Alternative education

    I would like to show that, despite the "widespread decline in education" there are places where children who WANT to learn something can do it. Places where they teach not because they need to, but because they want to, where any person who has something to tell can become a teacher. This article is about the Summer School of Ecology (LES).
    Summer Ecological School (LES) is an event that allows the student during the summer holidays to gain in-depth knowledge in the chosen field of science, an environment for the harmonious development of the personality in the process of forming the future scientist - specialist. The LES is held annually (since 1990) from the end of July to the end of August, in the rural areas of the European part of Russia (usually in the northern regions). The number of LES is about 300 people, of which schoolchildren (of different classes, from 5th to 10th) make up about two-thirds. The rest are students, graduate students, young scientists of various specialties. For a month, all these people live in a field camp and exchange information with each other - mainly in the form of training courses. Classes are usually held in the classrooms of a rural school.

    The School has a Biological, Mathematical, Physical, Humanitarian, FMBio Departments and a Laboratory and Field Biology Department, which conduct active joint activities - an interdepartmental seminar, courses and electives.

    Since there’s a lot to tell, in this part I will show what and why a schoolchild should go (using the example of the physical department) in order to be on the LES, and if there are people who wish, I’ll write in the next section what they will receive in return and what happens in this month.


    The first thing a student must do is to somehow submit a request (fill out a form on the site, or contact any of the teachers). Where should he indicate in addition to the passport data his favorite sections of physics, achievements and hobbies. When the N-th number of applications accumulates, teachers (students, graduate students, teachers of the physical faculty, MIPT, myths, etc.) gather for an interview.

    Job interview

    On a designated day, the student arrives alone (or with his parents who are sent back) to Moscow State University, and he will be taken to the GAISH (Sternberg State Astronomical Institute). Along the way, they talk nicely with him about his hobbies and knowledge. Then, in fact, the interview begins. Schoolchildren are seated 1 at a desk in the lecture hall (usually from 17 to 25 schoolchildren and about the same or a little less teacher) come for 1 interview. A teacher sits down to each one and asks questions: younger schoolchildren have more logic and attitude (bus, icicle, etc.), older schoolchildren require questions that require some basic knowledge of the school curriculum. Again, after the first or second question, the teacher understands the level of the respondent, and asks the questions of the appropriate level. Every 5-10 minutes, students exchange so that the teacher makes up his mind about everyone. Then the students go out and the discussion begins. Each teacher tells his opinion about the student, and pretends to answer the questions: is it adequate? He wants to go to school, or has his parents come off? Will the school be useful to him? Will he not interfere with someone with his behavior or life position? and so on. At this stage, either clearly inadequate people or people who provoke extremely negative emotions from the teacher are swept away.
    After the discussion, all the schoolchildren are already with their parents in the auditorium where they are informed that the interview has been passed and told how and where the school will be held this year, what is needed and what is strictly forbidden to take with you, instructed about the equipment and tell the date of the first “ exit to the forest. "

    Exit to the forest

    Before May, several students make sorties and find in direct reach (no more than 2 hours by train, and from there no more than 3 hours on foot to the place) a campsite. Those. they are looking for the edge of the forest, preferably next to the river (washing dishes), always with a spring and the lack of abundance of vacationers. For new “freshly recruited” schoolchildren, a visit to one (out of two) “exits” is mandatory. They take dishes, a tent (who has it), a sleeping bag, foam and clothes on a camping trip. While getting to the place, it becomes clear who started up, who is quiet, who begins to hysteria due to the long road or heavy backpack. Upon arrival, the installation of the camp begins: picking up a campfire, setting up tents, going for water, etc. Then some of the teachers begin to cook, and the rest go about their business: various ball games and without, communication (many students see only on the lash), disputes, etc. So the day goes by, evening comes and around 10 pm the “Candle” begins. Each in a circle picks up a lantern with candles (so that it is clear who is talking and visible) and talks about himself, his achievements and hobbies. If on the first circle a person spoke more about his hobbies, then on the second one he will be asked to tell about his successes in studies and vice versa. So to the 3rd circle, everyone remembers each other's names and have an approximate idea of ​​each.
    The next day at 9, the wake-up begins. After breakfast comes what “exit” was for. Schoolchildren are divided into 4-5 teams, so that students are about the same level. And each team is given a task, for example: to find out the air pressure in the ball (give the ball), calculate the amount of gas in the mineral water (give the bottle), calculate the air resistance coefficient from something (give the slingshot), estimate the temperature of the fire, etc. You can use only improvised means (although it is unlikely that one of the schoolchildren took the scales, ruler or manometer on a trip). This is where the creative potential of each child is revealed: how to weigh, how to measure distance, how to evaluate luminosity, etc. At this time, teachers go from task to task and look at the progress, they direct (but do not suggest) if they are at an impasse, form an opinion about the activity and non-standardness of schoolchildren. Then, in each team, the respondent is selected (usually the quietest or the person who has made the smallest contribution to the work) is selected and protection takes place. The guys tell the statement of the problem, how they reasoned, what this led to and the results (figures-graphs). Questions are asked about error estimation and generally about the correctness of the selected model. After protection, all students go to play, take a walk, and teachers go to the forest for a long (2-3 hours), detailed discussion of each student. The final verdict becomes "take" or "do not take." After discussion, the guys are told what kind of scientific work will be conducted this year, and those who are interested communicate with the head of the work on the topic of preparation. Next is the camp gathering,

    To be continued...

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