Study visit to Dutch elementary schools
In November, two teachers visited some Dutch elementary schools. The purpose of the visit was to observe work with students with disabilities, immigrant students and gifted students.
The program of the educational visit was prepared by Mrs. Petra Adamič, a Slovenian woman living and working in the Netherlands. Petra studied pedagogy in Netherlands and is employed in the Dutch education system.
All schools are located in the vicinity of Lelystad, which is a smaller town about 30 km outside of Amsterdam.
Pupils attending elementary schools are between 4 and 10 years old.
We were introduced to the successful inklusion of two children with Down Syndrome. Work with students was presented to us by a teacher who works with them in the classroom and individually outside the classroom.
Gifted students are selected by observing. A special teacher works with them on a special program for gifted students. They work on three levels. Students who are very intelligent can skip the class.
Once a week, talented students from different schools gather in one location. With the help of a special teacher, they develop their skills.
Foreigners from different parts of the world are immigrating to the Netherlands. They have developed a very good program for immigrant children. They learn in special class by special program where is a teacher and an assistant. In the class for immigrant students stay for one to two years or by the time they learn 5000 Dutch words.
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to photograph the students. However, we were able to take pictures of classrooms and other facilities in the school and various teaching aids.
We were surprised by the classrooms without walls. In some places they still have walls, but they are mostly glass, and teaching is often done with the door open. The learning process often takes place in small groups in the hallway or in various corners. Older students often learn and help the younger ones.
Each student has an electronic tablet so they hardly use the notebooks.
They pay a lot of attention to troubled students who are disturbed by external factors or who are constantly on the move. They look for solutions in appropriate furniture and other accessories.
They also pay a lot of attention to obeying the rules and proper behavior.
They take care of the well-being of students and teachers, so they often have sofas in classrooms and teachers chamber.
After each tour of the classes and the school we had a conversation with the school management and some teachers. They presented us with the Dutch school system. We also talked about working with parents and the outside environment. With colleague we introduced the school system in Slovenia, so we were able to compare the school system of the two countries.
Visiting Amsterdam was very interesting. On the boat tour we saw important buildings and heard about the history and today of the city. We were also impressed with the Rembrant House Museum.
Goodbye to our wonderful hosts.