## Good practices

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Working Group:Low Achievers in ScienceCountry:Czech RepublicLanguages:Czech, EnglishAge of students (target group/s):6-12Links, resources:http://www.h-mat.cz/http://www.orbisscholae.cz/archi... Contact person information:Bara SemerakovaThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. One of the 12 principles is that knowledge is not transferred on students in an isolated manner but it is always presented as a part of a familiar pattern that the child easily visualizes. Mathematical phenomena and concepts are not separated from each other. Another principle is learning in familiar environment (bus, family...). Children learn through experiments and their own experience, which motivates them for other individual explorations and problem solving. In Hejny’s mathematics, mistake is a tool to learn something. Students are not afraid of mathematics. It is easier for them to understand context as everything comes up from the knowledge that they have already gained. Students enjoy lessons because they can be very active in them. They do not just wait to see the result on the board but cooperate and discuss and are able to explain why they came to a certain result. The teacher is, first and foremost, an advisor and guide. S/he does not mark students but asks class whether they agree with the count that one of them says. Students learn to analyse mistakes and to get to the right count through solving them. The Hejny Method was started by Vit Hejny. He tried to understand why his students do not try to grasp the problem and why they learn formulas by heart instead. His son, professor Milan Hejny, has examined and developed the method for 40 years. He published results of his work at the end of the 1980’s. In 2013, a textbook for the lower primary schools (age of 6 – 12) was published. The textbook for upper primary schools (age of 12 – 15) is being developed. The Hejny Method is currently being taught at 350 schools in the Czech Republic (10% of Czech schools). Some schools in the USA implement the method as a complement to instruction. Strong points and opportunities:• Students enjoy mathematics; they work with desire and courage and are able to reason their solutions. • Students learn more than in an ordinary way of teaching mathematics. Moreover, the The Hejny Method improves language and communication skills as well as reading literacy. • The method is suitable for all students (different environments fit everybody). Students can start even later than in lower primary classes – it is possible to switch from the common mathematics classes. Students have no difficulties in the transfer to the upper primary school, or to a different school. On the contrary, they belong to the most successful students. However, some of them lose enthusiasm for mathematics. Limitations:• Parents find it difficult to learn with their children at home (patterns that children make are difficult to pass on, they do not work with numbers but with concepts). Parents may be afraid that their children will not learn to count properly. It is important to explain that it is a different way of teaching that helps children understand mathematics instead of learning it by heart.• The Hejny Method requires a completely different approach from the side of the teacher (s/he does not pass on the knowledge on to his/her students but directs them to an active search for answers). The teacher has to fully understand and trust the method to lead students effectively. • The Hejny Method is not demanding in terms of lesson preparation but it may be more challenging in terms of the course of the lesson and students’ evaluation. Not to interfere in students’ mental processes and not to tell them the right answer and how to do it can be difficult for teachers. Correcting and evaluating may also be challenging because the teacher encounters different ways of problem solving, which requires permanent thinking about the students’ work. • Some teachers use only selected types of exercises as a supplement to their regular lessons. Although it may seem to be an interesting part of ordinary lessons, it can be very confusing for students. In such a case, the teacher does not use The Hejny Method. Added value with regards to the 3 topics of the MASS project:• Students learn through exploring and experimenting, often using different real objects. They not only enjoy it, but it also makes problem solving easier for them. Their motivation for further work grows with each success. The great variety and clearness of the instruction makes it comprehensible even for low achievers who thus keep up with their classmates. It is easier to adjust a lesson to weak students because the teacher can change the level of difficulty of exercises. • Integration of weak students also supports a safer atmosphere in the class. Students are not stressed out and work with their mistakes instead. They can explain a mistake to their classmate and give advice to each other. They are not exposed to their classmates’ mockery if they fail. Students are led to cooperation and they learn to help each other. Any prerequisites needed:A teacher has to understand and trust The Hejny Method. S/he has to comply with a different role than in ordinary mathematics lessons. | ||