Extracurricular classes for children in Vietnam (prepared by Hoan Tran)
What are the extracurricular classes?
Extracurricular classes are those, which
  • take place outside of or to complement the official curriculum of the national schools
  • are usually considered to be illegal, but exceptionally they can be legal if they are included in the curriculum of the school

Courses taught in extracurricular classes:
According to Ha.T.T and Trudy.H (2005) 90% of the cca. 8-year-old children who take part in extracurricular classes learn either „mathematics and Vietnamese language” or „arts”. The remaining 10% takes both courses.

Why are those classes present in Vietnam?
  • short learning day and semester
  • fear of falling behind of other students
  • preparation for important exams

The influence and consequences of extracurricular classes:
  • They do not have a remarkably positive influence on the results of students in reading, writing and calculating.
  • They result in a lack of free time and time for learning individually
  • They increase the stress and pressure on the children.

Unschooling at home
Summary: Parents offer a stimulating environment, but teach the child only when and what he asks and often they just direct the child to find the answer for himself. There is no study plan.

Advantages:
  • Stress free learning
  • Utilizes the natural curiosity of the children
  • The tasks relate to real life
  • It adapts to the individual needs

Disadvantages:
  • Lack of socialization with peers
  • Children may not acquire some basic skills
  • Some parents lack the necessary skills
  • The organization of knowledge is missing
  • It is illegal in most of the developed countries

Project method
Steps:
  1. Choose the topic
  2. Plan the goals and deadlines
  3. Create the project with your group
  4. Present the results
  5. Receive feedback

Advantages:
  • autonomy
  • initiative
  • creativity
  • critical thinking
  • cooperation
  • communication
  • problem solving
  • effectively searching for information

Disadvantages:
  • less systematic knowledge
  • less organized knowledge
  • not everyone is working equally

Russian Family School
“All children are talented”

The school:
  • is isolated, in the middle of a forest
  • has everything needed for studying (teaching materials, equipment, comfortable conditions, etc)
  • is created for talented children who have problems with socializing
  • successfully uses the “Project method”

The children:
  • create courses and teach each other, they are “colleagues”
  • learn just one subject at once from the beginning till the end
  • help each other
  • do not have tests during the course (just an exam at the end)
  • often finish their studies earlier than students of state schools
  • are treated as adults, they have responsibilities and can decide
  • learn at their own pace
  • live, sleep, eat and work together
  • are not afraid to ask if they do not understand something

Sudbury Valley School
  • Nothing is compulsory, obligations aren’t joyful
  • You can learn here with joy what you want
  • Only free people can be a basis for a free society
  • From 1968 in the USA
  • More than 60 schools follow the model meanwhile
  • Educational freedom
  • Democratic governance
  • For children between 4-19 years

  • Students are members of the School Council
  • The School Council decides about everything, even about budget and teachers
  • That way we buy only what is really needed
  • If you want to go to university, you can take final exams here
  • Apart from that there are no exams
  • During the final exam everyone can ask questions from the examinee, and the whole Council votes about granting the diploma.

Summerhill
History:
  • Founded: 1921
  • Founder: A. S. Neill
  • Inspiration: Hellerau, Neue Deutsche Schule and eurhythmics

Philosophy:
  • Democratic values
  • Family atmosphere
  • Teaching for children
  • Growing without fear

Teaching:
  • boarding school
  • completely voluntary teaching
  • students make important decisions with adults

Critics:
  • Students have less general knowledge
  • The teaching methods of Neill were not considered as effective
  • Free sexual behavior

Hejny Method
Children discover mathematics with pleasure.
  • more than 750 from the 4100 of the elementary and lower secondary schools in the Czech Republic use the Hejny method (2018)
  • “Adam takes 2 steps forward and 3 steps backwards. How many steps does Eliza have to take so that she stands on the same place as Adam? – This way even 6-year-olds can calculate with negative numbers” – Milan HEJNY

12 principles:
  1. Building schemata
    - children generalize the material by themselves
  2. Working in environments
    - the work has to take place in a comfortable environment
  3. Interlinking topics - mathematical principles are connected, they will be used in various context
  4. Character development
    - children relating to each other, in discussions
  5. True motivation
    - everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy his success
  6. Real-life experience
  7. Enjoying mathematics
    - it is more important to do the exercises correctly than to do the most difficult ones
  8. Personal knowledge
    - they do not give the children facts, but show them the way how to discover it for themselves
  9. The teacher’s role
    - the teacher acts like a leader instead of a superior
  10. Working with error
    - an error is not a failure, if you can take knowledge from it
  11. Appropriate challenge
    - the tasks should be suitable for children on all levels
  12. Supporting collaboration
    - students should not work only individually, but also together

Milan HEJNY
  • born on 23rd May 1936
  • taught in elementary schools in Czechoslovakia
  • dealt with the theory of didactics
  • has been dealing with this method since 2005