Hungary Cycle 2 – PD 1

Budapest, June 9, 2011.


Judit, history teacher (9-12. grades)

Géza, science teacher (7-12. grades)

Vali, math and ICT teacher (5-12. grades)

coordinators: Gabi, Ildikó, Attila

Developing collaborative approaches to learning about business

Did the story generate any thoughts? Is this a possible story?

Judit found the scenario not impossible but quite challenging. In Géza’s school a similar activity is already in practice so he did not find it difficult to implement. In Vali’s school there is no such practice and she expressed her opinion that this scenario could be a cross-curricular project with more than one teacher involved. Children see similar school activities in American films and would love to have similar tasks in class. Vali expressed her doubts whether there was one single subject which could host this activity within the school timetable, because it could not be integrated into the curriculum of any one subject. Judit said that the activity could be involved in Civics, which was a compulsory subject in Hungarian schools. Its actual content and the grade(s) in which pupils learn this subject might vary from school to school, but learning about business is a possible option among others. Economics is only taught in secondary business schools.

Géza explained the practice of their school. In his school business activity is an individual subject with the timeframe of one hour/week during the 10. grade. It is a compulsory subject. Pupils form groups of 10-12 members, who are from the same grade but not necessarily from the same class. Groups develop a product and try to sell it. There is real money circulation. All groups begin their activities with some capital invested in stocks. First they need to sell their stocks to be able to invest the money in the production and selling of their product. The teacher – who is not necessarily a teacher of economics – acts as facilitator and advisor. All the groups present their work at the end of the term.

There are a few schools in Hungary which have a similar practice. Most of them follow either the Young Enterprise, or the Junior Achievement model. According to the Hungarian Junior Achievement site around 450 schools are involved in the JA program.

Is there something they would like to change in it? Could they imagine themselves in the role of the teacher?

Géza expressed his opinion that the database of experts was problematical. Only a few schools have such a good relationship with another school that they would help each others’ pupils in their projects. Judit’s school has good relationship with three other schools, because all of these schools are connected to the university in her town. The relationship is good enough to ask for help in projects like this.

Géza had the opinion that it is neither easy to involve local businesses, nor the task of a teacher to build up such connections. Attila said that the involved experts could be parents. His experience is that parents who were active in such cases were rare, but still it is a possible solution. In Vali’s school parents are easy to mobilize, it is more difficult with colleagues. So it can be concluded that depending on the previous practice the involvement of different sorts of local expertise may be easy or challenging.

The participants were also in doubt about a database which offers webinars: webinars are not common in schools and the teachers were unsure about how and with which tool they could organize a webinar. Attila had the opinion that Skype might be an alternative to webinars.

Géza could imagine himself in the role of the teacher in this scenario, while Judit was unsure about her role as a facilitator. She had never been in such a role but she would like to try herself out in it. Vali can also imagine herself in this situation; not in the frames of her subject (maths or ICT), but maybe during her class teacher’s tutorial lesson.

Géza suggested not using post-its at all; he considered this as an old-fashioned solution which pupils would not choose. Géza would use a digital tool. Classes may not have their own classrooms but have to go from room to room, so they might not have their “own wall”.

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