Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
Variable approach in acquisition of chemistry in secondary professional school
Name of the teacher
Daina Priede
Country where it took place
School typology
Vocational School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class, Laboratory
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
Researches made in Latvia and abroad during recent years have shown that students of professional secondary schools have lower level of knowledge in chemistry and understanding of environmental processes than students of general secondary schools. Students are not able to connect the information gained in chemistry classes with processes in environment and everyday life. Albeit professional education should create students’ additional comprehension about chemical processes that are connected with their chosen professions, the State Standard of Secondary Education in chemistry does not foresee a different approach to chemistry teaching between professional and general secondary schools. Our researches done during 2008-2010 confirm that students of professional secondary schools in Latvia insufficiently understand the essence of chemical processes that are connected with their profession. The lack of understanding can be explained by several reasons:
1) reduced amount of chemistry lessons in professional secondary schools;
2) content of chemistry subject that is insufficiently bonded with the profession that students are studying;
3) lack of appropriate teaching aids for students of professional secondary schools.
In order to rouse interest and to form comprehension about chemical processes in professional and everyday life to students of professional secondary schools, as well as to increase the future competence of emerging professionals, we have developed and approbated teaching materials in chemistry for specialties of car mechanics and electricians in professional secondary school. Both versions of teaching materials are in line with the substance of the Educational Standard of State in chemistry, however they have essential dissimilarities. Each material contains specific information about chemical processes in professional environment of every profession; tasks and laboratory works are coordinated with the specific character of the concrete profession. The developed teaching materials are structured in order to comply with the principle of complementarity. It means that teachers can easily add to the invariable theoretical part variable informative materials, tasks and laboratory works that are conforming to the specific character of a chosen profession. Learning materials are supplemented with a package of variable tasks for unassisted work that allows students to choose tasks of appropriate complexity, on their own options. As a result, interest and motivation for doing self-sufficient tasks is increased. In the final process of the approbation, we have observed at an ~ 20% increase of the level of students’ knowledge about chemical processes in surroundings and in professional environment.

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Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.