April 15, 2006

Education in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, we have a very archaic educational system. It is absolutely based on learning facts - we learn dates of important battles, names and books of famous writers, typical signs of various art and architectural styles, hierarchy of plants and animals, area, capital city and number of inhabitants of different countries or chemical formulas. All these things we must carry in our memory - we are tested in it. Unfortunately, this system is used in basic schools, grammar schools and even in universities.

I absolutely refuse this system of learning - all these things can be found very easily in libraries or on the internet, there is just a small reason why it is good to carry them in the head: you have a better overview of the world (I am happy for it, but the effort to get it is too big). Moreover: in present-day world, we simply can't even touch the whole knowledge of all people in such a short time: e.g. in chemistry, physics and other technical subjects. The knowledge here is so advanced that we know almost nothing after graduating the grammar school.

I think we should more focus on abilities, that are really important in our world:
  • presentation,
  • communication,
  • discussion,
  • working with information (searching, writing),
  • teamwork.
Another aspect is that by doing these activities you learn much more than by just learning facts.

I envy when on of our teachers, which is American, talks about American educational system and one of the basic principles of it: that the teacher should talk for just a minority of time in a lesson and he should empower the discussion. Oh my god, I would love this!

In international competitions, Czech students always win in theoretical knowledge (or they are on the first places). But when it comes to communication, discussion in the team or presentation in front of many people, Czech students and people are very bad (I see it often in the work). I don't think we should stop learning and just talk in the school, but i think we should find a compromise. Otherwise, we will lag.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

After accidentally coming upon your blog page, I read the postings with great interest, including the comments comparing Czech education with American education. I am constantly searching the web for more information on my parents homeland, although I was born in Germany after the war. My father was born at the foot of the Czesky Krumlov Castle on Parkan street and my mother was born in Cesky Budjoveci, formerly Budweis. I have a geneology in the region going back about 400 years and, since my parents' deaths in 1998, have tried to put so many pieces of their (my family) history together and am also continuously educating myself about the Czech Republic. It is so fascinating to read your perspectives on life in Cz as it is today...so far from the way life was decades ago. I understand that you have visions of life in America, as did my parents when they brought us in 1956. But this country, too, has many problems, changes in its own mentality, morality and persuasions...and is under siege by some of the most godless forces a country can face. I wish you well in your future and hope to visit your beautiful country, my family's former homeland, in the near future. My best regards.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Katrina said...


I came upon your posting while searching the web for "Jobs in Cesky Krumlov". I was born and raised in Ukraine where I recieved terrible grades all through 4th grade. When I came to the US at the age of 11, a new world in education opened up to me. Some psychologists say that different people have different types of IQ's developed on different levels. The idea that a person can be summed up by 1 Intelligence Quotient is out the window. I am an analytical and creative thinker. My emotional intelligence is well developed, but I can not memorise things. I am so bad with names and dates. My grades were so much better here, even though I was suddenly learning in a different language than my native language. For the first time in my life I became a good students and started to recieve perfect scores on my report cards. I totally agree with you that there are more to people than things they can memorise and that if diferent types of intelligences are allowed to develop, different people will develop with different ways to contribute to this world.

1:42 PM  
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8:33 PM  
Blogger Algynica Marie said...

I totally agreed on the "bullet points" you mentioned. It is very important indeed :) Great post!

By the way, how is Prague? I have always wanted to visit there. I hoping to get a cheap holidays to Czech Republic this year!

7:22 PM  

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