Assistant teacher course/Teachers' handbook/Voluntary educational year

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Voluntary educational year[edit | edit source]

  At the other end of the scale stands the Socratic-Platonic teaching which identifies knowledge and virtue--which holds that no man does evil knowingly but only because of ignorance of the good. This doctrine is commonly attacked on the ground that nothing is more common than for a man to know the good and yet do the bad: not knowledge, but habituation or practice, and motive are what is required. Aristotle, in fact, at once attacked the Platonic teaching on the ground that moral virtue is like an art, such as medicine; the experienced practitioner is better than a man who has theoretical knowledge but no practical experience of disease and remedies. The issue turns, however, upon what is meant by knowledge. Aristotle's objection ignored the gist of Plato's teaching to the effect that man could not attain a theoretical insight into the good except as he had passed through years of practical habituation and strenuous discipline. Knowledge of the good was not a thing to be got either from books or from others, but was achieved through a prolonged education. It was the final and culminating grace of a mature experience of life.  

Democracy and Education, John Dewey

Preparation for a voluntary educational year (a voluntary social year in education) can provide a continual motivation for beneficial educational goals. It is recommended to invite pupils to consider a voluntary educational year as a sensible goal early and to postpone commitment to a later date. This way pupils can benefit from the additional goal and can still enjoy the unrestricted freedom of choice. Pupils might also decide to postpone participation in a voluntary educational year until college and could still benefit from earlier preparation in school.

Another option could be to donate an available budget for a more important purpose (e.g. Unicef or Médecins Sans Frontières) and to cancel the voluntary educational year. Such a decision should be made at the appropriate time, however, and the voluntary educational year can still provide a beneficial motivation throughout the school career of a pupil while the decision has not yet been made.

Building vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Technical terms introduced during lessons can be translated immediately by the subject teachers to all relevant languages or can be translated afterwards by assistant teachers. Translation during the lesson may be especially recommendable in bilingual education but can also be applied in a monolingual learning environment.

While early bilingual education appears to be beneficial for the language skills of above-average pupils [1] bilingual learning environments in elementary school are criticized to promote frontal instruction and to discourage group work because the pupils may not have sufficient language skills to make appropriate contributions in the foreign language. [2] The problem can be addressed with assistant teachers who are already fluent in the second language; the assistant teachers may need a special qualification as foreign language assistant teachers.

Assistant teachers can help to document the technical vocabulary that has been learned by a class in a class wiki in all relevant languages. The connection between language subjects and other subjects can encourage interdisciplinary associations between knowledge.

Pupils who use a laptop or e-book reader to read e-books can also maintain a database of personal vocabulary.

E-mentoring[edit | edit source]

ToDo: E-mentoring


Teaching in a developing country[edit | edit source]

  ... the reconstruction of experience may be social as well as personal. For purposes of simplification we have spoken in the earlier chapters somewhat as if the education of the immature which fills them with the spirit of the social group to which they belong, were a sort of catching up of the child with the aptitudes and resources of the adult group. In static societies, societies which make the maintenance of established custom their measure of value, this conception applies in the main. But not in progressive communities. They endeavor to shape the experiences of the young so that instead of reproducing current habits, better habits shall be formed, and thus the future adult society be an improvement on their own. Men have long had some intimation of the extent to which education may be consciously used to eliminate obvious social evils through starting the young on paths which shall not produce these ills, and some idea of the extent in which education may be made an instrument of realizing the better hopes of men. But we are doubtless far from realizing the potential efficacy of education as a constructive agency of improving society, from realizing that it represents not only a development of children and youth but also of the future society of which they will be the constituents.  

Democracy and Education, John Dewey

School partnerships with schools in least developed countries are likely to benefit from cooperation between several schools, as, for instance, a group of partner schools in developed countries or neighboring schools. A group of schools may be more likely to be able to provide a sufficient number of participants interested to visit a specific country and to maintain guest houses or rent housing of appropriate quality in the destination country. If a sufficient number of pupils and students participate it may also be feasible to offer more appropriate guidance and supervision on the spot.

In order not to displace regular teachers pupils and students can participate as assistant teachers or restrict the size of their courses to much smaller courses than are usual in developing countries. A course size limit of fifteen to twenty-five pupils (depending on the usual class size) is likely to increase the quality of education, to secure the jobs of regular teachers and to avoid overburdening the visiting pupils and students.


Teaching in a local school or in a developed country[edit | edit source]

In some parts of the United States it is customary or even required that each classroom have one certified teacher and one or more co-teachers or teaching assistants. Japan and Germany have special programs for foreign language assistants, similar programs are probably available in many other countries. In the United Kingdom qualified teaching assistants are also common. Academic exchange programs may require that a foreign language assistant has completed two or more years of college education and has studied to become a fully qualified teacher or has obtained a bachelor's degree.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Zweisprachiger Unterricht#Wissenschaftlicher Hintergrund (German Wikipedia)
  2. Zweisprachiger Unterricht#Kritik (German Wikipedia)

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Online learning[edit | edit source]

Language Learning in Tandem (Autonomous Learning with a Partner)[edit | edit source]

Diseases[edit | edit source]

The link below allows to use Google to search
the sites listed in this section.

Google Coop: Education
[Refinement: Teacher exchange programs]

Teacher exchange programs[edit | edit source]

German[edit | edit source]

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