The first academic year at the PAFF and UW School of Education has ended. Over the year, the students were learning how to be ever better teachers and educators and what methods of teaching they can use. On June 22 they received their diplomas and each of them told about one educational issue that was important for them.
The PAFF and UW School of Education is a joint initiative of two institutions – the Polish-American Freedom Foundation (PAFF) and University of Warsaw (UW).
“I would like to thank all those who were working hard over that year to confront the teaching theory with the school practice. I wish our graduates to maintain this energy which they present today for as long as possible,” said Prof. Jolanta Choińska-Mika, UW Vice-President for Students and Quality of Education, the first director of School of Education. “A school not always is such a joyful place as it was during your training hours. I would like you to open the door to student’s emotions, and really change the visage of education when you enter your new schools,” she added.
“We were thinking what else we could do to equal educational chances in Poland. And we came to the conclusion that there is nothing we can do if we do not add something new to our activities. We decided to set up a new institution geared to teachers who will start work at school with new ideas and will inspire the others. I mean in particular thousands of children who will have the chance to work with you,” said Grzegorz Jędrys, Head of the PAFF Representative Office in Poland. “School of Education is an initiative that requires significant outlays. Your presentations convinced us that it was an excellent investment in Polish education,” he emphasized.
20 minutes and one issue
Each student had 20 minutes to tell about one important issue selected from all topics taught over the whole year at SE. “Put together, all these stories make information on what was going on at the School of Education over last ten months,’ says Grażyna Czetwertyńska. Daniel Brzeszcz discussed the issue of turning academic knowledge into school practice, Marta Tkacz claimed that each lesson can be different educational story, while Aleksandra Węcławska argued that it is possible to have a school without grades, and Justyna Borek advised teachers to treat the textbook not as the Bible bus as a source of inspiration.
Cooperation of teachers
Ewa Kordzińska and Aleksandra Prońko gave their presentation together, as they did conduct lessons at school during their internship. They told about teachers’ cooperation. ‘We used a metaphor of birds migrating in the v-formation. The birds flying behind the others use less of their energy than those which fly alone. Of course the bird flying in the front uses more energy than the others. Therefore birds change their positions when travel in a v-formation. The same refers to teachers,” explained Aleksandra Prońko. “The Polish school follows the rule of ‘closed door’. We must open them, so that we can cooperate and not compete,’ Ewa Kordzińska summed up.
The PAFF and UW School of Education is an innovative program of post-graduate studies for future teachers of Polish and mathematics, established thanks to cooperation of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, the University of Warsaw, the Foundation for Quality Education, and the Center for Citizenship Education, and with substantive support from the Teachers College, Columbia University. That is the first in Poland program of that type – a one-year course which combines closely theory with practice.
More information at: www.szkolaedukacji.pl