Study 7.6.1 The
Gyula Juhász Practicum School of the University of Szeged, Hungary
Title: Fieldwork for City Children
|Main Whole School Strand: Research and Evaluation|
|1. Description of the School|
Practicum School of the University of Szeged Teacher Training College
Faculty is situated in Szeged, in southern Hungary. The school is used
by faculty staff to trial, develop and demonstrate new teaching techniques
and by trainee teachers to develop their basic skills. There are 500-550
college students who practise teaching at the Gyula Juhász School
with the help of 54 mentor teachers. The college students face the beauty
and difficulties of the teaching profession here for the first time. The
school has 82 teachers and 900-950 pupils. There are four classes for
each Grade 1-6 (ages 7– 13) and five classes in Grades 7-8 (13 –
15 year old). The pupils’ families are from different social strata
but most of them are well educated. Although the children come from all
over the city, they are not specially selected to attend the school.
|2. Aims and Outcomes of the Project|
school is in the centre of a large industrial and commercial city and
its site is cramped with only a small yard as a playground. There is little
open land nearby. The teachers feel that it is important to take pupils
into a more natural environment so that they can have first hand contact
with wildlife. At Fifth Grade (11-12 years old) geography, biology and
physics are taught as integrated science by a team of three teachers.
A week-long residential fieldwork course was incorporated into this programme.
|3. The Project: Content and Development|
one week, lessons were taught at the Educational Centre of the National
Park of Kiskunság (the Sand-Hills of Fülöpháza).
In order to make this experience as colourful as possible and to use all
the advantages of this kind of teaching, colleagues from other subjects
were also involved. During the week pupils took part in various activities
1. Collecting and recording weather information (temperature, rainfall, wind speed and direction).
2. Observing the environmental destruction caused by humans and collecting ideas about how to restore nature.
3. Learning more about recycling and its practical realisation.
4. Observing and collecting information about work on the nearby farm.
|4. Drivers: a) External b) Internal|
field work is promoted by the Hungarian Ministry of Education. The Ministry
organises an internal teacher-training course to improve both field work
techniques and cooperative skills. The Ministry of Environmental Protection
funds one-third of the cost of environmental field trips for all primary
and secondary schools. The rest of the costs are paid by the school and
the week all the pupils’ activities were recognised by “fabatkas”
(tokens). The criteria for awarding
part of the evaluation process, pupils completed the same questionnaire
before and after the field trip. This survey contained questions about
their attitudes, feelings and knowledge about the environment. The questionnaire
included a section on peasant lifestyle. Most young Hungarian people use
the word peasant as a pejorative expression for other people who are neither
attractive nor intelligent. In other words, peasant working and peasant
life are despised in Hungary. Before the fieldtrip lots of pupils accepted
this common view, but after fieldtrip their attitudes had changed. Some
extracts from the questionnaire responses follow:
|7. Constraints or Difficulties in Developing the Project|
Education Centre of the National Park of Kiskunság called Fülöpháza
is heavily used. Other destinations will have to be found if the programme
is to be expanded to involve more classes. If the programme is expanded,
covering teacher absences will be more difficult.( each 5-8 grade class
is taught by many different subject teachers in Hungary). The teachers
have worked on some solutions to this problem but they agreed that they
will not able to involve more than three classes next year. Expanding
the programme depends on increasing the supply of school assistants and
finding more money that requires support from the school’s patrons.
|8. Benefits of the Project|
addition to questionnaire evidence, the school residential fieldwork programme
|9. Future Developments|
from pupils in other classes have asked the staff and the School Director
to expand this programme. Next year, three classes will be involved. These
classes will go to different field study centres. After the visit a school
meeting and an exhibition for pupils will be organised at which pupils
will be able to report on their activities and experiences.
|10. Additional Comments|
project only involved some pupils, so this is not exactly a whole school
approach, but it is a first step. Within a few years, it is hoped that
every class will be involved in this programme.
7 Case Study Index
Study Guide Table of Contents or Resources Index