child himself asked you to help him with his homework, he could not be refused, of course. Only now, by helping him with the lessons, in no case should one assume the role of a teacher and evaluate his knowledge. There is someone to do without you.
... In general, there are a lot of schools and programs now - good and different. Choose you. But finally, I would like to quote the words of an intelligent mother of two children, read at one of the parent forums devoted to the discussion of educational programs: “My children studied according to the same program, just from different teachers.The older child teacher has a creative approach to everything in life. The junior teacher just worked honestly. The difference in the knowledge gained is huge. And the program has nothing to do with it .... "
Tips for parents
1. If you decide to give (or transfer) a child to a gymnasium, lyceum, or a specialized school, first find out what subjects he is inclined to. A kid with a humanitarian mindset is unlikely to feel comfortable in a physical and mathematical special school. A child with a well-developed spatial thinking, but with poor phonemic hearing and poor speech, should not be tortured with three foreign languages at once - he cannot become a polyglot.
2. If teaching in an educational institution is based on any of the author's methods, find out which one. Ideally, find articles and books that describe this technique. And then consult with the school psychologist if it is suitable for your child. For example, the program “Rostock”, which is very good and popular in Ukraine today, is more suitable for children with developed logical thinking. A phlegmatic child is unlikely to enjoy training in the Zankov development system, which provides for a high rate of lessons.
3Tuition fees must match the quality of services provided. Therefore, ask about the reputation of the institution, the level of training of teachers, talk with the parents of children who study there. It is no secret that some schools, in pursuit of prestige, simply change the sign of “secondary school No.” to “the gymnasium“ Super-duper-intellectual ”. As a result, your child receives the usual "sovok" education ... for big money.