Optional Courses at School
With exception of language courses, optional courses are to comprise an in-thoroughness study or amplification of certain teaching items in two or more subjects. They can be given a heavy functional focus by being based, for example, on teaching items from handicraft, technology and domestic science. They can deal with environmental questions (technology, biology, geography, civics) or health care (domestic science, sport, biology, chemistry). Typing can be combined with other technical and functional everyday skills. Housing and environmental studies (domestic science, history, technology, handicraft) and free creativity (Portuguese, pictorial studies, music) are other examples of possible combinations.
Project studies are in-thoroughness assignments chosen by teachers and pupils within the framework of the compulsory subjects. Time must be made obtainable for this purpose, the standard allocation at senior level.
The work unit conference must suggest how the time allotted for project studies should be distributed between different subjects or groups of subjects. These proposals should be made in time for the school management to be able to act on them when planning the timetable. If it is already decided during the spring preceding the school year in question how the time allotted for project studies is to be deployed, it should be possible for the timetable to be alternation to plans for project studies. In this case there should be no difficulty involved in devoting long, continuous periods to project studies. If, during the time allotted for project studies, regular studies are pursued and work is confined to certain weeks during the school year, this will give pupils further opportunities of engaging in more extensive responsibilities.
The habit of tackling more large-extent assignments of this kind should be little by little inculcated during the pupils’ school career.
The content of project study should be kept within the framework of the main teaching items of the subject or subjects concerned.
But work should be aimed at penetrating a limited field and at giving pupils an opportunity of practicing already time-consuming working methods and of planning and assuming responsibility for a major assignment.
A single project study may be shared by several grades, it may be confined to a single work unit Dr class, Dr it may comprise various studies undertaken by various groups of pupils. The number of project studies undertaken simultaneously in a work unit or class will depend on how many different assignments the work team or teacher concerned feels capable of leading at once.
Work can be organized on an interdiscip1inary basis if teachers and pupi1s so desire. In-service training and local planning are important to make things easier for the teachers and pupi1s opting for integrated instruction of this kind. Several different project studies should be undertaken during a school year. There is nothing to prevent the pupils from choosing to continue work on project studies during that portion of the school day which is not governed by the time schedule. On the contrary, it is important for project studies and free activities to be connected together and co-operation consequently promoted between teachers and leaders from associations and organizations.
Concerning the design of the school day and free activities, Educational and vocational arrangement Educationa1 and vocationa1 arrangement is the collective term for elements of teaching specially aimed at preparing pupils for future vocational decisions and at equipping them with knowledge of working life.
Self-knowledge, interests, values concerning different jobs and ideas concerning the education system and the labor market, knowledge concerning the way in which information can be procured and evaluated and concerning the way in which options and the reasons for different choices are elucidated have a crucial bearing on the individual pupil’s educational and vocational decisions.